Friday, March 27, 2015

Shut up, Middle Child! (or "Pardon the Interruption.")

     When my wife flashed “that look” at me from across the table, I knew I was in trouble. We were out to dinner with friends, and I figured I must have said something I shouldn't have said. I do that a lot. (Luckily, she wasn't sitting next to me, or it would've been a painful, yet stealth, kick in the shin.) When we got back home, I learned what had earned her glaring gaze. “You kept interrupting Steve,” she informed me. “You do that all the time!” “You mean to Steve?” I asked. “No,” she said. “To everyone.” It was like a punch to the gut. Could this be true? Could I be a serial interrupter, and not know it?? Before you answer, let me finish...
     Later in the week, I was going over final details on a project I was working on, when I received the following e-mail:

     I mean, I must talk really, really fast, because she wasn't just asking me to speak slowly -- she was practically begging me! Not one please, not two pleases, but three pleases!?! She might as well have thrown in a “for the love of God,” for good measure. Oh, and make sure to pause so someone else can get a word in edgewise, you fast talking, interrupter!!
     It was an ego bruising week, until I realized that none of this was my fault. Of course I talk fast. It only makes sense that I interrupt. I’m a Middle Child! We spend our formative years doing whatever we can to get your attention, and once we get it, who knows how long we’ll be able to hold it? We know it won’t be long until we’re cast aside, so talking fast is a matter of survival! And since we’re pretty used to never getting the attention we seek, we also can’t afford to sit around and wait until there’s a break in the conversation, or until you’re actually finished speaking. We have to seize the moment, even if it’s right in the middle of your moment. So no longer will I apologize for talking fast and interrupting. I will own it, for this is my birthright! My name is Bruce, and I am a conversation crashing motor-mouth. Hey, a Middle Child’s gotta do what a Middle Child’s gotta do.


  1. Gross incompetence Bruce,.. or is it gross competence? Crap, i'm not sure. Definitely have to think about This One...

  2. Checked in after Mandy Connell interview & had to comment on this entry. Needless to say, my oldest sister & I don't talk much, but when we do she always complains that I interrupt. I have realized it is because I can only talk when she takes a breath..or maybe she chimes back in so she has a reason to bite my head off!!

    1. You sound like a prime candidate for IMCU membership!!


Middle Children need to be heard!