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How I Teach Men Not To Talk Over Me: from one feminist to another, when basic respect is lagging and conversations are impossible

I’ve done this to several men, and they catch on rather quickly. You’ll be able to have a conversation right then and there, and it works long term too – they might’ve forgot their manners by the time you talk to them again, but by repeating this, they’ll eventually learn to let you talk without you having to do this at the start of every convo. Source: I have a very stubborn older brother, who eventually learned too.

1. When they interrupt you, stop talking. Don’t try to raise your voice or battle them. Be completely quiet and wait.

2. Ignore everything they’re saying. Do not actually listen – just wait until they shut up. Don’t make a point of anything they say, do not answer to anything they say, do not refer to anything they say here. Literally do not listen a single word. Let them rant as long as they want.

3. When they finally shut up and wait for your reaction, say: ”I wasn’t done talking.”

4. Start over whatever you were saying when they interrupted you. I don’t care if it was a 10-minute explanation of rocket science. Start. Over. Repeat you original thought, but do not add anything related to what they just said while talking over you. That gives them the idea that it’s okay to interrupt you, you’ll still listen and pay attention and they’ll get their point clear without having to listen to yours. (It’s especially funny when you get done and they expect you to keep going talking about whatever they talked over you. The face when it sinks in that you didn’t listen a single word is glorious.)

5. If they interrupt you again, return to step 1. If you find yourself repeating the cycle over 3 times, tell them: ”you’re not letting me speak. Either you listen and wait for your turn, or our conversation ends here.” If they try to make excuses, laugh it off or keep interrupting, end the conversation. Prove them that if they wont let you speak, they’re not worth your time.

Why does this work? First, because sometimes talking over is internalized and men don’t actually notice they’re doing it. Being vocally called out makes them realize it and pay attention to it – especially if it happens more than once. Secondly, by refusing to acknowledge anything they say when they interrupt you, they’ll soon realize they will not get their own point across if they keep doing that. People and especially men have the need to be heard and paid attention to when they talk – when you make it clear that by talking over you, they will not have your attention, they’ll learn to wait until you’re done, because they know that’s when you will be paying attention and actually listening.

Go my darlings. Have some actual conversations where your point of view is just as valid as his. Demand the basic respect of being heard. You can actually have some interesting conversations with men when they’re forced to listen too, when being louder is not going to make them feel like they’re dominating the conversation or winning the argument.

 

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