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Thread: "WHAT?!"ing

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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    Default "WHAT?!"ing

    I find that this is all too-common incursion into my life that has slowly been building up as a nuisance up to the point of aggressive frowning.

    This seems to be a frequent habit of many people in one way or another: before you've even finished speaking often, they will say "WHAT?!" or similar...sometimes maybe they wait 500 milliseconds.

    These people will then process what you actually said and actually have understood you...or they may have spoken of a crucial bit...or perhaps, in some cases, they would not of comprehended anyway.

    This very rarely seems to happen when you first meet someone for a day, although this could be partly because first greetings are inconsequential and/predictable or because people focus especially hard on what you say. But if you've already met them, they very often start this "WHAT"ing business. It tends to only happen with people you know fairly well I guess which must be down to level of comfortableness and/or perhaps these "WHAT?!"s (not always in capitals) are some form of sympathy gesture or showing they are listening.

    I've noticed that even I do this myself sometimes! The best solution may be to try saying "HMMM!?" instead.

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    Whoobie77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    I find that this is all too-common incursion into my life that has slowly been building up as a nuisance up to the point of aggressive frowning.

    This seems to be a frequent habit of many people in one way or another: before you've even finished speaking of
    WHAT?!

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    darya's Avatar
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    LOL I do this all the time. When person starts speaking I just compulsively say "What?" even if I heard what they told so far. I'm aware of this idiotic habit every time I do it, but I just can't help myself, "what" just flies out on its own

    I also interrupt people all the time with annoying sub questions. But if they're extra boring (SLI's I'm looking at you), I just put them on mute and go into autopilot "mhm" and "noo, really?!" mode.

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    chairpersonality Holon's Avatar
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    The solution is just to grunt at everyone.

    scribbles in the dark

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    Exits, pursued by a bear. Animal's Avatar
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    It's a somewhat awkward form of what linguists call backchannel feedback. It's way people show they're engaged with what you're saying (even if they aren't). Just carry on talking through it.
    "How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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    fka lungs ashlesha's Avatar
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    i do this all the time.

    i also often say "seriously?!" or "are you serious!?" when i am perfectly aware that the person is serious.

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    boom boom boom blackburry's Avatar
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    I interrupt people especially if I'm really into the story......... I ask quesitons ...

    I try to be aware that I'm about to interrupt so that I don't... but let's just say........I still do it on occasion.

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    It would be nicer to say "I'm sorry?"

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    ■■■■■■ Radio's Avatar
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    i say things like these a lot, i guess it's a way of signalling i'm actually interested. see also: "really?" "oh?!"

    when i'm not interested i just say "hmm" or "i see". *shrug*

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    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    my real issue is when I'm saying just one sentence rather than during a dialogue, but it can be generally irritating.

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