If you have been living with someone who interrupts you during conversations then you might have felt the need to probably stop talking to that person. In fact, your decision to stop talking as you used to might have even caused a strain in your relationship.
Well, there has been continuous probing towards the inability of people to observe their conversational maxims. This is important as an ineffective communication will surely affect any relationship.
In a husband -to- wife relationship, the effect is more pronounced. Hence, you need to find how to make things better if you cherish your marriage.
Who Is Your Husband?
While there is the love part of relationship, it is not enough to cover up the excesses of your husband. Have you at any time tried to know your husband beyond what you want and what he wants? Do you know his temperament, his previous lifestyle or the way he was brought up?
Though these things look normal and may sound irrelevant but they are what sum up a person. The reason why someone has a different point of view towards a situation is due to the fact that the person saw the situation differently from others mainly through the way the person sees life.
You need to know your husband. If you do not want to point out his excess immediately, you can make few enquiries from his friends. Your husband may have never been in a situation where he does not have to interrupt others.
His temperament might be intro-extrovert such that the extroverted part of him is revealed when conversing at a particular time, At that time, he may feel the need to say as much as possible because he knows that he would be all to himself few minutes afterwards.
One thing you must understand is the fact that people have to learn how to listen. In fact, many have learnt how to listen but few have mastered the act and practice of listening. Much more than learning, there is the part of placing conscious efforts towards exhibiting this skill.
The natural human has the tendency to want to feel heard. This feeling can end up being excessive and that is why people end up saying too much without even considering their partner.
As you gather information about your husband, ensure you are not conclusive. Try not to see him as the dominating one but make up excuses for him. What if he doesn’t know? What if he did not intend to hurt me?
Making excuses for him does not mean you are trying to satiny him at the expense of your own happiness but it is so that you can find solutions and imbibe corrections with love.
Know that there are different categories of interrupters and you will only get solutions to your husband’s when you are precise.
What Kind of Interrupter Is He?
Here, I will talk about five types of interrupters and this is because not everyone interrupts in same manner. From this list, you can point out the one peculiar to your husband;
- The Plain Interrupter: The plain interrupters are those who feel it is normal to interrupt when a ‘better’ idea pops into their mind. Their reaction can be likened to their upbringing or educational background. To them, ‘I better say it when I think it is relevant’. Plain interrupters have no hidden intentions. They just lack the right communication skills.
- The Irregular Interrupter: This category does not really pay attention to interrupting a conversation. It comes as a reflex action. However, immediately they notice the change, they apologize and set things right. Most times, the irregular interrupter interrupts when he feels he shouldn’t be left out of the conversation. I mean, he feels he should quickly give his opinion before the other person says it.
- The Nonchalant Interrupter: People here are just ignorant. They do not mind to pay attention to whatsoever you are saying and when they feel they are tired, they just interrupt. When they interrupt, you will find out that they never cared about your opinion. Most times, they use fillers like ‘uhmmm, yeah’ when they are about to interrupt. You may end up feeling frustrated.
- The Corporate Interrupter: People in this category interrupts through phone calls. They are not necessarily a part of the corporate world, but they always feel like the call cannot wait. You end up trying to see if the call is more important than your conversation Most times, you realize that the calls could have actually waited.
- The All-knowing Interrupter: This may seem like the worst of all. People in this category feels they know what you want to say. They try to read your mind to finish what you have to say. The fascinating part is that they keep doing it over and over. At the end of the conversation, you feel unachieved. Most times, they finish your statement by saying something different from what you planned to say. You end up asking yourself ‘Why did you agree to this conversation, if you knew what I wanted to say?’
Now that you have seen the various kinds of interrupters, search to know the category your husband falls into. Read through all again and relate his actions to each category.
I have to list these so you can know how to go about the mending process. It would be dangerous to cure headache with a drug required for leg pain.
Why Is He Not Listening?
The answer to this question is definitely different from enquiries made towards knowing your husband. Knowing your husband is a sure step in mending the situation. However, this is not just a relationship.
You both share an intimate one. What if he acts like that to you alone and not to others? Now, do not get worked up. This is an issue that is between both of you (even if it involves others). Your solution to this issue may affect others or not.
There are different reasons why he is not listening. These reasons however involve you as the speaker.
What Should I Do?
After gathering information from different sources, I could only deduce that men are likely to keep things to heart than women. Women would rather say their mind without minding what happens at that moment.
While men decide not to say these things so they would not sound as if they are nagging, most of them act to indirectly tell you what you have done. In fact, there are different things you do that make him see the reason to interrupt you.
I am not saying that his interruption is justified but I want you to check yourself. Answer these questions;
- What do you do that makes him feel uninterested?
- Does he become uninterested immediately you exhibit an act?
- Is he the only one that interrupts or that is how others interrupt you?
- How do you talk? Is it in a way that makes him want to interrupt?
- How was your approach?
- Do you go straight to the point or beat around the bush?
- How valuable are your thoughts?
- How long do you express your thoughts to be efficient?
- Do you speak too slow and anxious or too fast and anxious?
- Do you also interrupt him?
These questions are not to judge you. In fact, answers to these questions may be NO or YES. Still, take your time to get answers to these questions and be sincere. While you may not know that you do these things, careful scrutiny will surely provide you answers.
For instance, Josh Manson’s comment reveals that women talk more about the feeling they derived from a particular problem. Women want to talk about how molested, ridiculous or unhappy they felt about a situation.
