Author Topic: How do you converse?  (Read 7203 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 09:02:10 AM »
And OP, the way your family did it, giving everyone a chance to talk without interruption at the dinner table?  That is actually how our family therapist told us to converse with each other so everyone learns to take a turn, to actually listen, and to give yourself a chance to weigh your response before just flying off the handle in response to one or two words.  It is a work in progress, but it has taught both myself and my girls to really listen and makes each person feel they have a say

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5860
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 10:11:50 AM »
I agree that the OP and her DH are on opposite ends of the extreme.  It is frustrating for me to try to talk with someone who has long pauses in their speech or who is a "slow talker."  Not that there is anything inherently wrong with such a style, because I would imagine they are frustrated with people like me who are pretty quick in our speech, both in content and cadence.  If someone is not saying anything, I am not certain whether they are working themselves up to say something or simply don't have anything to say, so if I have something to say, I will say it.  It isn't a "cutting off" of the other person so much as a "person A isn't saying anything, so I guess I will."

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11003
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2013, 10:26:44 AM »
I'm with OP. How is it a conversation or a free exchange of ideas if I am not allowed to make my point? (Or if anyone is not allowed to make their point). Usually what ends up happening is someone cuts me off and argues with what they THINK I'm going to say, not what I was actually planning to say. Or perhaps I want to listen to what Person B is saying, but I can't, because Person C jumps in with some tangent.

The OP's DH's family would drive me batty, and I'd probably just clam up and say nothing at all, since it would appear nobody was really all that interested in what I had to say.

That's how I am in groups where I try to say something and people keep talking over me.  I just clam up because I was raised that when you're interrupted it's because no one's interested in what you have to say.   
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Luci

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6003
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2013, 10:44:45 AM »
I've only known one family that has a style like your husband. I was friends with one of the children and she very quickly learned that the group I ran around with in high school wouldn't put up with her rudeness, so she adjusted.

It does sound that your family is a little extreme the other way, but I could certainly deal with that better than your inlaws! I would probably err with your family, too, by not waiting for a lag, just smoothly going on when the other speaker seemed to have finished his thought.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5559
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 11:01:54 AM »
I agree with previous posters that you and your husband were raised at opposite ends of the conversational spectrum. For general conversation, I find a semi interrupting style easiest. This means you interrupt the person, but not the idea and you rarely finish a complete sentence.

Eg
So I'm thinking about new curtains..
Oh, in the living room or the whole house?
Just the living room. It would brighten...
Nice idea what colour..
I was thinking about pink or..
Pink is nice. Were you wanting something to match the rose

In the above case, the interrupting shows enthusiasm and engagement.

If someone was talking about something important or emotional like a job choice, health problems it relationship issue, then I think it's better to switch to a more pause and respond mode where you consider what they say.

Lynn2000

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5188
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 11:08:43 AM »
I agree that both styles presented in the OP seem a little extreme, though I would have a much harder time dealing with the DH's. I certainly don't think 95% of people converse like his family, although IME most are quicker and more prone to interruption than the OP's.

My friend Amy's family talks like DH's--she warned me about it the first time I visited. I take breaks if I get overwhelmed and I don't take it personally if I'm interrupted, although I usually don't push forward with what I was saying. I find I have more success talking to people one on one, or in very small groups, rather than trying to manage at the dinner table, which is more of a circus. They do a lot of, Person A starts a story to Person B, then halfway through Person C starts listening and interrupts with a lot of questions that were covered in the first half of the story, and while A answers them B gets bored and starts a new conversation with Person D, so that when A is telling a new part of the story B jumps back in and has to ask a bunch of catch-up questions, etc.. Crazy! They seem to like it, though.

The thing that would irritate me most, actually, is being told that "almost everyone" converses this way, and I was weird for not preferring it.  >:( Different groups have different styles. In my family the room as a whole tends to be quite noisy, but people are broken up into smaller groups having short conversations (with screaming children providing the background noise). We don't usually talk about anything contentious, like politics; we aren't debaters. We'll usually ask someone how their job is going, for example, and then people who are interested listen to the answer, and people who aren't interested move off.

There seems to be kind of a "conversation circle" within which it would be considered rude to start a different conversation than the one currently going on... Like Anne asks Bob how his job is going, and Bob is answering. Cathy isn't interested in that, she'd rather ask Dave about his garden. But since they're all four sitting at the same smallish table, the volume at which Cathy and Dave would have to speak would be considered to be interrupting Anne and Bob, so Cathy waits until Bob and Anne are done. Or if she really doesn't want to hear about Bob's job, she gets up (meals are usually buffet-style, casual) and goes to another conversation circle for a while.

I don't think we really interrupt much, but if someone seems to be trailing off, someone else might jump in; we don't have many awkward pauses, we'd rather fill them with something. We would have to make a conscious effort to accommodate someone who needed significant time to think before replying--it might happen with a shy child, someone whose first language wasn't English, etc.. Or if we knew someone just needed that extra bit of time we would try to remember that, because we don't want people to feel left out.
~Lynn2000

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1295
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 11:14:19 AM »
Interrupting people before they finish their sentences/thoughts is rude.
Shouting/screaming is rude.
I cannot and will not take part in a “conversation” where several people are talking at once.  It gives me a headache and I’d rather leave the area than deal with such nonsense.  >:(

I’ve stopped talking and stared at people who are loud, yell, and interrupt.  Or I might say “Excuse me.  I’m speaking.” If they keep doing it, or if they cut off someone else who is talking to me, I say “Please.  Wait!  X is talking.”  Or I ignore the interrupter.

No one should have to sit in silence; a conversation should just flow.  If two people start to speak at the same time (accidentally) usually one says “oh, go ahead”.

