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telling stories about yourself

globetrotter

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I was reading this today:

http://artofmanliness.com/2011/01/10...ntures-part-i/

and the whole idea of Teddy Roosevelt enjoying nothing more than telling stories about his adventures got me thinking. when I was a kid, I used to think that having a lot of great stories to tell would be a cool thing. to some extent, I built my life around having a lot of cool stories to tell.

on the other hand, I've always been pretty modest, and I don't really like to tell stories about myself. when I was dating, I used to have to really push myself to tell stories about myself, and since then I really haven't. if people ask me a specific question, I'll talk about things, but it usually takes that. I had a conversation with somebody today that I have known a while about the shooting in Arizona, and she said something like "I wonder what kind of life a person can have after being shot in the head" and I said something about people I had known who were shot in the head, and that lead to mentioning that I had been in the army, and had lived outside of the US most of my life, etc, none of which I had ever mentioned.

and its not like I am shy or anything, just not so likely to talk about myself.

anyway, I was wondering - how likely are you all to tell people about yourselves?
 

fwiffo

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Although I assume I'm an introvert, I rank on all sorts of personality tests as a rather (although not extremely) outgoing person. I tend to talk too much about myself and ignore or neglect to draw other people in. This usually creates awkward moments after 20 or 30 minutes when I've exhausted all reasonable conversation.

I'm always reminded of the tale of Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone. Allegedly if you get into a conversation with either one, Gladstone will always make you feel like he's the smartest and most interesting man in the room. Disraeli will make *you* feel like you're the most smartest and most interesting person in the room. I'm totally of the former and have to fight tooth & nail to exhibit some aspects of the latter.

One of my uncles is 70 something. I see him once every 6 weeks or so. He was the alpha male of the family. He loves to talk about his old drinking and happy hour stories from when he worked. But they always start with, "When it was 1980 something..." At some point it becomes repetitive, but I humour him out of deference.
 

APK

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You either have to be a legitimately interesting person or a great storyteller for chronic storytelling not to smack of self-absorption. I won't tell people stories in which I'm the central character unless I *know* they'd be interesting to the person or people I'm talking to.

It's a grating experience to get stuck talking to someone who isn't just obsessed with themselves, but not shy about sharing long-winded stories about themselves.
 

ysc

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I tell stories about myself that are pertinent and if I am in a story swapping kind of a situation. Unless they are humorous, usually something stupid I have done, they tend to be about something other than me about a place or a person, I am not really talking about myself. I enjoy swapping stories and like to think I am good at telling stories.

I generally tend to be pretty open about myself and my life, although I keep my serious feelings and thoughts to my self everything below a certain level is freely available, if that makes sense. People seem to feel comfortable telling me stuff as well.
 

Blackhood

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I have a rather unusual situation in that I have some of the most unbelievable stories about my life, and people simply don't believe it. Where ever my family goes we seem to run into celebrities, crazy events and just sheer 1-in-a-million situations.

The result is that people assume that most of my stories are just lies, but my close friends who get to come along for the ride seem to think that my family is some kind of theme park ride.
 

willpower

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As long as you're fascinating or the story is hilarious. Everybody has at least a few of both. I do open mic standup comedy and soon noticed that audiences pay more attention when you're discussing topics which affect them rather than telling jokes about your own experiences. I now wince thinking about the times I talked about myself on stage.
 

FLMountainMan

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From single men, girls love hearing self-deprecating stories. If you can take a cool story and add that twist and make it funny, it can get you some headway.
 

frenchy

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Originally Posted by FLMountainMan
From single men, girls love hearing self-deprecating stories. If you can take a cool story and add that twist and make it funny, it can get you some headway.

paging metrostyles
 

sho'nuff

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i find myself drawn to (and not coincidentally, a lot of others as well) to persons who sort of make you feel important or interesting or feel engaged with you. i tend to naturally not get drawn to people who are all about talking about themselves. which is fine sometimes but now i know why some people become or get further in their careers and such because of their well-regarded personalities. i try to be like the former. it is hard. i hope i am not seen as the latter as much but who know.s
 

sygyzy

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I think I have an average amount of stories to tell that are all moderately interesting. Usually I don't talk about myself though. Instead I ask people a lot of questions because I think people prefer to hear their own voice. This doesn't bother me because I am genuinely interested in what they have to say and as long as they are talking, I don't have to. Sometimes people tell the most uninteresting stories though and I think "wow, what if that was me?" And I am glad I don't share as much.
 

PeterMetro

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I have a hard time articulating the difference between people who are truly engaging and people who seem to be waiting for their turn to speak, but the difference is huge. I think it has to do with listening. Stories by themselves are not interesting or uninteresting - it is a judgement made by the listener. If you yourself are listening to what the other person is saying, can judge what they are interested in and can tell a relevant story, you have a better chance of success. But if you are hellbent on telling a certain story regardless of the audience, then people will think you are self-centered.

I'm also reminded of a journalist - can't remember his name - who would literally throw a dart at a map of the US, go to that town, pick a name out of the phone book at random and do a story on that person. He'd would always come up with something compelling, and it convinced me that everyone has at least one interesting story.
 

sygyzy

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Originally Posted by PeterMetro
I'm also reminded of a journalist - can't remember his name - who would literally throw a dart at a map of the US, go to that town, pick a name out of the phone book at random and do a story on that person. He'd would always come up with something compelling, and it convinced me that everyone has at least one interesting story.
I remember this too but don't remember ANY details about him. Not a single letter in his name. I remember so little in fact I am starting to think it might have been part of the plot in a fictional movie or TV show instead of real life. Edit: Found him - Steve Hartman from CBS News
 

Davidko19

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rarely because I find it pretty lame to bore people with stories....and, mainly, because I dont remember most of the funny shit that happens.
 

JustinW

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I only tell the self-deprecating, amusing stories. I'm not really into bragging, so I leave those stories for other people to tell about me.
 

JayJay

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I rarely talk about myself, and even when I do, I share very little.
 

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