Question: How can I stop getting irritated with people during conversations, because I know what they are going to say before they say it? How can I stop finishing their sentences?
The Problem: The typical human brain can think four times faster than the other person can talk. So, while they are still talking, your brain runs ahead and either starts to think about what you think about what they are saying – or you finish the sentence for them.
The Solution: You must expend the energy required to suppress these extra brain cycles so that your brain stays engaged in the conversation instead of running ahead. You do this by deciding in advance that you are going to do it for a particular high-value conversation, and then, before you start listening, you think about something pleasant that is not going to be part of the conversation. This relaxes and focuses your brain, so you are ready to start paying deliberate attention.
When you accept the challenge of actually listening to someone and not finishing their sentences, you will be rewarded with stronger relationships in both your business and personal life. You will get real pleasure from this. Try it and see for yourself!
When to Solve: Because it takes energy to force yourself to pay attention you should only do it in for high value conversations where the consequences of communication failure are high. Then, as you get more practice it will take less energy to pay attention and you can do it more frequently.
One More Thing: You must be getting negative feedback when you finish sentences for other people or you wouldn’t be asking this question. You can either continue to get the negative feedback, or you can enjoy the pleasure that comes from suppressing the extra brain cycles (when it’s worth the trouble).
Your choice. Choose wisely!