Am I or will I ever be, one of those people who ever so nonchalantly mentions their extravagant travels and exotic friends? Sitting at a coffee shop one day I overheard a woman discussing all the wonderful things she had seen. Her audience, apparently an old friend, was less than impressed as the old hen prattled on with a constant stream of auto-laudations. I’m fortunate: I’ve led a very interesting life and experienced amazing things, but I do not want to bore my friends with inane details and persistent bragging. Travel is not a unique topic here–I’ve heard people brag about experiences from guitar to shopping. I’m left wondering how to talk about an exciting life without coming off like a braggart.

People should feel free to talk about subjects that interest them, but they should take note of social cues and change subjects more regularly. Beyond that, we should be confident but humble; approach conversation as two-way exchange of knowledge rather that a chance to tell every great story you have. My thoughts are still gestating, but I think this is a good starting point!