There are four ways, and only four ways, in which we have contact with the world. We are evaluated and classified by these four contacts: what we do, how we look, what we say, and how we say it. -Dale Carnegie, author and educator (1888-1955)
Reading the last part of it "what we say and how we say it" started me on a train of thought. We many of us occasionally interrupt others. Perhaps we are enthusiastic about the topic and can hardly wait to share our like experience. Perhaps we have a point to make and unthinkingly interrupt to get that point across in an effort to enrich the conversation. The key word is, occasionally.
My increasingly obscure point it, I have been growing conscious of MY contribution to unintentional rudeness. Most often it occurs between my boss and me. He has a 'considered' way of talking. Nothing wrong with that, just you would think *I* would have that well figured out by now. But no. It has taken a long time to quit interrupting him. No, not while he is talking. To me, that is the height of rudeness; interrupting a person, just horning right on in while they are still talking. No, mine is replying during a silence. What has taken me so long to understand about him, for an example, is he waits politely for me to reply then, then he finishes what he was going to say until I interrupted him.
In my line of work and additionally in the trenches as it were, one doesn't verbally dilly dally. You have to say what you need to say and git 'er done. No thoughtful pauses, no seemingly undue consideration to words..jest git 'er done. There's usually little time to thoughtfully consider what you have to say and how you're going to say it when it has hit the fan...know what I mean? So one comes to the habit of being short worded and succint.
Oh that I could be that way I might add as an aside, at off work times. My ex used to say "You Southern people. You take a week to get to the point!!!" Yes, we Southerners as a rule go all the way around the block, take many bypasses and byways in our journey to the end of a sentence. BUT when you are in my line of work, as I said " Git 'er done". Short, to the point concise information. So I am a dichotomy. To the point at work, (to my bosses probable dismay) and all the way around the block in real time at home.
My point...oh yes, I am being a Southerner again I see. My point is I am practicing. When my boss and I are talking in general terms and subject matter during down times on the midnight shifts..I am increasingly saying to myself " Wait. Give about 10 seconds before you respond. Don't interrupt". No kidding. I really have to talk to myself to stay quiet till he's really finished with his thought.
So, I have to raise my hand. However I am truly working on giving others a chance at talking and finishing what they have to say before I reply.
With that treatise on courtesy I say...