These past few days, I’ve noticed a nasty habit of mine. It was sobering, and made me realize that I’ve made some of my work and my relationships a lot harder than they needed to be. It hit me that lately, I jump the gun and interrupt another while they are finishing their thought. Usually, my interruption is negative or based on what I think they are saying even though they are not finished saying it.
Not only has that caused tension, but it also made communicating with me tougher all because I couldn’t take the time to be present, really listen to their request or statement, and then respond.
An honest friend just asked me what’s up with that when I admitted to my bad habit. And the first thing that came up was fear. Fear of being sidetracked, of being wrong, of more work I couldn’t do, of being overwhelmed, of letting others down, of not being able to get to all my commitments to others and myself. Fear, fear, fear. Just drowning in that emotion when all it took was taking a moment, breathe it in, be present, listen and then shift into being open to their words.
It’s sobering to realize that as much as I am proud of what I have accomplished, this tendency of mine to resist not only damages my relationships, it pushes me back. My intent going forward is to take a moment, let the person finish their thought, summarize what I heard or understood, and then respond after I shift. It’s not going to be easy to drown out the fear, but it’s worth it if I don’t want to lose relationships and move forward in life.