People described me as shy when I was younger but I disagreed. I wasn't scared to talk with folks; I was selectively friendly. I'm the first to admit I'd observe before engaging, discern and then discuss. Most people enjoy a good listener, anyhow.
While I can't remember what inspired my mom to tell me this, I heard the phrase throughout my childhood. "Conversation is like throwing a ball back and forth."
I'd picture myself tossing the ball (question) and someone catching it (answer). If I ever felt uncertain, say, in a large group or around grown ups, I'd remember my mom's advice and ask a question.
(Is it a coincidence I became a huge White Sox fan? Probably. My mom didn't pay any attention to baseball before my obsession began.)
The years passed and I developed into a talker but still a selective one.
I'm honored to be guest posting for my lovely friend Micha Boyett's One Good Phrase series today. I don't say that lightly. Micha is a tremendous writer and I feel lucky she even knows my name! If you're not familiar with her blog already, I hope you'll stay and peruse awhile. Be on the lookout for her forthcoming book, too! You can read the rest of my post here.