It can be quite disappointing to find yourself in a friendship where you feel that you are the only one who does the talking. This can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and even awkwardness.
Instead of asking yourself, am I boring? Is she even interested? if you have a friend who never talks about themselves I have written 9 possible reasons and some solutions that you can try before tossing the friendship in the bin.
Why do some people not like talking about themselves?
People do not like talking about themselves because they don’t like to look like they are dominating the conversation. Shy people often don’t like talking about themselves because they may be introverts by nature.
9 Reasons your friend never talks about herself
She is shy
Shy people don’t like to talk about themselves in general, they usually prefer to listen to other people talk. If your friend is shy she may not like to reveal a lot of information because that is who she is. Being an introvert means that she is used to keeping to herself, so you may be the only extrovert friend she has ever had. Don’t be afraid to ask her questions, this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to share, it may be that no one asks her anything about herself or who is she, so be that person who gently pries the answer out of her.
She doesn’t relate to the topic
As frivolous as this may sound it can be true, especially if you are at a different period in your life. Let’s take for example if you have just had a baby and she is not a mother yet, then your rambling on about your bundle of joy can not only be a downer but is something that she can’t relate to or connect with. Talking about your baby is all fine and dandy and by all accounts, you should, but there is a limit to everything. Once again try and revert to what your usual topics are, are you talking about your baby or is she generally closed off?
She doesn’t trust you
If you have gone over everything and nothing applies to you, then trust is the only reason that she doesn’t talk about herself. She simply does not trust you and this can be for a multitude of things. If she has shared a secret with you in the past and you maybe let a little information slip, then she may be weary of opening her mouth around you. Or maybe you are or have been friends with someone that she doesn’t like, or you hang out with people she is not familiar with and she is afraid they will get to know all her secrets.
The trust issue may not even apply to you or anything that you have done. It may stem from her past relationships with people she thought were her friends but turned out to gossip behind her back. Catty friendships can leave us feeling like we don’t have anyone we can trust, if you look around most women would prefer to not have any friends or just a few people that they hang out with.
She hasn’t known you for long
This is common for new relationships, I plenty have had friends pull back or not share anything personal when we started the friendship, this is more common than you think. I overshare too much and trust me I am working on this. So if the friendship is relatively new, it’s not a friendship where you share important information, if this is the case then give it time.
However, we also have the dreaded acquaintance category where you have known someone for a long time, even years and the friendship is still very icey. As hard as it may be to swallow maybe the friendship will never be the one where you two share important information, at least on her part. If this is the energy that you get, then take a step back and try not to bombard her with unwanted questions about what she does or who she is doing it with.
She loves hearing about your life
Hey, if your life is more interesting why wouldn’t she want to hear all the details? Let’s look at the baby and mommy example again but from a different angle. It’s not uncommon for friends with children to be more excited about hearing what their friends are up to, it can be a form of escape for them. If your friend is a stay-at-home mom or busy with the kids, hearing about your life gives her some room to breathe. I am sure if you are living opposite lives, you vacationing around the world seems way more exciting than talking about what time she put the kids to bed.
She is afraid of how you will respond
If you think back and realize that she used to share quite a bit of information with you and all of a sudden she has clammed up then it could be that she didn’t like the way that you responded. This can be anything, maybe she told you that she is back with an ex that you don’t like or revealed a secret that you think is taboo.
If your response was what she considered to be inappropriate then her not talking about herself is to be expected. For her, she would rather stay silent than have her feelings hurt or invalided. Try to take a moment and think about how your friend will feel before you respond, this will create a safe space for her to continue to share with you her innermost thoughts.
You always overshadow the conversation
If you are viewing this article then it’s safe to say that you feel that you are always the one who does the talking in the friendship. But take a step back for a moment and think, are you always dominating the conversation? Do you always talk about yourself? But most importantly do you give your friend a chance to say something before you hang up the phone? Talking about yourself too much doesn’t leave much room for the other person to say anything.
I went through a period of always talking about myself but that was because I was going through a horrible breakup, it was until I missed a very important event in my friend’s life, I asked her why she hadn’t told me about it and she pointed out that she didn’t get a chance to because I was always the topic of the conversation. So you see when you talk too much you can miss so many quiet hints.
You are colleagues
Girl, now don’t get me started on the workplace drama, you know I have a lot to share about mean coworkers. If this friend is someone who you work with then I am not surprised that she would keep tight-lipped. Oversharing at work could lead to many things going wrong, so being true friends outside of work takes the longest time. Think about it this way, how sure is she that you will not share any of her details with colleagues, what if she shared information about how many men she slept with in one weekend and the next thing the entire office knows?
She has no life experience
If you are 40 and your friend is 22 then she does not have the same life experience that you have. I know that this is an exaggerated age difference but young and mature people can be friends you know. Anyway, she might not have the same dating history or any dating history for that matter, or she might not have any work experience stories to share because she may be fresh out of university, think about it.
How do you encourage someone to talk about themselves?
You can encourage your friend to talk about themselves by telling them that you are interested in what they have to say. You can also ask them open-ended questions so that their answers are more than one or two words.
5 Ways to encourage someone to talk about themselves
Tell them you care
Take the leap and be the one who reaches out and makes her notice that she is oddly quiet, trust me she will start to come out of her shell. Maybe she thinks you won’t care about her life whether boring or not. It’s time for you to tell her that you would love to have coffee or in my case wine, and give her the mic.
Ask open-ended questions
Oh yes, this is one of the best strategies to not only get answers out of your friend but also the feel of the relationship. With open-ended questions she can’t answer with a yes or a no, so try asking her something like, what did you get up to instead of did you have a good weekend? Listen asking open-ended will also help you see if she is quiet by nature or if she doesn’t want to talk to you about herself, she can’t escape certain questions.
Don’t force them to revel anything
Patience is the key here, I am at the end of the day you don’t want to sound like a gossip reporter who is looking for the next big scoop for TMZ. If you have let her know that you want to hear more about her and she still doesn’t open up, then take a step back.
Let the friendship grow organically
This is connected to not forcing them to reveal, some friends naturally have their guard up, especially at the beginning. Not every friendship is on a share personal information about yourself level. Some people feel if you have not known someone for a few years then there is no need to share anything with them, and that is how life goes.
Seek out some help
If you in your heart of hearts feel that your friend is hiding something that could harm her, then seek some help. This can be you reaching out to a professional or even involving some family members. Before you do this make sure that this is the case, a lot of people do not like their family members knowing when they are going through a hard time. If this is the case involve her loved ones and take it from there.
Many people are introverts by nature and forcing them to talk is not the solution, but over time your friend should be comfortable enough to let you in on a few personal things. You don’t have to prove yourself there is no need to overshare in the hopes that she will open up. If you create a space where she feels at ease you can bet it will happen, otherwise, you can invest in other friendships which will be mutually beneficial.