Author Topic: How do you converse?  (Read 7168 times)

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Cami

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 12:23:12 PM »


In my family, at least before death took so many of the people DH knew, one person shares and then there's a pause before someone else begins, and everyone shares.   It's almost parliamentary.  This started when I was a kid at the dinner table, and everyone could speak about the day without interruption. 

Is that a conversation or a series of monologues?

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2013, 12:41:30 PM »
Sad to say, but I interrupt a lot.  But, in my defense, I have no defense (except that I only do this with people I know really well).  It's just that I'm afraid the conversation will turn and I'll have missed my chance to expand on a particular subject.
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EllenS

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2013, 12:43:26 PM »
OP, perhaps you could try introducing "sharing time" at your own family dinners, where you are intentional about everyone getting a turn to talk about their day.  It may not come naturally to everyone, but anyone can do it if it seen as a purposeful activity, rather than casual conversation.

BeagleMommy

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2013, 12:56:29 PM »
My mother's side of the family are, what I call, conversational grazers.  We (mostly the women) all talk at once and all talk using our hands.  We don't interrupt; we just all kind of talk at once.  Everybody in the family that does this somehow never get confused about overlapping conversations.  We just follow along multiple topics.

I had to warn DH about this while we are dating.  If my mother, her sisters, a few female cousins and I were in the same room talking it was quite a cacaphony of sounds and fluttering hands.

I know most people don't converse this way.  DH's family never did, but it wasn't as much of an adjustment for me.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2013, 02:36:09 PM »
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.

Me too, I'd be rather annoyed by that. 

With people I'm close to I will say, especially if they ask me a question but don't give me a chance to answer (and the question was not rhetorical), "Did you want an answer to that question or not?" or  if I'm really annoyed, "Will you let me talk yet?"

With those I'm not close to I will just be quiet and eventually they'll take a breath and say "Wow, you've been quiet."  ::)

I can understand what OP would mean by pauses.  I wouldn't say it's necessarily a bad thing.   I take part in a discussion group at my church that's held between services.  A bible study, really and often the woman leading it will bring up something that occurred to her while reading a passage, then ask us for our opinions or experiences. 

Sometimes there are pauses between people's answers because either the person said something profound and they're chewing it over or they just haven't had enough caffeine yet. ;)  Or sometimes there's no pauses because it's something we all have something interesting to add but there's no talking over each other.
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Blondie

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2013, 02:56:23 PM »
I find all of this so interesting, as it is something I have had to train myself on. Coming from NYC and having parents who both worked on Wall Street- one literally on the floor of the stock exchange- I had honestly never encountered the thought that interrupting someone was rude- it is just such a part of the culture- everyone is moving fast and working fast and interruptions were not a way of shutting people down, it was more often agreeing, letting the person know they were listening and on the same wave length and so the conversation could move to the next point.

Granted, it was loud and boisterous, not yelling. I would still classify actively yelling at someone, particularly to put them down, as rude.
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Raintree

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2013, 03:47:08 PM »
Interesting thread. To me, the OP's family doesn't sound uncomfortable or stilted at all; it sounds respectful.

*inviteseller

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2013, 07:12:34 PM »
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.
But it would bear watching, especially with the kids, about not respecting others turn to have their say.  There are many different conversation styles, but the families debates don't always translate well into an educational/business world.


In my family, at least before death took so many of the people DH knew, one person shares and then there's a pause before someone else begins, and everyone shares.   It's almost parliamentary.  This started when I was a kid at the dinner table, and everyone could speak about the day without interruption. 

Is that a conversation or a series of monologues?
As I said in my post, we were taught by a family therapist to let everyone have their say about their day or an issue before anyone jumped in.  Is it a monologue?  Maybe, but it gives each person a chance to have their thoughts and observations heard without interruptions, which can derail what you are originally talking about.  Also, if you hear the person the whole way out, instead of responding to a single sentence, you have the talkers whole story in which to ask questions, give feedback or offer a counter opinion.  Sometimes it is fast paced, sometimes, not so much (the 6 yr old can draaaaag a story out ;D ).  My own family are interrupters and I unfortunately picked up on that and I know it took someone in the business world told me about it and worked with me to learn to listen before I just jumped in. 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2013, 11:15:18 PM »
With your DH's family, I think you'd be fighting an uphill battle, trying to get them all to adapt to your conversational style.

For your own, immediate family however, I think it's ok not to put up with constant interruptions. I suggest getting an object (like a "Conversation Stick" or something). Make a rule that whoever holds the object gets to talk uninterrupted. Then, when they've finished, they pass the object onto the next person who wants to talk.

ishka

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2013, 11:27:52 PM »
I know someone who is the worst of both conversational worlds. They will interrupt, either with a sentence fragment said loudly enough to cut over anyone else who is speaking, or sometimes by raising their hand, and when they have shut everyone else up they will take long pauses and chew every word twice before letting it out of their mouth.  Any interruption to these portentous pronouncements, which are rarely to do with anything  important,  is  taken very badly indeed.  Drives me craaaazy. >:(

I do not do well with slow talkers, I was horrified to realise once that I was unconsciously doing the "wrap it up" roll with my hand when talking to someone who seemed to think and talk at quarter speed.   I now sit on my hands if faced with a slow talker.

