Something that totally bugs me about myself is that I have a terrible habit of interrupting people. I try not to do it, I know I do it, and I hate that I do it, but I still do it. I interrupt friends, clients, everyone….. I don’t know how people stand talking to me.
I’m on page 192 of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love.
I’m not sure I relate to her experiences, or how unbelievably unforgiving she is with herself, but I totally related to her self- criticism of how she interrupts people:
Or, here’s a radical concept-maybe I can stop interrupting others when they are speaking. Because no matter how creatively I try to look at my habit of interrupting, I can’t find another way to see it than this: “I believe that what I am saying is more important than what you are saying.” And I can’t find another way to see that than: “I believe I am more important than you.” And that must end.
Ok. That makes it pretty clear. This is my goal for the week – to remember that I would never want anyone to think I really felt I was more important and to keep my mouth shut when others are talking. Especially with my clients, because even though I talk about the LSAT all day, they are going through this experience of applying to law school for the very first time. It’s new to them. And I don’t charge by the hour, so I don’t need to anticipate the end of every question and sentence. I can try to just let them share their thoughts and concerns.
But, I might have to have one exception to the rule if that’s ok with you?
I have a non-profit board meeting tomorrow and I’m the chairperson. And I’m the youngest person in the room. And these people like to talk just to hear themselves speak. Or at least one of them does. And I will gain the respect of most people in the room if I can effectively and politely keep that person on point…… Can I do this without interrupting? And, is getting out of the meeting sooner more important than letting someone say their piece?
Hmmm… it might be a whole new Ann.