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Talking over people in conversations; is it a Polish trait?


rich55 3 | 49
4 Jul 2010 #1
I live with my partner and her 17 year-old daughter and we get along pretty well except for one thing that drives me crazy but I've yet to mention it to them: when I'm having a conversation with the daughter I will wait for her to finish what she is saying before replying but she will just start talking over what I'm saying when I'm in the first sentence; almost as if I'm not speaking. At first I would just be quiet and let her carry on but this continued each time I started to speak; so then I tried carrying on myself which results in the bizarre situation of us having simultaneous conversations with each of us talking louder and louder; almost shouting! So in the end I let her carry on and often just let the conversation end as it just winds me up so much to put up with these constant interruptions.

My partner does it also but to a much lesser extent and she is usually aware enough to realise when I'm still speaking and will stop talking and wait until I've finished. I don't think it is just a family thing as I have Polish work colleagues and friends and most seem to do it to a greater or lesser extent: they either just continue with a parallel conversation or they just say 'yeah, yeah, I know' without actually hearing what I've got to say and then just carry on with what they want to say.

I notice that my partner and her daughter often seem to talk over each other all of the time without pausing for breath; is this normal!
wildrover 98 | 4,451
4 Jul 2010 #2
In my experiance....yes...quite normal...
f stop 25 | 2,513
4 Jul 2010 #3
That is definitely not a polish trait. There are people like that in every nationality. every walk of life.
Piorun - | 658
4 Jul 2010 #4
is this normal!

If you can’t beat them join them. Just to prove to yourself that they can hear you try to insult them while they speak, you’ll see how quickly they react. It’s called multitasking.
PolskaDoll 28 | 2,105
4 Jul 2010 #5
That's something I find annoying too but it's not just a Polish trait. I see it here among non-Poles often, especially two women in my street who just talk at each other when they meet. They both talk at the same time.

As a child I was taught that it's rude to interrupt and rude to talk over someone else (especially an adult).

Mention it to your partner.
mafketis 23 | 8,207
4 Jul 2010 #6
This is actually something linguists have studied, how people in different cultures organize conversation, especially how long the breaks between speakers are and/or how much turns overlap. There are clear patterns across cultures (along with variety within cultures).

I've never seen data for Polish people but my gut feeling is that they probably overlap a little more than US speakers but not by much.

The champions in one study were Cubans. For them often a conversation had more time with both rather than just one person speaking.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Jul 2010 #7
It's not solely Polish, no, but it is quite prevalent here. I've seen it countless numbers of times. You can see now why I call a lot of them 'gibberers' :) There are so many people that are not that interested in what you have to say. I had one student do it to me and she knew it. So, when she asked for a correction, I just blanked her as if I hadn't heard her. I wouldn't do that 99% of the time but it was just rude on her part and it infuriated me.

It's worse amongst older people. I remember once one harping on about her back and the other was talking about her daughter's achievements, both looking at each other but neither listening. It was comical.
f stop 25 | 2,513
4 Jul 2010 #8
when people do that to me, I stop talking, let them fishish and re-start what I was trying to say with "again". Usually, by the fifth time I start with "again", they get the hint. Never had Polish people do it to me as much as the those around me that only have enough brain capacity to think of what they're going to say, not what anyone else might be saying.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Jul 2010 #9
That defensive account aside, I have to agree with rich. They have their piece and they must let it out. I've often felt that way here so I just stay silent. Why talk to people who have no interest in talking back?
alexw68
4 Jul 2010 #10
It's normal (my experience echoes Seanus's) - but equally normal is to assert your right not to be interrupted. Polish conversations tend, at heart, to be quite adversarial if you're not used to that - that being so, you sticking up for yourself is entirely in bounds.

Note for those of somewhat inflamed sensibilities in the matter of national identity and character: I do not claim for one minute that this is a uniquely Polish phenomenon. I refer you to a video resume of arguably the greatest British political orator of modern times ...

youtube.com/watch?v=kv0faqABGjY
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Jul 2010 #11
British politicians do it too but there is a political show here where 5 politicians sit around a table and discuss different issues. I kid you not, 5 of them talking at the same time. It's a bloody joke! It's not Teraz My, I can't remember the name of it. Nobody gives a toss what those selfish idiots want to say anyway, only their mothers maybe ;)
alexw68
4 Jul 2010 #12
British politicians do it too but there is a political show here where 5 politicians sit around a table and discuss different issues.

THAT was the Prescott clip I was looking for (Newsnight, a couple of months ago). Priceless ...
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Jul 2010 #13
Where he gets hit by an egg? LOL What is the name of that Polish programme where all the politicians talk over each other? They do it in most programmes of that nature. Pathetic!
Matowy - | 295
4 Jul 2010 #14
Everyone does that, but maybe the Poles do it more often because they speak so fast in their own language, especially the women. Maybe you just talk too slow for them.
king polkakamon - | 544
4 Jul 2010 #15
In Greece it's worse.You cannot tell a sentence bigger than 5 words to a woman without being interrupted.They usually think they know what you will say by the first words.It is just stereotypes.They respond to stereotypes not to what you catually say.What is stuff outside stereotypes is disregarded as irrelevant.Women pay only attention to gossip,fashion issues,cooking stuff and holiday travelling.Only if you are talking about these they may let you finish your sentences.

And usually they jump from one subject to the other with speed light or they talk about 5 subjects simultaneously so you can lose ball by listening to them(and mental coordination).Men are usually more reasonable.

