Hi. My name is D. And I’m a chronic interrupter.
It’s a terrible habit, formed from a childhood in an Italian American household. Dinners were loud, boisterous affairs, where dialogue intermixed with gnawing and chewing, where stories were long and drawn out, each member throwing in their own their version. No one held your hand through conversations. If you had an opinion or ideas, you were expected to speak up. If you didn’t jump in, you would spend the evening in silence, polishing off the bread basket and a bottle of wine.
Interrupting is as natural to me as breathing. I take no pride in admitting this. I recognize this makes me a bit of a rude a-hole.
My interrupting is a problem. Surprisingly, I didn’t always know this. After many, many fights with my husband, I finally realized that we weren’t just conversing, as I had assumed. Understandably, he hates it, despises it. And I know it’s not just him. My interrupting does not discriminate.**By the way, my apologies to all the friends I have cut off; I HONESTLY want to hear what you have to say, even if I don’t show it.**
The thought of a day without interrupting came to me on Thursday, as I noticed myself wanting to jump in on my fellow writers at my writing group. I fought the urge then, and figured I would try an entire day without opening my big mouth inappropriately. There were certain points in the day when I found my inner interrupter screaming, my jaw literally hurting as I tried to stop the words from pouring out. Damn old habits; this one is fighting hard for a chance to live. I wasn’t completely successful, but I gave it a good shot.