This is definitely an issue in my house and I’m sure in a lot of homes. For some people, getting the last word is so important … much more important than resolving an issue, admitting they were wrong, apologizing, maintaining a good relationship, and so on. It’s a power or control thing.
In my experience, people who always need to be right or in control aren’t really all that interested in resolving issues, making improvements, or doing things that involve accommodating others. All they want to do is blame everyone else for their behavior and attitude and have no interest in backing down or admitting they are part of the problem. That makes for a very challenging relationship with people like this who don’t ever want to be accountable for their actions.
I definitely see a connection between people who don’t like to listen and those who like to always have the last word. It’s like they can’t get out of their own head long enough to listen to anyone else or try to see things from someone else’s perspective. They have it all figured out, so there’s no point in trying to put themselves in someone else’s shoes or give them the benefit of the doubt.
I sometimes get accused of going on and on about an issue that is being discussed, and along with that sometimes comes a comment about me needing the last word. That is not at all why I might continue a “discussion”. It is either because I don’t feel like I have been heard for a variety of reasons so I may need to repeat a main point, perhaps I thought of another point I’d like to make, or often the person with whom I am having a “discussion” will throw out some ridiculous statement I disagree with as they are walking away that I feel I need to address. I am definitely NOT trying to have the last word. It would be nice if everyone else in my house wasn’t always trying to do so though so I didn’t have to have the debate in my head as to whether I should just walk away and end things or go ahead and address the ridiculous comment.
It would also be nice if there were more concern with actually trying to resolve an issue and end a “discussion” on a more positive note than just getting the last word in no matter what that ends up being. Like I said at the end of my last post, one of the best ways to get the last word in a discussion is to apologize, or at least say something positive instead of something punitive.
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