We all want to be heard. Am I right?
I find myself taking the less than mature adult approach to being heard. Even if it’s a short story, damnit I want to tell it with all the deets! I seriously don’t know any other way of telling anything. So when I’m interrupted every 2 seconds, I just don’t want to tell it anymore. I throw my hands in the air and say, “oh, just forget it.” Then, when I receive the inevitable, “sorry, please finish, tell your story,” I give the pouting response, “the story was over anyway” which is a total lie and then I have the nerve to be irritated because I really wanted to tell the story.
I’ve been in a few relationships where I’ve been interrupted time and time again. Why do they torture me like this?! I tried to analyze where I’m going wrong because I MUST be doing something wrong here, right? Maybe it’s me. (I just made myself laugh.) I could very well be a poor listener, myself. I don’t think that’s possible, but I decided to humor myself and really look deep.
I have a bit of social anxiety and I’m self conscious about my ability to hold a conversation, as it is. I realized that, because I was always thinking, thinking, thinking of the next thing that was supposed to come out of my mouth when the other person was done talking, I can’t possibly be listening to them. I mean seriously – God forbid I have no response! How will I endure the possibility of the awkward silence that may or may not come when they are finished talking? Argh! It really takes a conscious effort on the listener’s behalf to be a good listener. Once I put two and two together, I decided to make a change. I’m not a big interrupter when others are talking, but I could still change how I listen to people; I could give my full attention which is basically what I want. I want your attention. (I’m feeling needy all of a sudden.)
No lie, it was hard at first. My brain wanted to do what it wanted to do but, ironically, I realized that listening to what the person had to say actually made conversations flow much easier. Mind. Blown. With my new-found information, I really wanted to share it with everybody who ever felt the need to interrupt me. JUST STOP AND LISTEN! I’m a storyteller for pete’s sake. If you can’t listen to me tell stories, we are never going to work out. Friendship or otherwise.
Ultimately, some people are just plain selfish when they interrupt. What they have to say is more important than what you or I have to say. That’s all there is to it. Makes you wonder why they stick around if they don’t care what you have to say; if your thoughts aren’t important.
(Even worse, are those who think they can finish your sentence and totally suck at it – but that’s another blog post for another day.)