Slavic women as extreme emotional have feminine qualities developed in highest degree while germanic women are usually calmer,colder and more reasonable.With german women for example you can talk about anything they don't have taboos.So slavic are more close to mediteranean in this regard and maybe better so it does not bother me being interrupted,better let the women talk.(and imagine russian rap).
f stop 25 | 2,513
4 Jul 2010 #16
on the other hand... ;)
how do you deal with someone that just loves to hear himself talk and does not know how to stop? You know the point withing first two sentences, but they just don't know how to come to a timely conclusion?
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
4 Jul 2010 #17
I notice that my partner and her daughter often seem to talk over each other all of the time without pausing for breath; is this normal!

I have to say I have noticed this when on the bus and two people (Polish) are talking at each other at the same time (I say "at" because its not what I consider a "normal" conversation), it also might explain why they're so loud too :D Each to their own though!
beckski 12 | 1,617
4 Jul 2010 #18
I'm having a conversation with the daughter I will wait for her to finish what she is saying before replying but she will just start talking over what I'm saying when I'm in the first sentence

Tell the youngster she's being impolite. She needs to demonstrate both manners and respect.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
4 Jul 2010 #19
Wouldn't you agree it might be best for him to speak to the mother first, its always difficult when one is not the paternal parent, it might be taken out of context. If the mother demonstrated polite manners when holding a conversation her daughter might follow suit, just an idea.
Nathan 18 | 1,363
4 Jul 2010 #20
how do you deal with someone that just loves to hear himself talk and does not know how to stop?

Let them enjoy themselves alone. I wouldn't interrupt and simply leave. I have radio at home, which is much better, because though it doesn't listen to what I have to say, at least it say to me what I want to hear :)
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
4 Jul 2010 #21
The only time I ever do that is when someone is going on and on and something pops in my mind and I know if I don't say it that moment, I'll forget what it is. It might be really simportant, too. Sometimes when someone is talkig, what they say reminds me of something important I need to tell them.

It is considered rude to interrupt. In my family, people don't want me to interrupt them, but they do it to me all the time and a double standard is ruder than interrupting.
OP rich55 3 | 49
4 Jul 2010 #22
Wouldn't you agree it might be best for him to speak to the mother first, its always difficult when one is not the paternal parent, it might be taken out of context.

Tell the youngster she's being impolite. She needs to demonstrate both manners and respect.

Thanks for the feedback all ;-)....You're right Amathyst and Becksi, I had that chat with her mum this afternoon and she said her daughter's like that with everyone and always has been and that she probably doesn't even realise she does it. She also said it wouldn't be a problem for me to mention it to her daughter when she does it again, just to point out what she's doing and how some people would see this as rude until she gets the message. Must be tactful though!

I know it's for my immediate benefit but I also think it'll make getting on with people she meets in life a whole lot easier if she gives them a chance to have their say; she might even learn a thing or two from them!
Seanus 15 | 19,706
4 Jul 2010 #23
I just have images of Rich approaching them, only to have both of them talk over him so that he can't explain himself :( :(

What rudeness! Ah well, it's better than the opposite where they sit there like decaying prunes and say nothing at all.
plk123 8 | 4,150
5 Jul 2010 #24
Talking over people in conversations; is it a Polish trait?

is this normal!

yes.. most of polish folks i know can carry on a couple of different conversations at the same time too.. it's highly puzzling to my american friends. lol

That is definitely not a polish trait.

oh yes it is.. americans don't do that..

on the other hand... ;)
how do you deal with someone that just loves to hear himself talk and does not know how to stop? You know the point withing first two sentences, but they just don't know how to come to a timely conclusion?

just take a nap.. lol.. i used to do that with to a guy i used to travel in a truck a bunch.. he'd never shut up so, i'd just take a nap and slip in a "oh yeah" or what not here and there.. lol
hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
5 Jul 2010 #25
My family does it, excluding me of course, i would say that is is a Polish trait.
f stop 25 | 2,513
6 Jul 2010 #26
oh yes it is.. americans don't do that..

what?!? Why don't you turn on Jerry Springer just for a moment.
Allison 5 | 118
6 Jul 2010 #27
I have a problem with phone conversations, I'm terrible at them. I always dominate the conversation because I'm never sure if the other person is finished talking. It always happens when someone important calls too, like my boss. I just am afraid I am never going to get a word in edgewise, I have a lot of dialogue when explaining an important matter lol people get mad at me sometimes.
Moonlighting 31 | 233
6 Jul 2010 #28
Not a Polish trait. Just a lack of education for some people.

I always wait until somebody finishes, before I say something. If I accidentally interrupt somebody, I will usually realize it, stop talking and apologize. And when I get interrupted (I hate it) especially during an argument, I usually interrupt back by toughly asking "May I finish?".

Next time a Greek woman interrupts you, tell her to go and shave.
plk123 8 | 4,150
6 Jul 2010 #29
what?!? Why don't you turn on Jerry Springer just for a moment.

so JS show is the average america? lol

Not a Polish trait.

oh yes it is..
southern 75 | 7,096
6 Jul 2010 #30
Basically some women never finish their sentences.They start speaking slowly at the end of the sentence and when you think they have finished and open your mouth they start talking again.In this way there s constant interruption.They do it delberately to make it seem as if they will finish in order to cause you to talk and be able to continue thus keeping interest.When you don't talk by the time they slow you appear stupid,uninterested boring etc.

I usually communicate at work with short staccato sentences and abbreviations.Going always for the substance.For example you ask ''did you do this'' and the woman employee starts apologizing I did this and this because I.. etc while you just ask ''did you do this'' in order if she hasn't done it to do it yourself or tell another one to do.I am not interested in any word after yes or no.I just want to hear yes or no to proceed.This is men's logic focused in substance and not nuances although men do their sh1t too usually by setting ambivalent aggressive questions.For example asking ''what has not be done yet'' in order to imply that you didn't do some stuff as you should.But with a man you can answer ''everything not yet done is for the penis,I have taken care of everything because I fuckk and beat.''


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