Nick describes himself as a "tolerant" person and one who reserves judgment, by which he means he both keeps his opinions to himself and tries not to have negative opinions. Because of his reserve, people have tended to confide in him.
Nick says he has been accused of being a "politician" because of the way people entrust their secrets to him. He argues that he didn't plan this and has often pretended to fall asleep so as not have to hear any more confessions of "the secret griefs of wild, unknown men."
Nick also reveals that he comes from a prominent and well-to-do Midwest family with a long pedigree reaching back to Scotland. This is important to the story, because it explains (along with his undergraduate work at Yale) why he is so completely accepted by Tom Buchanan as one of his upper-crust "Nordic" set. If Nick does not live at the lavish levels of Tom or Gatsby, his father is bankrolling him as he makes his start in the bond trade, which allows him to rent a house with a servant:
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