Saturday, April 06, 2013

Getting a Word in Edgewise

I've learned some things over the years that are important life lessons...

One of which is I used to be notorious for interrupting.  I'm not saying I've mastered the skill of keeping my mouth shut and my mind focused on the conversation taking place in front of me 100%, however, I do get to say that I'm much, much better.  I have learned to ask myself if what it is that I want to interrupt with is truly that important and is it important enough to make the other person feel like shit for a few minutes while I throw in my own opinion?  Yeah...not usually.  Unfortunately, others have yet to learn this skill.  Not just learn it...but throw in a little bit of effort to implement it in their daily routine.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone...a totally benign conversation that you want to actually participate in and find that you're listening to a monologue you try to add a little something to make it a dialogue resulting in a louder volume from the other person?  Yes?  Do you unknowingly find yourself getting louder in the process?  Yes?  Then it's time to just throw in the damn towel.  You will not be a part of this conversation, I have learned.  I get talked at rather than talked with.  Just nod at the person with a smile on your face and remind yourself that whatever fun facts you were planning on sharing are stored nice and neatly in your brain and it's just too bad they didn't zip it for a second and let you interject with some really great stuff.  Given that I like to talk, to communicate, to tell stories, to learn things and debate things...I am the sort of person that requires that dialogue, not monologue.

I did catch myself last night with my brother, being the interrupter.  I had actually listened to what he was saying and what he was talking about, but in my opinion it wasn't flowing with the subject matter at hand.  We were discussing Lithium batteries.  Riveting subject, right?  I was sharing about information that I'd learned to prolong the life of the Lithium battery and he started in about something that was invented by students at WSU.  Of course, I interjected because I felt what I had to say trumped his silly comment of the WSU students and it halted at, "Are you seriously going to interrupt me and not let me even finish what I'm saying?"  Well, holy shit!  Nope. Not interrupting.  Please continue, brother of mine.
He proceeded to tell me about the invention and whatnot, and then I requested permission to piggyback on his topic.  And I still trumped his topic. BAM!!!  Kidding...his info was rad and mine was equally rad and if you put the two rad ideas together, it would be full of epic radness.

Then there are the times when someone is talking and talking and talking and talking and you just want to say a little something, but all you manage to get out is, "Bu...", "I think...", "Um...", "How di...", "Hey...", but all you truly get out is a "son of a bitch mother fucker" under your breath.  They don't hear it of course, because you're polite...just like me.  I've also caught myself pulling at my own hair and throwing myself onto the nearest couch, bed, or board of rusty nails when this happens.  It truly drives me crazy.

So, as I continue to grow and learn....I find that my skills in not interrupting are getting better and I choose to just listen and nod.  Besides, honestly, to be a great communicator, you must be a great listener.  But that goes both ways folks.

P.S.  Not directed to anyone....just reflecting. :)

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