Jesus and His disciples have just sat down to enjoy their passover feast, when Jesus annouces:
"Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me."
And this is how the disciples respond:
"they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him, one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I?"
You will notice that their question was not, "how can I help you?" and their sorrow was because they might be betrayers -- not that Christ was being betrayed. Their response is totally self-centered.
Often in our everyday conversations, we become "me monsters." This is the need to "one-up" whoever you are talking to by telling a story yourself that is greater than their story. Now don't get me wrong, conversations have to go back and forth. It is appropriate to relate to people's experiences by sharing your own. However, there is a line.
Are we truly listening to our friend, or do we already have another story in mind and are just waiting for them to shut their mouth so we can tell it?
Here is an exercise to try. When someone is telling a story or an experience, instead of responding with your own story, respond to their story first with questions that keep the attention back on them. See how long you can keep the spotlight on your friend. You'll be surprised that they will do the same for you next time you have an experience to share.
Jesus' disciples were so focused on themselves here, that they could not even hear and process that their dearest friend was about to get betrayed. They turned the conversation to themselves instead of reaching out to Jesus at this extremely difficult time.
We need to be less selfish and more fixed on making others feel happy and appreciated