Always getting cut off in group conversations

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Always getting cut off in group conversations Empty Always getting cut off in group conversations

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:41 pm

One thing that happens to me all the time whenever I'm in a conversation with at least two other people, is that someone will finish what they were saying, and when I go to reply or contribute to the conversation, I'll get two or three syllables out before one of the other people cuts me off and starts talking over the top of me like I'm not even there. To be clear, I'm not talking about the same person who stopped talking going to say something else, I mean one of the other people in the conversation. This doesn't happen with to me with specific people, it seems to happen with everyone, like I'm just invisible. The only time I ever get to actually say something is when someone asks me a direct question.

Has this happened to anyone else? If so, how did you deal with it?

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Always getting cut off in group conversations Empty Re: Always getting cut off in group conversations

Post by Enail on Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:09 am

That's a tough one. It sounds really frustrating! I have a couple of experiences that aren't all that much the same, but are also about conversational flow, so maybe will be of some use in an oblique way?


One is that my family has the habit of talking too fast and talking all over each other. When we're all together, we tend to amp up each other's conversation speed to the point where people who aren't related to me can hardly understand us at all. And even when we're not around each other, we all have a hard time slowing down and not jumping in and interrupting other people, especially when we're excited.

We try not to do it, of course, but it can be a tough habit to break. Quieter people (we're actually mostly pretty quiet people most of the time ourselves, but not all the time), people who have a slower conversation speed naturally, and people who are less aggressive in conversation, can find it really frustrating and feel left out and un-listened to, like they don't matter, because we're just assuming they'll jump in and talk over like we do. If that sounds familiar to you, I wonder if your comfortable/natural conversation speed is slower than most of the people around you, and they're not realizing how badly they're talking over you. If that's the case, maybe it would help to try acclimatizing yourself to their speed, volume and level of assertiveness by sometimes listening to busy conversations without trying to participate, and trying to pay attention to the timing, how loudly people speak, what they do with their body language, their voice and their choice of words when they start a comment. Notice if they get interrupted, how they deal with it. That kind of thing?

The other is that I've always had a hard time telling what length of pause is the right one for me to be able to interject, and when it's actually just a comma-length pause and I'll be interrupting if I speak at that point (this sounds like it should be related to the former problem, but I don't think it is). I've found practice helps me get the rhythm down better, but I often have to pull back from a conversation to pick it up for that particular situation and consciously notice how fast/loud/assertive others are being.
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Always getting cut off in group conversations Empty Re: Always getting cut off in group conversations

Post by Izmuth on Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:40 am

What works for me: As soon as someone else starts talking over you, you have to turn your head to a specific person right next to you and just keep talking. Because when you look at people, they have a biological urge to look back and presto: you've got their attention. Because the smaller conversation is ongoing, people start listening in, and the smaller conversation becomes the group conversation.
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