It is common when we are in conflict, that as our emotions escalate, many of us tend to interrupt more and listen less. We might interrupt for many reasons, including that we want to get heard; we are strongly disagreeing with what the other person is saying; we are getting more and more hurt and angry; we perceive that whatever is being said or done undermines and challenges something important for us. Other reasons may be we find it difficult to hear the truth or the falsehood of what the other person is saying, or we figure we know what the person is about to say and have limited patience or time. Further reasons for interrupting may include a need to be right that is shown by not giving the other person time and space to express their views and be heard, too. These and other reasons undoubtedly preclude de-escalation of the tempers and negative energy that are rising steadily.
Interrupting is a habit for some people who listen to talk rather than to hear. And the tendency that we may have to interrupt in any case may be accentuated during conflict.
It helps in the quest for conflict mastery to do some reflection on what is happening for you if interrupting is something you are inclined to do or react to. Here are some questions to think about from this week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog.