hm. I suppose the motive is relevant. I never did it with the goal of getting my interlocutor to reveal anything prejudicial, that I might use against them. I was really doing it so that they would feel they could trust me (and they could, in fact) and out of a sincere desire to disarm them, to aid in ‘dropping the barriers’ between us. But I didn’t do it out of any real need to ‘unburden’ or reveal myself. The goal was to build trust and facilitate communication. So, while I came to recognize it as technique for doing that, I was conscious that I was doing so. It may be thought manipulative, but perhaps there is always an element of manipulation in human interactions — the motive behind it, and how you use it is, I think, more important. In any case, I don’t condemn myself for using it — my motives were good and I certainly never betrayed any confidences.