Interrupting is in the news right now. I thought I knew what it was like to be interrupted – I grew up with three other kids in the house with me, but that was peanuts compared to having kids. I am trying to break them of this habit of course, but I cannot pretend that I am puzzled as to where they picked it up. Because, well, it was me.
My husband is always a little bewildered by my (not at all) hidden desire to burst through with something to add. Though it hasn’t reached a shameful rebuke (we were once at a dinner function where a grown woman took the podium and above typical dinner crowd low murmurs demanded our silence by leaning into the microphone, icily staring out to the crowd and nearly scoffing “I’ll wait”…) I don’t want my delight in talking to another adult to translate into disrespect for him. For me, I am just so excited to be discussing something that I am eager to engage in dialogue. I felt that the sentiment could be perceived but what I was actually sending out to the speaker was the felling that I wanted them to wrap it up or that I already knew where the conversation was going (fun fact, I guess incorrectly about 90 percent of the time).
I have already been working on being a much more active listener. What I had neglected somehow was to pair that with restrained speaking (luckily an unintentional byproduct of close listening). I am not exactly sure where I picked up this habit (maybe in an effort to be heard over the competition at home?) but it has got to go. I would never interrupt a person in a professional setting – a personal situation is even more offensive. If I find myself slipping, I catch myself and say so to the person who was speaking before me (a simple acknowledgment of ‘I should not have interrupted you, I am working on that’ serves as a reality check).