Hello! No, I didn’t say that. I said it was an ongoing issue, and I didn’t specify what we were talking about in every instance because that does not an article make. I don’t think we can say that they simply wanted to change the subject in an instant, when I’ve said it was a recurring theme; if you’re never being listened to, that’s the point at which things are no longer reasonable. So while there may have been some instances in which they were absolutely desperately needing to interrupt for valid reasons, if this is recurring and covers 95% of instances in which two people talk, one person is just a bad listener. If you and your daughter communicate via interruptions, and that works for you, great! But if your daughter was older and came to you with a problem and you started interrupting when she had something emotional to get off her chest and talk through with you about, that might be different. The point is about context, and the context was knowing that I was trying to say something valuable/important and that person was not demonstrating baseline empathy to that fact. Two people who ignore/cut off/don’t care about what is valuable can probably get along talking around each other, but that’s not particularly a relationship I seek out, personally. I want to talk deeply with someone, and know they can do likewise with me. We’re not talking about hats and gloves, basically.

If you assume you understand the other person’s deeper point (i.e. not about hats and gloves, but about their relationship, for instance) and you cut them off because you think you know everything about their point already, that’s not great. Because chances are, you don’t. Especially if they’re talking about a deep and personal issue. And maybe, if you’re just not interested in most of what that other person has to say, you shouldn’t really be friends anyway! Basically, I wasn’t using small talk as the context in this piece. If she were interrupting me because I kept going on and on about winter clothes, I would understand.

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Trying to live better. Writing on Mental Health, Relationships, and Living Ethically. Editor/Podcaster.

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