Let me begin by saying that the following passage is not my writing (although, darn, I wish it was!). It is a passage from a book by American author and director Paul Auster. I included this colorful passage in a handout for one of my recent workshops on Conversation. As attendees discussed various quotes on the nature and value of good conversation, several agreed that they wish they (and others) could be more like Kitty, the character described below. (I don’t think Auster meant that Kitty was Kitty Carlisle, but somehow I think of the legendary actress when the name Kitty comes to mind.)
Take a read below – and see if you agree that Kitty had the wonderful talent of good conversation – and making others look and feel good in her presence.
“Bit by bit, I found myself relaxing into the conversation. Kitty had a natural talent for drawing people out of themselves, and it was easy to fall in with her, to feel comfortable in her presence.
“As Uncle Victor had once told me long ago, a conversation is like having a catch with someone. A good partner tosses the ball directly into your glove, making it almost impossible for you to miss it; when he is on the receiving end, he catches everything sent his way, even the most errant and incompetent throws.
“That’s what Kitty did. She kept lobbing the ball straight into the pocket of my glove, and when I threw the ball back to her, she hauled in everything that was even remotely in her area: jumping up to spear balls that soared above her head, diving nimbly to her left or right, charging in to make tumbling, shoestring catches.
“More than that, her skill was such that she always made me feel that I had made those bad throws on purpose, as if my only object had been to make the game more amusing. She made me seem better than I was, and that strengthened my confidence, which in turn helped to make my throws less difficult for her to handle.
See what I mean?
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