Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Communication Rule Number 3

Communication Rule 3: Don't interrupt your partner, since it frustrates them, prevents them from having their full say, and makes it less likely they will listen to you.
 Also, you might be jumping to false conclusions about what they are planning to say.
But the more you force yourself to sit there quietly while your partner misrepresents you, lectures you, or makes unfair charges, the angrier and more dispirited you become and the less you'll be able to listen. By the time you get a chance to talk, you may have built up so much resentment that you throw a tantrum. Or you may have become so demoralized that you no longer feel like saying anything at all.
So here's the problem: If you interrupt your partner, he or she may become an angry or dispirited person who can't listen; if you don't interrupt your partner, you may become an angry or dispirited person who can't listen.
Occasionally you can resolve this dilemma by making a limited interruption—breaking in but immediately giving the floor back to your partner: "I'm having trouble listening to you right now, but go on" or "There's something important I'll want to say about that as soon as you're done."
 For some people, commenting like that—registering that they have an objection—may make it possible for them to listen. And it may only briefly interrupt their partners.

Dan Wile

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