At times in conversations, I accidentally cut people off, but doesn’t everybody? Does that mean I’m not a good listener?
I don’t think I interrupt people more than the next person. It’s certainly not intentional or malicious.
However, that is my perspective. I have had others recently tell me that at times, I cut others off in conversation and that it is rude.
I had someone tell me that if I’m frustrated with the flow or direction of a conversation, I won’t let it continue.
I have also, in mid-conversation, been told many, many times by my wife, “You’re not letting me finish”.
Sometimes I get into the “conversation dance”. You know when you both start talking at the same time then it’s like;
“Sorry go ahead”
“No you go on”
“No please, continue”
“Please I insist”…
So ok. There’s a pattern… I don’t always listen well. It’s becoming more and more apparent to me. The good news is,
I don’t want to be this way and by recognizing the problem, I can work to change things.
I thought of some things this morning during my prayer and meditation time.
Listening isn’t for me all the time. – People will feel more valued when their point of view is fully heard and understood. It will likely make them more receptive to what I have to say.
I won’t be able to form an intelligent thought without having the full story. – How can I make an informed decision without all of the information? See Proverbs 18:13.
Nothing will be set in stone, if I don’t get to interject in the “heat of the moment”. – I think that’s what drives me to make remarks in mid conversation. I do cut off thought patterns. I have a fear that if I don’t say my thoughts “right now”, then my point will be lost. But that’s not true.
For example; if my wife says she thinks I’m cheating on her and starts to tell me why, cutting her off mid-sentence doesn’t make my fidelity any more truthful than if I let her finish. At least if she finishes, I can speak to her whole thought, not just her initial statement. I would be able to figure out where she got this crazy idea and speak to the heart of the matter.
So my thought for today is to listen better. It will not only help you form better thoughts and opinions, but it will place value in others. And most importantly, you will learn.