Never Say, “I Was Just Going to Say…”

2013.01.30 Don't Say I Was Just Going to Say

You’ve experienced this a hundred times. Two people start to speak at the same time. They both stop. She says, “You go.” He says, “Well, I was just going to say…”

That’s apology language when apology isn’t necessary.

The other person gave you a gift. In a moment when both of you put your excitement for the conversation on the table, she gave you a turn. She’s not waiting to talk. She’s not angry that you’ve got something to offer. She wants your offer. She wants to listen to you. She wants to hear what you’ve got to say, consider it, and see how it meshes with what she has to offer you. That’s how it works. You take turns.

When you do this, you’ll deliver your idea with confidence. You’ll assert it’s value. If it’s important, you’ll own it. If it’s so narrowly pertinent, so hardly prescient that you were “just going to say” it, then it wasn’t worth saying in the first place. It’s a bad habit you picked up because “everybody” is doing it. Remember: you’re being engaged because whoever is there wants to engage you. If no one is truly wanting to listen to each other, though, that’s a different story. That’s a bigger problem. Much bigger than choosing to shrivel up your idea so no one thinks you’re so egotistical that you’d actually take your turn to speak your mind. Thank goodness you have such a small problem.

Think of it this way: if you gave someone the gift of your attention, do you want her to apologize to you for accepting it?

Genuine apology is such a rare and precious thing. Don’t waste it on what you were just going to say.

-nm

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