Have you been in a conversation where you just can’t get a word in?

by Andrew Wien


Posted on October 28, 2020


Have you been in a conversation where you just can’t get a word in?
Have you been in a conversation where you just can’t get a word in? Someone keeps interrupting you. They keep bringing up a point that you think they’ve made a dozen times. Why won’t this person just listen to what I have to say?!

You might try to talk over them. You might try to talk faster so there are no pauses where they can speak. You might increase your volume.

​These are futile attempts. The person is not going to listen to a word that you say.


The problem is this person does not feel heard.
Yes, I agree that this person is not communicating skillfully. That’s okay. You can get the conversation back on track without having to “teach” them anything about how to have a constructive conversation. But how?

Simple. Make them feel heard. You make someone feel heard by

1. Listening to what they are saying without wanting to respond

2. Asking clarifying questions

3. Saying “what I heard you say was X. Did I understand that right?”

You will be surprised. After they hear you summarize what they said, they will have nothing left to say. Then they will be ready to listen to you and learn from your perspective.

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