what are the reasons that someone always interrupts a conver

Postby agnatha » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:48 am

What does it mean when somebody always interrupts during a conversation? I would imagine that it is because of a need for absolute control, and a need to always be the focus of attention. But I was curious if there is some kind of disorder or syndrome that causes a person to nearly pathologically interrupt. My boyfriend is so bad about it that I have completely given up on trying to tell him anything, but when I try to explain to him that it makes me feel like he is totally disinterested in what I have to say, he just tells me that I am over sensitive. He also has an almost endless arsenal of excuses as to why it was okay for him to interrupt in a certain instance. And he uses a different excuse every time basically, which makes it impossible for me to make him realize that there is no acceptable time to interrupt somebody without having something incredibly important to say. Would therapy even help if he is so clearly unremorseful about it?
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#1

Postby Pookie » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:02 pm

Hi agnatha,

In a normal conversation, the people who are not currently talking are very easily distracted from listening, by the thought of what they themselves are about to say. They can become preoccupied with retaining the memory of what they want to say, and looking for an opening for them to speak.
They are no longer able to focus on listening to the speaker.

I repeat, this is normal.

Now, over to your situation. Does your boyfriend, only interupt you, or does he interupt everyone?

If it is only you that he interupts, then the problem is within how you communicate together. I would suggest that you try the method that I have described here for communicating about important stuff:
http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=494992&highlight=#494992

I would also suggest that you try to analyse the conversation dynamic, when this happens, and possibly change that dynamic to lessen the impact of this problem.

For example, does your boyfriend tends to favour visual perception (he talks at a thousands mile an hour (because a picture paints a thousand words) and uses visual idiom - if you see what I mean), but you favour either aural perception (speak quite slowly, using high-faluting words (because you like how they sound) and use aural idiom - if you can hear what I am saying) or kinestetically (emotionally) perceptive (speak painfully slowly and hesitantly (because what you are about to say has to be processed by your emotions first) and use emotional idiom - if you can really get what I am trying to say).

In particular, if you are in the last category and he is in the first, he may be finding openings in your conversation, where you do not intend them.
If this is the case, he also probably finishes your sentences for you.

What you can do, is recognise the signs that he wants to say something, and give him the space to do so, before you carry on talking. For his part, he should practice discarding what he wants to say next when it pops into his mind, recognising that if it was really worth saying it will still be there when it is his turn to talk.

I hope that this helps.

Best Wishes,
John
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#2

Postby zae50jc » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:42 pm

Some people are poor listener and conversation with them it is very difficult.
I was a poor listener myself - I didn't have too many friends at that time because people get tired to listen endlessly to someone's stories and not having a chance to express themselves when they thing they have something to say.
I decided to try to become a better listener and searched on the Internet for methods. One method I used and proved very successful was to sit down with a pad and pen before I called my friends. The goal was to take notes while my friends were talking. I knew that the more I wrote the more I listened. I still practice this, especially when I talk to someone for the first time (a job interview, or a guy I want to date). I've got more friends now and I also feel more confident about my communication skills.

Another method was to try to guess someone's personality type, or at least his/her temperament, after a conversation (I studied a lot about this personality type theory so I wanted to find a way to practice). For this I had to listen for clues, such as - was s/he talking in a linear manner finishing a subject before moving to the next one or s/he seemed to jump back and forth talking about multiple subjects that were somehow related? Because I listened with a goal, I was able not just to refrain from interrupting but also to keep the silence long enough so the other person gets the fill in the gap, and start talking. The more I made the other person talk, the more info I got for my exercise. Of course, you have to keep a balance, but usually people are happier with someone that listens to them and show interest, than with someone who does all the talking.

Now, about you, being interrupted - well it is frustrating and you'll have to find methods to deal with it. One of my coworker is a poor listener, and I put up with it for a while. Eventually I got fed up and now when he interrupts I don't let him talk but I say louder and louder "Please let me finish what I have to say". And I keep saying this statement until he stops and lets me talk. Once he said "but I already know what you have to say and I know it's wrong". I answered "This is disrespect. When you talk I listen regardless of what I think. I just listen".
It gets better - I mean we are both unhappy to the same degree :-).
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#3

Postby Triarius » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:08 pm

My dad is very ADD, and constantly interrupts.

I think it has to do with poor impulse control. As soon as you have something you want to say, you just say it. And just like you have the impulse to go do something else, you just do it. I think that's how simple it really is.

What causes these impulses, and what causes the inability to control them is a different matter.

Of course, me and my friends communicate VERY well, and we constantly interrupt each other. This is because we understand each other so well they we all say the same things at the same time anyways.
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