Growing up and as a young man, I always had to be the guy in the room with the joke.
Whenever anyone said something, my malformed brain would immediately look for a way to turn it and tease the person a little.
Combined with not being very good at it, this resulted in years without a lot of friends. As I grew older, I got better at it. At the teasing part, that is, unfortunately, not the “just knock it off already” part that people were no doubt wishing I’d master. For many years into my adult life, it would often remain my reflex in a conversation.
And then…I would wonder why I wasn’t getting anywhere socially.
Clueless, I tell you.
Then, for some reason, one day I started asking myself, “What do my role models do to engender such trust with people?”