To women, expressing the feeling derived from the outcome is as important as finding solutions to the problem. On the other hand, men want an explanation concerning the situation then give probable solutions.
To them, it is no longer about the feeling, it is the right solution to avoid a repetition of such feeling. No matter how much you want him to listen, most men want to get to the root of the matter as soon as possible. However, they tend to interrupt and even finish the narration for you.
It could also be that you are so concerned about speaking at once. Sometimes back, I met an old friend after a very long time. We talked at length, laughed and reminisced about the good old days. Later on, I found myself talking alone. It was obvious he was no longer interested.
I didn’t consider him as I kept on talking. It got to a point I had to ask: ‘Are you listening?’ By the time I was done, he didn’t give any comment and I asked with curiosity ‘No comment?’ and he said ‘You said it all’
He might not want to offend you by saying nothing at the end of the conversation so he tries to interrupt before you add your opinion to his own opinion. Just as Laura Doyle said, keep it short. On the other hand, it could be the rate at which you talk.
If you talk like you are anxious, they might just finish the sentence in a bid to leave sooner than your conversation would last. All the above questions determines how interruptive your conversation can be.
Working On Yourself
If the above questions do not apply negatively to the way you communicate then there is no need to work on yourself. If all the questions above applies to you, YES! You need to work on yourself. Do not try to shy away from your excesses.
Do not say ‘Oh he is my husband, he should take me as I am’ Yes he should but there is a limit. The limit is where the interruption comes in
Do not make an issue out of it. Understand that he probably didn’t tell you because he wants you to find out. No matter how little your excesses may seem, remember that it has caused a strain in your communication as a couple. There is the need for a change. Here is a couple of things to do;
- Be calm when speaking and avoid repetition. Repetition may make your man feel like he finds it difficult to easily assimilate
- Consider your husband by making him a part of the conversation. Allow him make comments in-between. Apply the rule of turn-taking
- Be precise and avoid talking round a circle. It wears out the listener.
- Avoid placing your feelings above solutions. If you aim at a solution, he will naturally feel your emotions.
- Do not speak like you do not know what to say. It’s a conversation. Take charge when necessary
- Take note of when he begins to feel uncomfortable. That part is what you should avoid.
Working on yourself is as important as trying to change your husband. Ensure you are not the cause of his actions. After working on yourself, do not feel he will change when he sees that you have changed.
One thing you must understand is that what you do overtime may eventually be a part of you if not corrected. Your husband has been interruptive for some time, the act may have become a part of him.
The change, in most cases will not be based on your actions. In fact, he might not even take note of the fact that you have changed. So, whether you triggered that state or not, there is the need to bring back your husband
Bringing Back My Husband
There are certain ways to deal with an interruptive husband. These ways are not associated with force or complaint. Most people have not been able to mend their husbands or imbibe their wish unto their husbands because of their approach
In bringing back your husband to his usual self or in helping your husband understand and change to a more acceptable state, your approach is key. Approach can either worsen the situation or make the situation better than you expected.
Another important thing to look out for is Politeness. You can say a sensitive statement in a less-annoying way. Understand that men are egoistic. The egoistic part makes them want to feel right at all times.
However, a polite mode of correction can either positively or negatively affect the way he reacts to your corrections. Approach and Politeness should never be underestimated.
How do I go about it?
Talk to him about it: As stated above, not all interrupters are intentional. Some do not even know that they interrupted the speaker. Now, he is your husband and you have the right to talk to him or correct at any time. Tell him how you feel when he interrupts you. For instance.
Wife: ‘Hey dear, Can I have a moment?’
‘For some times now, I have been unhappy about the way we talk’
Allow him to probe. He may ask
Husband: ‘How do we talk?’
Wife: ‘Well, you interrupt me when I am about to make my point. At times, you finish my statement for me. It’s not fair on me’
You can continue on that note and settle things. The example above is not imposing. Just be yourself. Let it not seem like you are forcing the conversation. It’s your relationship, be real.
Get helpful materials: As stated earlier, people learn to know and master the rudiments of listening. Telling him does not mean he will change overnight. Help him change. You can get him books written by influencers.
Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to win’ and ‘Influence People’ reveal a lot about listening. You can also get him to watch YouTube videos of notable speakers like Laura Doyle. You should check this YouTube video
of Julian Treasure’s speech on Ted’s show concerning ‘listening’. Much more, ensure he stays faithful to it. Set deadlines and engage him in a conversation to know how effective the materials have been.
Introduce visual and body Language: If you husband happens to interrupt during your conversation even after taking the previous steps, communicate with him visually. You can raise your brows or give a facial expression that says ‘Did you just interrupt?’
Check this video to learn more on visual and body language.
Interrupt the interrupter: Well, this may seem quite excessive but the excessiveness is dependent on the approach. Immediately he interrupts, just continue like there was no interrupter.
Balance it all: Do not forget that you also have a role to play. Learn to caution yourself as earlier stated. Give him no reason to interrupt. In fact, your correction will be legitimate when there is no fault from your side.
While interruption in communication is absolutely rude and discourteous, it has become a norm for many. When you notice this act, never react angrily. Instead of shouting at his excesses or walking out on him almost immediately, keep your calm till the conversation is over.
Afterwards, employ the processes stated above and get back your relationship. Whether you think he acts intentionally or not, focus not on his actions but a means to repair. If you need further clarifications, you can place your questions in the comment section.
Remember: It is you both, before anyone else’. Make your first step NOW!