ITA.

I quit watching Oprah 15 years ago because I got tired of yelling, "Quit interrupting!" at the screen. All shows seem to do it. I remember my blood pressure starting to spike just watching a few seconds of Crossfire.

I tend to change my conversation style and tailor it to whomever I'm with:

With DH's family, I have to be loud and a little obnoxious. I hate it but that's their style.
With a couple of my friends that think and speak with glacial-like slowness, I mentally force myself to relax and not try to fill in their thoughts. I find this difficult, but doable and I really like these people (not because of their conversation style but because of their other excellent qualities).
With my two main BFF's we just have a respectful back-and-forth. We let each other complete a thought, listening and then either speak or give a cue that we're processing what the other has said (but that processing time is fairly short).

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6428
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 11:31:18 AM »
I agree with previous posters that you and your husband were raised at opposite ends of the conversational spectrum. For general conversation, I find a semi interrupting style easiest. This means you interrupt the person, but not the idea and you rarely finish a complete sentence.

Eg
So I'm thinking about new curtains..
Oh, in the living room or the whole house?
Just the living room. It would brighten...
Nice idea what colour..
I was thinking about pink or..
Pink is nice. Were you wanting something to match the rose

In the above case, the interrupting shows enthusiasm and engagement.

If someone was talking about something important or emotional like a job choice, health problems it relationship issue, then I think it's better to switch to a more pause and respond mode where you consider what they say.

This would be very typical conversational style.

I think the topic dictates how our family communicates.  If someone is telling a story or sharing something of importance, then there is minimal interruptions.

If we are in a joking debate, we'll interrupt each other.
Sis: It was you who broke mom's lamp when we were little
Me: No, it wasn't, it was you, don't you remember, you were...
Sis: Oh, no no no no.... it was you, I remember it clearly...
Me: No you don't, just like you don't remember clearly how the carpet in our room got burned when you were...
Sis: Are you kidding me, your trying to blame that on me too?

But say we are debating something more serious, we will try to let one person finish before jumping in.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 11:32:14 AM »
I find it interesting many posters say they would be more uncomfortable with the OP's DH's family's style. I'm just the opposite. I might find his family's style more exhausting, but I would find the OP's family style very unpleasant and uncomfortable. When a conversation goes too slowly I find it very awkward and upsetting. I feel I must dumb down everything I'm saying (either because I think the person I'm speaking with doesn't get it, hence the lags in responding, or conversely because I feel like its getting too deep and is becoming a test of sorts and I'm being judged and everything I'm saying is being analyzed). I wouldn't want to hang out with the aggressive conversationalists all the time but I would never ever want to hang out with the stilted conversationalists.

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15889
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2013, 11:34:10 AM »
Being constantly interrupted is irritating.  Once in a while I interject with "Don't interrupt when I'm pontificating."

But I have to use that one carefully.

bloo

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1295
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2013, 11:36:32 AM »
Being constantly interrupted is irritating.  Once in a while I interject with "Don't interrupt when I'm pontificating."

But I have to use that one carefully.

I usually say, "I'm sorry, did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?"

I'm also careful with that one.

jemma

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 263
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2013, 11:45:18 AM »
This is a relationship question, not an etiquette question.  Given that your husband and children use the other conversational style, I might try to get more comfortable with it rather than having another argument about it.  I doubt they don't value your opinion!  Interrupting is rude, but it sounds like they might prefer smaller conversational bites than you do.  Instead of wanting to hear your whole parliamentary speech, they may prefer to hear one idea, and then say their response to it, and then hear another little idea.  If they are waiting for pauses and for you to finish small thoughts I think its fine.  If they are actually interrupting you in the middle of a small single thought, they need to stop.

guihong

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6518
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2013, 11:53:59 AM »
I agree with previous posters that you and your husband were raised at opposite ends of the conversational spectrum. For general conversation, I find a semi interrupting style easiest. This means you interrupt the person, but not the idea and you rarely finish a complete sentence.

Eg
So I'm thinking about new curtains..
Oh, in the living room or the whole house?
Just the living room. It would brighten...
Nice idea what colour..
I was thinking about pink or..
Pink is nice. Were you wanting something to match the rose

In the above case, the interrupting shows enthusiasm and engagement.

If someone was talking about something important or emotional like a job choice, health problems it relationship issue, then I think it's better to switch to a more pause and respond mode where you consider what they say.

Ouch :(.  That would shut me down after "brighten", and I'd probably change the subject.  I think everyone's right; it's a different style.

Someone upthread mentioned ethnic or regional differences; I was raised in a large city from Scots-Irish ancestry; my husband's family is all from rural Appalachia.  That's an interesting idea.



WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2013, 11:59:47 AM »
Being constantly interrupted is irritating.  Once in a while I interject with "Don't interrupt when I'm pontificating."

But I have to use that one carefully.

Being interrupted constantly can be irritating, but in my opinion its a lot less irritating then having to wait for a response after each comment. With people who lag in conversations I often find myself constantly asking "were you listening? or "so are we still having a conversation?" or something like that, until I find a way to walk away and avoid trying to speak with that person again.


So really it does just come down to style and preference. Everyone has an opinion and preference and while they are all different, most of them are also perfectly correct.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5860
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2013, 12:09:53 PM »
POD to WillyNilly.  Unless I am having a heart to heart or comforting someone greiving (for example) I prefer conversations that are active and flowing.  I will wait for someone to finish their thought and don't interrupt as a matter of habit, but I also become irritated if someone speaks in an exceptionally slow cadence or takes a long time getting a thought out.  Thankfully, most people I converse with are quick with their ideas and speech.