Breaking a Voice

When my daughter was just a toddler learning to speak, her older sister would constantly interrupt her. The little one would say, “Stop breaking my voice!”

I’ve been thinking about my problem of interrupting these past few days. I have a terrible problem with interrupting people. Part of it is rooted in a good thing; I love what you’re saying and want to comment on it all. I think quickly and love to verbally synthesize (great for teaching, terrible for friendship conversations).

But the other part of this problem is an excessive self-focus; what I want to say becomes more important that what you are saying.

I have places I want this conversation to go, so let’s get on with it. I have things I want to say, so let me just insert myself right here. 

Last night, a wise friend reminds me to give people a long, long, long time to answer completely and get out everything they want to say.

Let them finish. Let them finish! 

Then wait. Then wait some more. 

Then wait more. 

Then comment. Then ask a question or offer your thoughts. 

I’m working on this. My friend lets me practice with her. It’s so hard!

I don’t want to break anyone’s voice today.

What advice do you have for interruptors?


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One thought on “Breaking a Voice

  1. Out of the mouths of babes…what a great way to describe interrupting – breaking another's voice! It brings home the fact interrupting is doing something TO someone else. That is so good for me to remember. Ideally I don't want to do something wrong/mean to someone else, so I may just borrow your daughter's phrase to help me with my interrupting problems :o)

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