I do think that you are entitled to have your say, particularly within your immediate family, and that your husband and children should modify their "style" so that you do not feel ignored or invalidated.   

Cami

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2013, 02:23:57 PM »
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.
But it would bear watching, especially with the kids, about not respecting others turn to have their say.  There are many different conversation styles, but the families debates don't always translate well into an educational/business world.


In my family, at least before death took so many of the people DH knew, one person shares and then there's a pause before someone else begins, and everyone shares.   It's almost parliamentary.  This started when I was a kid at the dinner table, and everyone could speak about the day without interruption. 

Is that a conversation or a series of monologues?
As I said in my post, we were taught by a family therapist to let everyone have their say about their day or an issue before anyone jumped in.  Is it a monologue?  Maybe, but it gives each person a chance to have their thoughts and observations heard without interruptions, which can derail what you are originally talking about.  Also, if you hear the person the whole way out, instead of responding to a single sentence, you have the talkers whole story in which to ask questions, give feedback or offer a counter opinion.  Sometimes it is fast paced, sometimes, not so much (the 6 yr old can draaaaag a story out ;D ).  My own family are interrupters and I unfortunately picked up on that and I know it took someone in the business world told me about it and worked with me to learn to listen before I just jumped in.
I see.  A conversation to me requires back and forth, to and fro. A monologue with questions and feedback at the end is a akin to a lecture with Q&A which seems somewhat unnatural for family interaction. If it worked for your family, that's great, of course.  If I married into your family and was expected to conform to that pattern, I'd probably have a difficult time with it and would end up not talking at all.

Brisvegasgal

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2013, 08:30:22 PM »
This is a very interesting topic.  I do feel for the OP though.  Her family's style is very different from h DH's and that makes for some uncomfortable conversations. Whilst I don't think any one style is rude what I do think is extremely impolite is when a conversation does not include all parties. 

I say this because in my DH's family the preferred style is for their family to talk about things that they want to talk about.  Seriously mostly they talk about Cricket, the Catholic Church, the Old Boys association for the school they went to and politics. And before they got more daughters in law there were no separate conversations at the dinner table.  We had to listen to my FIL pontificate on the previously mentioned topics and because I knew nothing about the first three topics and have a different opinion about the fourth I was completely excluded from the 'discussion'. After about the 10th year of this I started to not care about the 'rules' and changed them by being more forceful. Y FIL still likes to pontificate but not so often.


*inviteseller

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2013, 11:01:55 PM »
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.
But it would bear watching, especially with the kids, about not respecting others turn to have their say.  There are many different conversation styles, but the families debates don't always translate well into an educational/business world.


In my family, at least before death took so many of the people DH knew, one person shares and then there's a pause before someone else begins, and everyone shares.   It's almost parliamentary.  This started when I was a kid at the dinner table, and everyone could speak about the day without interruption. 

Is that a conversation or a series of monologues?
As I said in my post, we were taught by a family therapist to let everyone have their say about their day or an issue before anyone jumped in.  Is it a monologue?  Maybe, but it gives each person a chance to have their thoughts and observations heard without interruptions, which can derail what you are originally talking about.  Also, if you hear the person the whole way out, instead of responding to a single sentence, you have the talkers whole story in which to ask questions, give feedback or offer a counter opinion.  Sometimes it is fast paced, sometimes, not so much (the 6 yr old can draaaaag a story out ;D ).  My own family are interrupters and I unfortunately picked up on that and I know it took someone in the business world told me about it and worked with me to learn to listen before I just jumped in.
I see.  A conversation to me requires back and forth, to and fro. A monologue with questions and feedback at the end is a akin to a lecture with Q&A which seems somewhat unnatural for family interaction. If it worked for your family, that's great, of course.  If I married into your family and was expected to conform to that pattern, I'd probably have a difficult time with it and would end up not talking at all.
[/quote
This is the style my 2 DD's and I are learning to use...my own FOO (Dad, siblings) still all talk over each other without listening to what the others say or jumping on someone before they hear the whole thing.  It is a work in progress with my girls, especially older DD because we could not have a conversation that either of us was letting the other finish and I gotta tell you, with giving each person the 'floor' to tell a whole thought or story really makes them open up.  After each person finishes their story or thought, we have our give and take time (again, no interruptions allowed).  If you aren't used to it, it does take awhile to learn it (old habits) but I am glad we learned it because it is so much more respectful than any conversation I could have with my own FOO !

johelenc1

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2013, 11:55:41 PM »
Well, since you and DH have been having the same argument for 16 years, I would be less concerned with how "everyone else" carries on a conversation, and more concerned with how the two of you do.

The two of you don't have to do it either way.  You need to talk to each other in a way that works for your family.  In other words, you feel heard and he doesn't get bored waiting for someone to speak.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2013, 10:35:28 AM »
I know someone who is the worst of both conversational worlds. They will interrupt, either with a sentence fragment said loudly enough to cut over anyone else who is speaking, or sometimes by raising their hand, and when they have shut everyone else up they will take long pauses and chew every word twice before letting it out of their mouth.  Any interruption to these portentous pronouncements, which are rarely to do with anything  important,  is  taken very badly indeed.  Drives me craaaazy. >:(


What, is he 10? My middle child will do this to his brother when he's not interested in the topic.  We're working on teaching him polite conversation but he loves pushing his brother's buttons.
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