Author Topic: How do you converse?  (Read 7569 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1385
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #60 on: April 23, 2013, 11:24:20 AM »
Well, if someone already feels disregarded, insignificant and ignored because they are being interrupted, it does not help to tell them, "I wouldn't interrupt you if you weren't so darn BORING!"

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6144
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #61 on: April 23, 2013, 11:43:15 AM »
Well, if someone already feels disregarded, insignificant and ignored because they are being interrupted, it does not help to tell them, "I wouldn't interrupt you if you weren't so darn BORING!"

I kinda think it might help them to know that their style of communication is not working for them.  Then they can either change their style or find friends who appreciate their existing style.  But in my experience, as another poster (I forget who) stated, just because I am not interrupting does not mean I am listening to what a person is saying.  If I find the topic or delivery to be annoying, I am working very hard to get past the annoyance (for me, slow speech or "why would I care about this?" topics) and not really taking it in anyway. 

If a person is close to me, I would tell them that their communication style is troublesome to me.  If not, I would distance myself from that person and grin and bear it when I have to converse with them. 

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #62 on: April 23, 2013, 11:55:36 AM »
Well, if someone already feels disregarded, insignificant and ignored because they are being interrupted, it does not help to tell them, "I wouldn't interrupt you if you weren't so darn BORING!"

It might not help them emotionally but it should help them practically.

The reality is, some people are boring. Some people can take a funny 3 minute story and drag into a 6 minute boring "why do I care about this at all is there anyone else here I can turn to and chat with instead" ordeal.

Conversation is a skill. Its something that has to be learned. Some people pick it up innately, at a very young age and only have to hone their skill a small bit. Other people need more practice and guidance. There is nothing wrong with needing a bit more tweaking to your conversation style. But in order to improve you need to recognize your problem areas. For some people its volume, other tone, others timing, others composition, and yes for some its the listening portion, but regardless its pretty ridiculous to complain about people reacting badly to your conversations and them blaming them without taking any responsibility.

Responsibility for good, pleasant and effective communication is on both the speaker and the listener. If a person notices they are often interrupted or ignored by just one person, well then most of the responsibility lays on the interrupter. But if a person notices they are often interrupted/ignored by all sorts of people, then the problem probably lays with their speaking style. Either way though, since you can't change anyone but yourself, the solution is for the speaker to change, either just when speaking with certain folks, or overall, depending where the issue is.

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1385
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #63 on: April 23, 2013, 12:13:48 PM »
Wife: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me when we are talking at dinner, I feel hurt and ignored when you do that.  I also feel upset that you are modelling this
Husband: Oh, everybody talks like that.
Wife: ...I also feel upset that you are modelling this...
Husband: you just need to relax
Wife: ...that you are modelling this for our chil...
Husband: I wouldn't interrupt you anyway, except that you take too long to tell stories and they are always boring.
Wife: Oh, forget it. 
Husband: Geez, you're touchy, too!

"useful" lessons in communication are not always good for the relationship.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #64 on: April 23, 2013, 12:26:34 PM »
Wife: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me when we are talking at dinner, I feel hurt and ignored when you do that.  I also feel upset that you are modelling this
Husband: Oh, everybody talks like that.
Wife: ...I also feel upset that you are modelling this...
Husband: you just need to relax
Wife: ...that you are modelling this for our chil...
Husband: I wouldn't interrupt you anyway, except that you take too long to tell stories and they are always boring.
Wife: Oh, forget it. 
Husband: Geez, you're touchy, too!

"useful" lessons in communication are not always good for the relationship.

Um... I'm not getting your point. Of course in this ^ scenario the wife is getting interrupted. She's just a broken record repeating the exact same phrase over and over and over absolutely dismissing and ignoring her husband's responses instead of addressing them. All she is saying is "I also feel upset that you are modelling this..." She said it once, then again, then a third time. Each time she speaks she needs to say new words. There is no reason in the word an adult should listen to the exact same words repeatedly - how extraordinarily condescending of her! Head over to the family board and read the "rate the rudeness" thread for more insight on that type of 'conversation' style and how people react to it.


Wife: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me when we are talking at dinner, I feel hurt and ignored when you do that.  I also feel upset that you are modelling this
Husband: Oh, everybody talks like that.
Wife: Actually no they don't, and even if they do, we are not 'everyone'
Husband: Well everyone I know does speak like that
Wife: You know me and I don't, and I should matter more then everyone else.
Husband: I really don't understand the problem
Wife: I feel unlistened to and I'm asking as your wife and partner if we can please try to change our conversation patterns.

And take it from there.

