There is a tendency for anyone in a deep or important conversation to try to think of their response – or interrupt with their response – any time they are being spoken to in a way they disagree with.
This is especially true when engaged in a conversation or argument with a significant other, a child/parent, or anyone that you love. It is also true with coworkers, roommates, and friends. It can sometimes be difficult to listen to all the other person has to say without interrupting with thoughts, opinions, or ideas of our own.
We may be trying to be helpful, we may not even realize we are doing it, or perhaps we feel like we are defending ourselves from some type of personal attack. But this can be problematic, as interruptions may hurt the core of healthy communication.
Why to Stop and Listen
Communication often relies on the relationship between two individuals. There has to be this feeling of trust and respect for the conversation to be productive and for both parties to leave it feeling heard.
Interruptions interfere with your ability to establish healthy methods of communication within the relationship, as when you interrupt, you suggest that what the other person is saying is less important than what you have to say. For the person that is being interrupted, the implication is that you do not respect them enough to grant them your time.
There are several other issues as well:
- Generally, when you interrupt, it is because you’re formulating an argument in your head while the person is talking. In order to form that argument, you often ignore what the person is saying in favor of your thoughts, and in turn you may misunderstand them or may miss out on important information.
- Heightening Emotions – The more emotions are heightened, the less anyone is listening in an argument or discussion. When you interrupt, you are likely increasing the strength of the other person’s negative emotions, which means that they’ll be less likely to listen to you as well.
Healthy communication is critical in any type of relationship, from marriage to professional relationships. Listening openly shows respect, reduces confusion and misunderstandings, and keeps emotions at a more manageable level. If you are struggling to communicate in your relationship, call one of our psychologists on Long Island today.