The reason so few men can carry on a sensible and agreeable conversation is that there is hardly one but thinks more of what he himself intends to say than of what is being said to him by others. Sometimes even the cleverest and politest man only feigns attention, while we can see by his eyes that his mind has gone back to polish up his own remarks. He does not consider that the worst way to win over others is to talk for his own pleasure, and that the best conversationalist is he who listens with care and answers to the point.
Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)
Source: Réflexions ou Sentences et Maximes Morales