I also think its of note that even in your proposed conversation you have the interrupter/husband speaking in short sound bite sentences, while the interrupted/wife is trying to get in a monologue of multiple sentences. Sometimes its not so much of a case of "boring" as "not enough allowance for back and forth".
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 12:28:44 PM by WillyNilly »

Lynn2000

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5375
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #65 on: April 23, 2013, 12:28:59 PM »
Wife: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me when we are talking at dinner, I feel hurt and ignored when you do that.  I also feel upset that you are modelling this
Husband: Oh, everybody talks like that.
Wife: ...I also feel upset that you are modelling this...
Husband: you just need to relax
Wife: ...that you are modelling this for our chil...
Husband: I wouldn't interrupt you anyway, except that you take too long to tell stories and they are always boring.
Wife: Oh, forget it. 
Husband: Geez, you're touchy, too!

"useful" lessons in communication are not always good for the relationship.

Ouch! "Husband" doesn't come off too well here, does he? I thought the wife was going along well in her attempt to tell him what the problem was, until she decided to just forget about it. Not that I blame her emotionally, but giving in isn't going to solve the problem. Maybe some kind of "conversation stick" as someone else mentioned might be a good idea--probably some people don't even realize how much they interrupt. I might even ask the person to put a small piece of tape over their mouth or something--sounds ridiculous, but it would just be to instantly remind them they weren't supposed to be talking, and maybe drive home how much they interrupt. Of course for either of those ideas the other person has to be willing to work with you, as "husband" obviously isn't.
~Lynn2000

EllenS

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1385
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #66 on: April 23, 2013, 12:35:51 PM »

Um... I'm not getting your point.

Yes, I see that!  ;)

The wife and husband have radically different communication styles.  Neither one is right, and neither one is wrong.  She thinks in complete thoughts, and feels she has to prepare in advance what she wants to say because it is emotionally difficult for her.  If she is interrupted, she a) feels unheard, and b) loses her place of what she was trying to express.  She has to back up and repeat herself because she has lost herself.

The husband, instead of hearing or validating her feelings, is arguing facts (or his version of the facts).  You may feel that the wife's communication style is "wrong" or "condescending", or that she "should" speak differently.  She is not able to easily switch communication styles because her brain does not work that way.

For the husband to say that the wife is "wrong" and that "nobody" speaks that way, (as in the OP) is to say that the wife's upbringing and family are "wrong" and that she "should" be different than she is - from her brain wiring on out.  You may agree with the husband, but for him to press his point in this way is very bad for the relationship.

Moray

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1869
  • My hovercraft is full of eels!
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #67 on: April 23, 2013, 12:37:10 PM »
Wife: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me when we are talking at dinner, I feel hurt and ignored when you do that.  I also feel upset that you are modelling this
Husband: Oh, everybody talks like that.
Wife: ...I also feel upset that you are modelling this...
Husband: you just need to relax
Wife: ...that you are modelling this for our chil...
Husband: I wouldn't interrupt you anyway, except that you take too long to tell stories and they are always boring.
Wife: Oh, forget it. 
Husband: Geez, you're touchy, too!

"useful" lessons in communication are not always good for the relationship.

Ouch! "Husband" doesn't come off too well here, does he? I thought the wife was going along well in her attempt to tell him what the problem was, until she decided to just forget about it. Not that I blame her emotionally, but giving in isn't going to solve the problem. Maybe some kind of "conversation stick" as someone else mentioned might be a good idea--probably some people don't even realize how much they interrupt. I might even ask the person to put a small piece of tape over their mouth or something--sounds ridiculous, but it would just be to instantly remind them they weren't supposed to be talking, and maybe drive home how much they interrupt. Of course for either of those ideas the other person has to be willing to work with you, as "husband" obviously isn't.

See, and I read the example similarly to WillyNilly. Both parties come off as not really wanting to converse. Is it annoying when "husband" interrupts and invalidates? Yes, absolutely. However, the "wife's" insistance on finishing her prepared sentance without even acknowledging the husband has spoken is just as uncommunicative. Conversation is a give and take. So if an interruption happens, address it, acknowledge it, even to say "please let me finish" and then finish your piece. This isn't some random person coming up and interrupting, this is input from the person you're speaking to, and who you presumably want to listen to you.
Utah

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #68 on: April 23, 2013, 12:55:25 PM »
I'm not saying the husband isn't being rude to use words like "wrong" and "nobody" but I think the wife was equally insulting to the husband in your situation. She wanted to say something and refused to interact with her husband, she didn't want a conversation she wanted to lecture. A sentence, a single sentence, is a complete thought. That's the definition of "sentence". She wanted multiple sentences, multiple complete thoughts.

Its not wrong per-say to want multiple sentences, but it needs to be recognized that its taking a larger share. And sure that happens - fair is not always equal 50/50, sometimes fair is 60/40 or even 80/20. That's cool, but to someone who sees conversation as an exchange of sentences, not a sit and listen for a while session, that needs to be communicated.

