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Are You Having Another Unproductive Conversation?

The chatty woman beside me in the flight boarding line told me she was traveling to see family and asked about my destination.

I barely finished my sentence before she told me a story about her children.

In an effort to share a conversation, I related a personal story similar to hers.

She interrupted me with, “That’s nothing!” and launched into another story, and then another one.

Her one-upmanship shut me down and I wondered how her family handled her competitive conversation.

I thought about meta messages, which are the sentiment, the intent, behind the words.

My meta message was, “I’m open to a conversation with you. We have similar stories.”

Her meta message was that she wasn’t interested in sharing, only making it clear that my story was inconsequential to the magnitude of her experiences.

I avoided her at the next airport.

When your conversational partner’s eyes look glazed, they take a step backward, or barely respond, they might be hearing a meta message you’re not aware you’re sending.

Read more at my WAIT blog post.

Not getting the results you want from a relationship? Might be time to change your meta message. Let’s talk about it.

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