Speaking AT people, instead of TO them.

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Scaurie
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03 Dec 2012, 12:56 am

Someone told me that I do this today, when I commented aloud that people do not listen to me when I voice important issues.

What does this mean? How is talking AT people different than talking TO them? How can I help it?

I'm beyond confused, and a little hurt that they didn't explain themselves.


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Fnord
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03 Dec 2012, 1:03 am

AT: You talk to hear yourself speak, without concern for whether or not anyone else is even listening (vocal self-gratification).

TO: You talk to be heard, without concern for what anyone else has to say (making a speech; delivering a sermon).

WITH: You both speak, and actually pay attention to what each other has to say (conversation).


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Cadawell
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03 Dec 2012, 1:04 am

It means they feel you're not listening to what *they* have to say, and just talking to get your own views out. That you would be saying the exact same things if they were, for example, a wall or a chair. You talk 'at' something that doesn't respond. You talk 'to' something that does.

It might help to tape a typical conversation you have with people, and then find a conversation from tv or something and look for differences. See how people act when another person is talking - how to make the appropriate sounds, etc to show you're listening. Make sure to pause occasionally to check if someone else wants to talk. That sort of thing.



again_with_this
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03 Dec 2012, 4:33 am

Scaurie wrote:
I'm beyond confused, and a little hurt that they didn't explain themselves.


Since you're only 18, I'll let you in on a secret: They NEVER explain themselves. It's a staple of what it means to be NT, they're unwilling to elaborate. To them it should be self-evident, to them, explanation goes against their programming and the rules by which they abide, without question.

Now, in regards to voicing important issues, it all depends on whether or not the issues are important to the listener. But generally, it's good every now and then to ask the people you're speaking to what they think, or if they agree, etc.



Shellfish
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03 Dec 2012, 4:47 am

Scaurie wrote:
Someone told me that I do this today, when I commented aloud that people do not listen to me when I voice important issues.

What does this mean? How is talking AT people different than talking TO them? How can I help it?

I'm beyond confused, and a little hurt that they didn't explain themselves.


When you have a conversation with someone, it is 'give and take' - each person should have a chance to voice their opinion or tell their story. When you monopolise the talking and usually about about a topic that isn't that interesting to most people, you would be 'talking at'.

My father in law does this and while he is a very kind-hearted and sweet man, it is sad to watch how people often try to avoid him because they don't want to be 'lectured'


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