At some point she could say "please just let me get out these three sentences. I'm repeating because I'm loosing my train of thought." But instead of asking for what she wants, she's criticizing him.

She's not proposing the solution (back to my earlier points about getting to the meat first - here "let me say three sentences" is the "hockey tickets") she's giving the background information first and she's loosing her audience before she even starts.

Wife: I'd like to propose an idea
Husband: what?
Wife: We aren't busy now, so I'd like to try to tell you something that I think would stop us from having the same fight over and over again
Husband: ok shoot
Wife: I tend to think in bigger terms then I can get out in a single sentence. I'd like to ask that you try to give me at least three sentences before you respond.
Husband: this again?
Wife: please just humor me. Three sentences. Remember a happy wife leads to a happy life.
Husband: [sigh] ok go
Wife: I'd really like us to work together to find a middle ground so we can not argue and so we can model a better conversation style for our children. I feel hurt and ignored when I'm interrupted. I don't want that to be our norm.

Etc. She pulls him in with the intrigue of an idea. She gives in incentive (no more fighting). She starts off slowly to ease him into the conversation. And then she shows some compromise by limiting herself to three sentences. And I bet if this went on, he'd start to ease up and she'd get in more then 3 sentences once in a while.

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7145
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #69 on: April 23, 2013, 12:57:56 PM »
Do people really only say one sentence before someone else says something? I am thinking back on my conversations with friends and it seems like it is a give and take but it is usually more then "one sound bite" per person. Usually 2 to 3 sentences, then the other person responds and so forth. I think I would have a hard time having a conversation if I had to make sure that everything was a one sentence sound bite.

ClaireC79

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3338
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #70 on: April 23, 2013, 12:59:40 PM »
but in her first sentence she keeps adding ands to make 1 sentence the length of three

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #71 on: April 23, 2013, 01:15:19 PM »
Do people really only say one sentence before someone else says something? I am thinking back on my conversations with friends and it seems like it is a give and take but it is usually more then "one sound bite" per person. Usually 2 to 3 sentences, then the other person responds and so forth. I think I would have a hard time having a conversation if I had to make sure that everything was a one sentence sound bite.

Some do and some don't. Most people probably fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of 1 sentence versus 5 sentences at a time.
Neither way is right or wrong, but obviously there are ends of the spectrum and for a 5 sentence person and 1 sentence person, 3 sentences is a nice compromise, or starting out with exchanging 1 sentence at a time and then building up to 4 or 5 sentences. But to hit a 1 sentence kinda person with 3, 4 or 5 sentences right from the get-go is almost never going to work well. Just like a 5 sentence person is going to feel like they are pulling teeth to get information out of a 1 sentence kinda person constantly (although in my experience interrupters are not the kind of people you need to pull information out of, they are more the 'ease into longer blocks of taking' types).

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6144
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #72 on: April 23, 2013, 02:54:45 PM »
Wife: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me when we are talking at dinner, I feel hurt and ignored when you do that.  I also feel upset that you are modelling this
Husband: Oh, everybody talks like that.
Wife: ...I also feel upset that you are modelling this...
Husband: you just need to relax
Wife: ...that you are modelling this for our chil...
Husband: I wouldn't interrupt you anyway, except that you take too long to tell stories and they are always boring.
Wife: Oh, forget it. 
Husband: Geez, you're touchy, too!

"useful" lessons in communication are not always good for the relationship.

This would drive me insane (what the wife is doing, I mean).  I would be surprised to find such different conversation styles as a married couple - how would they have gotten so far when they cannot communicate?  For me, I am a talkative and animated person, as is my BF.  I would say we both interrupt each other, but we also know when not to, if that makes sense.  I don't think either of us is rude at all.  The conversation flows naturally.  To me, people who claim they are "interrupted" generally have a different vision of what a natural conversation flow should look like.

I am reminded of being in court arguing motions.  It is not at all uncommon for a judge to interrupt a lawyer (who has prepared what she wants to convery very well) with, essentially, "yeah, yeah, I know all that, what about X?"  Not rude, just how it is.

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3867
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #73 on: April 23, 2013, 08:29:09 PM »
Wife: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me when we are talking at dinner, I feel hurt and ignored when you do that.  I also feel upset that you are modelling this
Husband: Oh, everybody talks like that.
Wife: ...I also feel upset that you are modelling this...
Husband: you just need to relax
Wife: ...that you are modelling this for our chil...
Husband: I wouldn't interrupt you anyway, except that you take too long to tell stories and they are always boring.
Wife: Oh, forget it. 
Husband: Geez, you're touchy, too!

"useful" lessons in communication are not always good for the relationship.

