Thursday, December 06, 2012

Are you one of those people who finishes other people's...


You did, didn't you?!

Some of you did it silently in your heads, but a couple of you said it out loud.

Yes, I heard you, because I'm a bit special like that...

Some people find it very rude that others have the compulsion to finish their sentences for them.

Conversely, it can be very frustrating being the kind of person who feels compelled to finish other people's sentences - I know, I fight this urge constantly!

But for those of us who struggle with this I just want to say it's not our fault!

It really isn't!

It's not that we are impatient or think we are smarter than those we converse with. It's simply that we have been conditioned to be this way, and it can be very difficult for some people to undo early conditioning.


What am I talking about?

Let me illustrate with a short anecdote from today which led to me thinking about this issue.

The Grumpy Old Man and I were on an errand with Ari. We were waiting for a bus at a bus stop. The bus was approaching yonder intersection and I pointed it out to Ari.

'There's the bus, Ari, it just needs to get through the lights and turn the corner.'

'Is the light red, Mummy?'

'Yes, it's red and in a second it'll turn to..'


'That's right, it'll turn to green!'

Do you see what I did there?

I asked him a leading question, I paused and gave him the opportunity to finish my sentence for me and thusly show he understood what we were discussing. I cued him!

This got me thinking...

We do this to children a lot!

We do it when they're infants and can't fill the blanks themselves - we fill in the blanks for them.

We do it when they're toddlers, and preschoolers and primary schoolers.

We still do it occasionally when they're high schoolers and Uni students - beyond the undergraduate degree it's considered a little condescending though...

The things is, while most people eventually learn that others really don't require you to finish their sentences for them, some of us get still get the buzz of achievement out of correctly anticipating the conclusion of another's thought processes.

We not trying to be rude, we're actually trying to please others by showing we are paying attention!

Bless, bless Sif xxx

1 comment:

Kate @ Our Little Sins said...

I'm so glad there's another person like me in the world! Yay! I always thought it was because I needed people to speak more quickly or I lose concentration but you're right, we are conditioned to do this.

SO glad you wrote this post. I try really, really hard not to do this but it's tough!

Good Job!