My friend L and I had been hanging out together for a few months, but they almost never asked me how I was doing or what was up with me.
One day they were upset with me; they said, “You never tell me what's going on with you!”
I replied, “You never ask!”
And L told me that in their family, you didn't ask people questions. If someone wanted to tell you something about themselves, they would. If they didn't want to tell you, then asking them would be rude, an invasion of privacy.
I was shocked. I've encountered a lot of people who never ask me about myself, but it had never occurred to me that that might be a family-cultural difference, that they might be waiting for me to volunteer information about myself.
I'm very far on the opposite end of the spectrum; I often have a hard time saying anything at all about myself if someone doesn't explicitly indicate interest by asking.
But since I learned that different people have different approaches to this kind of thing, I've asked other people about it, and have found a few others who were also raised in families that didn't ask questions about each other.
So I'm interested in hearing from more people, and in further discussion. Do you ask people questions about themselves and what they've been up to lately? Or do you expect them to volunteer information if they want to tell you something?
(See also Facebook thread for this post.)