What is the point in doing this in day to day interaction?
One side wants themselves to be heard over all else so we get the following varying results:
- One speaks over the other and one side stops – One side is dominant. It’s all about dominance and thus indicating your view is the superior one. Maybe not correct but attempting to assert a dominant air. Alpha and omega personalities in action. Dominant alpha male/female versus a submissive.
- Try to speak over each other simultaneously – Neither side hears what the other is saying and so there is just noise. Alpha personalities clash! Or if not leaders then people trying to rise in the pecking order of their group.
- Each stops to let the other speak – An awkward silence followed by each side attempting to reignite the rapport.
Overly concerned about etiquette to a fault where communication falters. In that way you see in romantic comedies and comedies of manner often. Both submissive to a fault.
You are brought up to take turns in speaking but it seems more and more people are just talking at each other not with each other. It marks people out though I have never consciously taken note of when it happens. I tend to just let the other continue speaking but by that point they do not stop for breath and move from one topic to the next without pause thus leaving just a wall of sound emanating from them.
There is a time and place for such behaviour of course but more often than not if you are doing it then you are trying to assert dominance needlessly. Talking is a dialogue not a monologue. Leaders monologue when giving instructions and as everyone is encouraged to compete for a leading role in life and work it is seen as something that should be adopted at all times to excel.
But then of course I would say that. I’m typing a blog rather than talking over other people and becoming that sort of person. Blogging lets you express views that no one cares to hear. A rabid wolf howling at the moon it can never embrace.
Looking at the above video depending on whose voice you are focusing on you hear either Valjean’s oft repeated morality or if you focus on the designated antagonist Javert you hear the quasi-Freudian reason for why he is such a dogged adherent of the word, above the spirit, of the law. You only hear him declare this once in what is meant to be a scene two men shouting at each other showing his near loss of control. Neither, in the original novel, is ‘correct’ but both are equally ‘les miserables’ i.e. ‘the wretched’ as they are caught up in the shifting morality of society. Valjean is morally right but committed a crime and ran away while on parole. Javert upholds the word of the law while ignoring what is morally right in the circumstances such as the revolution. Both in their way fail to fulfil their true potential for fear of the consequences. Valjean wastes his life forever running from responsibility until he takes Cosette as his daughter. Javert shrouds himself in legal dogma to rise above his origins at least in the eyes of society. Neither lives for themself in the end. Neither hears what the other is saying and thus ignores the different point of view they are presented with by speaking over each other determined to assert that their way is the only true right way to exist in the world.
Everyone is a slave to their communities’ whims. We are all being shouted over and shouting over others in turn. In the end we are all wretched uncivilised beasts dressed in finery and speaking with veiled venom to each other.
Ranty, ranty, rant.
It is easier to write things off the top of my head than prepare them. It is as they say ‘in an argument you will make the greatest speech you will ever regret’.
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3 thoughts on “People Speaking Over Each Other During Conversation”
I totally agree, there aren’t many people you can have a conversation with these days. No one is interested in what you have to say and constantly look for opportunities to pick up on something you do say, so they can very loosely connect it with what they’ve been itching to drone on about. They hijack the topic then craftily completely change the subject to something else.
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Unfortunately the media promotes those who speak loudest and the courtesies of interaction are the first casualty of this when trying to get ratings. Sensationalism and conflict sells. Anyone can post a comment on a story and ‘have their say’, however whether what they have to say is of any worth is an entirely different matter…
There is a quote I am reminded of a quote from Plato ‘Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.’
You get this when you come from a large family though, each child wanting to be heard. I used to stop them and make them take it in turns, but now my children are adults and have families of their own I notice this more. When there is a big get together there are multiple conversations going on at once – I can tune out the ones I’m not listening to, but my OH finds it very hard, but then he comes from a small family and only had one child. It’s not that anyone is being impolite or trying to dominate, just old habits die hard.
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