This is a tough one for me. i feel like i can probably get over whatever other friend-losing behaviours i share after this one, but this one just feels so incredible rude, that i would struggle.
Immediate downgrade to acquaintance or person-i-walk-away-from-quickly-when-i-see-you-heading-my-way feels fair. Does that seem too harsh? Maybe you’ve never known someone who does it.
i am thinking of one person in particular. Really nice person. Quality. And so a number of years ago we hung out for coffee because i thought she would be someone it would be nice to get to know better.
It happened once and i did an internal double-take, but dismissed it as an accident or a misreading on my part.
But then it happened again. And again. And once more. Crisis!
i was telling a story and halfway through each sentence, before i got to the point or the punchline or anything significant, she would respond… before the moment of response. Wait? You’re agreeing with me before i’ve given my point of view. You’re “I know!”ing and i haven’t even got to the part you might or might not know?
i imagine that if you’ve never had this happen to you, you may have no idea what i am talking about and great for you. If you do and have, you will be nodding your head vociferously and possibly letting out a long sigh.
If you are someone who does this, i don’t even imagine you know. Surely you can’t. It has to be just a really bad habit, right.
But it is a game changer for me. Because it shows that you are not listening to me. Which shows that you don’t care about what i’m saying or that you are not interested in what i am talking about.
So the skill you need to work on is listening. Listen better and it will make you a good friend. This is probably something all of us need to practice to different degrees and it can never hurt. And maybe if you are brave enough you will ask three of your friends how good a listener they think you are.
Is it just me? Or has anyone else out there also come into contact with an Early Responder? And how serious was it for you? Is this something you would ever tell someone they do?