The Thread of Small Regrets
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12-03-2015, 09:37 PM
The Thread of Small Regrets
I said something tonight that I wish I hadn’t, in the big scheme of life not much of faux pas, but I wish I had worded it differently.

Tonight for the second time this week we were in front of an audience giving a presentation. In the audience was a man I recognized from Tuesday’s presentation, one of those people who just has to be heard. He interrupted on Tuesday and he interrupted again tonight. No raising of hand, no being recognized, just piped right up in the middle of the talk.

He wasn’t being a dick or anything but he didn’t want to yield the floor, he wanted his story that was tangential to the topic heard by the forty or so people there. We had an hour to cover our topic and needed to get on with the show.

The second time he interrupted my wife I shut him down pretty good. Now I regret the way I did it, I should have done it with more finesse. I really need to control my temper in public better.

Live and learn and count to ten next time.

I thought maybe this thread would be a good place to learn how to avoid the small missteps in life from one another.

FC

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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12-03-2015, 09:47 PM
RE: The Thread of Small Regrets
I have no idea how this all went down.
That said, when you interupt a scheduled presentation from the audience without being invited to speak, you are by definition, a heckler.
Maybe now it won't happen again.
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12-03-2015, 10:31 PM
RE: The Thread of Small Regrets
(12-03-2015 09:47 PM)pablo Wrote:  I have no idea how this all went down.
That said, when you interupt a scheduled presentation from the audience without being invited to speak, you are by definition, a heckler.
Maybe now it won't happen again.

He wasn’t heckling so much as interrupting to hear himself talk. Unfortunately I remembered him very clearly from a few night’s before when he had interrupted the presentation repeatedly and I was predisposed to disliking him.

I see this happen often, the speaker is talking about a topic the person is interested in and they have an anecdotal story that they just know everyone wants or needs to hear. Meanwhile they are destroying the flow of the speaker’s presentation. We did say we would be happy to take questions afterwards but these weren’t questions but his own personal stories.

Anyway, no matter how I justify it I regret not being more tactful in a room full of people but thanks for the support Pablo.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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12-03-2015, 10:32 PM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2015 10:39 PM by cactus.)
RE: The Thread of Small Regrets
I have a lot of small regrets, mostly stuff I said in my "past life" as a xtian.

During the first week of college I remember telling my friend's old roommate something along the lines of "Do you have to be so 'out' with your lesbianism?" Then I told her I thought she was harming her body by smoking like 1 joint a week. Then for some reason I asked her if she wanted to go to a Wednesday night bible study. Her exact response was "I don't believe in that shit," and I thought I was being really clever when I came up with Pascal's Wager right there on the spot. God fucking damn, I'm surprised she ever talked to me again after that lol. Even though she hasn't brought it up again, I'm sure she still remembers it. I didn't even identify as a Christian anymore at that point, but I guess the rational side of my brain was still under construction, and I was still in the process of switching over from "how do I act in order to please my parents?" to "how do I want to act, now that I don't feel obligated to please my parents?"

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12-03-2015, 10:37 PM
RE: The Thread of Small Regrets
(12-03-2015 10:32 PM)cactus Wrote:  I have a lot of small regrets, mostly stuff I said in my "past life" as a xtian.

During the first week of college I remember telling my friend's old roommate something along the lines of "Do you have to be so 'out' with your lesbianism?" Then I told her I thought she was harming her body by smoking like 1 joint a week. Then for some reason I asked her if she wanted to go to a Wednesday night bible study. Her exact response was "I don't believe in that shit," and I thought I was being really clever when I came up with Pascal's Wager right there on the spot. God fucking damn, I'm surprised she ever talked to me again after that lol. I didn't even identify as a Christian anymore at that point, but I guess the rational side of my brain was still under construction. Even though she hasn't brought it up again, I'm sure she still remembers it.

Like in your story I think we tend to be the most insensitive when we are so sure of our own position.

A great many times I look back and wish I could apologize.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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12-03-2015, 11:40 PM
RE: The Thread of Small Regrets
(12-03-2015 10:37 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  Like in your story I think we tend to be the most insensitive when we are so sure of our own position.

A great many times I look back and wish I could apologize.

Yeah, I think in my case it wasn't that I was "sure" of my beliefs, but rather that I was sure of how I wanted to come across to my parents. Since my brother got really involved in church when he went away to college, I felt like that was my obligation to do the same, to get baptized and sing in a church band, etc.

......Nope, that didn't work out quite as I'd envisioned, because for all the time that I had spent mentally preparing for college life, I never stopped to think about how my peers would respond when I went into super hardcore Christian mode. As it turned out, they put me in my place within the first couple of weeks and taught me how to stop sheltering myself for the sake of pleasing my parents. Yay for learning experiences. Laugh out load

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13-03-2015, 02:13 AM
RE: The Thread of Small Regrets
How to ... not a Muffsy-style "How to..." guide... a proper one.

How to deal with an opinionated contributor...

1. Own the floor.
2. State the ground rules e.g. set the expectation as to whether the talk will be interactive or lecture-Q&A
3. If the latter and you are interrupted... Stop them.
4. Take back the floor.
5. Go to them first in the Q&A session.

The way to stop them is simply by saying "Can I stop you, there" with or without a hand gesture (palm down, pressing motion) for emphasis. But it's not a question... it's a statement.

This sentence always works.

Either they will have a moment's hesitation before starting to speak again so simply talk over them or it will stop them completely so after a small pause you say "I'm conscious of everyone's time (and they have other things to do this evening) so let's see if we can keep to schedule so that we'll have time at the end for some discussion".

If you're feeling generous, you can say "Thank you for the contribution, I'll come to first after we've finished the talk."

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