This would drive me insane (what the wife is doing, I mean).  I would be surprised to find such different conversation styles as a married couple - how would they have gotten so far when they cannot communicate?  For me, I am a talkative and animated person, as is my BF.  I would say we both interrupt each other, but we also know when not to, if that makes sense.  I don't think either of us is rude at all.  The conversation flows naturally.  To me, people who claim they are "interrupted" generally have a different vision of what a natural conversation flow should look like.

I am reminded of being in court arguing motions.  It is not at all uncommon for a judge to interrupt a lawyer (who has prepared what she wants to convery very well) with, essentially, "yeah, yeah, I know all that, what about X?"  Not rude, just how it is.

See, whereas here I just see an extremely rude and uncaring husband. I wouldn't deal with it the way that the wife in this example did, but she was making a point, talking about something that she feels *hurt and ignored* by and he couldn't let her finish her second sentence? Because she didn't express her emotions about a serious marriage issue (communication) as a trial lawyer might? This is not a boring and unimportant story about the British Prime Minister or a woman at work with hockey tickets, this is plainly and from the offset a serious point about how his wife is feeling about an issue.

A judge can cut someone off like that because they are conducting a trial and their job is to ensure a timely and just trial, not care about what a lawyer has to say or how they are expressing themselves. Similarly a chairperson at a meeting or a teacher at a Q and A session may cut off a long winded, repititious question. At a party you can tease a friend or walk away from a stranger who takes a thousand years (give or take  ;)) to tell a simple anecdote. In no way are any of these acceptable models for interactions between a husband and a wife on a serious matter, imo.

Personally after the first interruption I would have said "Clearly you are not interested in what I have to say. That sends a clear message to me about your priorities regarding my feelings" and walked away. Of course with the husband in THIS example I probably wouldn't get past "Clearly you are not interested..." and the first complete sentence he actually got through would be on the divorce papers, but that's just me.

In general, even when no marriage is in question, being able to listen politely to others while at least *appearing* interested is a social grace that also can help in your career. Cutting off is fine amongst friends/family who are all in sync, but doing it with anyone else risks offending and alienating them.



ETA:- On rereading it sounds like I was saying the hockey ticket story or the one about the BPM were boring and unimportant. I meant a boring story OR one that is relatively unimportant (compared to the feelings of a spouse). I never got to hear the BPM story, but I thought the hockey tickets circus lady was very interesting  :)
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 11:45:04 PM by Iris »
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Raintree

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6035
Re: How do you converse?
« Reply #74 on: April 23, 2013, 09:43:54 PM »
Wife: I wish you wouldn't interrupt me when we are talking at dinner, I feel hurt and ignored when you do that.  I also feel upset that you are modelling this
Husband: Oh, everybody talks like that.
Wife: ...I also feel upset that you are modelling this...
Husband: you just need to relax
Wife: ...that you are modelling this for our chil...
Husband: I wouldn't interrupt you anyway, except that you take too long to tell stories and they are always boring.
Wife: Oh, forget it. 
Husband: Geez, you're touchy, too!

"useful" lessons in communication are not always good for the relationship.

This would drive me insane (what the wife is doing, I mean).  I would be surprised to find such different conversation styles as a married couple - how would they have gotten so far when they cannot communicate?  For me, I am a talkative and animated person, as is my BF.  I would say we both interrupt each other, but we also know when not to, if that makes sense.  I don't think either of us is rude at all.  The conversation flows naturally.  To me, people who claim they are "interrupted" generally have a different vision of what a natural conversation flow should look like.

I am reminded of being in court arguing motions.  It is not at all uncommon for a judge to interrupt a lawyer (who has prepared what she wants to convery very well) with, essentially, "yeah, yeah, I know all that, what about X?"  Not rude, just how it is.

See, whereas here I just see an extremely rude and uncaring husband. I wouldn't deal with it the way that the wife in this example did, but she was making a point, talking about something that she feels *hurt and ignored* by and he couldn't let her finish her second sentence? Because she didn't express her emotions about a serious marriage issue (communication) as a trial lawyer might? This is not a boring and unimportant story about the British Prime Minister or a woman at work with hockey tickets, this is plainly and from the offset a serious point about how his wife is feeling about an issue.

POD. If you aren't interested in what I was about to say about the British Prime Minister, or the hockey tickets, fine, go converse with someone that interests you (and I'll give the hockey tickets to someone else), but if we are trying to resolve a relationship difficulty, can't you just  hear me out? (General you). How can we get to the bottom of this if all you do is cut me off about how I just need to relax, and that I'm just so boring so any problem between us is entirely my fault?

I've had this kind of communication issue with my mother all my life. I'm not allowed to spit out a complete thought, and she jumps in with a defense against what she THINKS I'm going to say, rather than what I'm actually planning to say.