But what i’m saying is….

When you hear this golden nugget in a conversation, your first thought should be that there is a communication problem.

Either: a person isn’t listening to what’s being said; or isn’t explaining in a way that the audience can understand. This ultimately leads to frustration and a feeling that their point isn’t being acknowledged.  Then feelings of unworthiness or guardedness. Not a position anyone wants to be in.

If at this point you’re tempted to state your argument again, only louder, it may be time to try an alternate approach. We see this idea quite often when someone doesn’t understand, either talk louder or slower. Why don’t we think about rephrasing or explaining in a different way first? This can be even harder to accept when you’re both speaking the same language because the problem may not be what you’re saying but how you’re saying it.

Slow down and listen, even if the other person is irate. Neither person is going to get anywhere when all you’re doing is arguing at a higher volume. Acknowledge that you hear what they’re saying before you address your point. “What you’re saying is valid, I agree/disagree with x because…”. You can’t be inside the head of another person but you can look at different ways of reacting and creating a good environment for constructive communication.

If you then hear “The point is…” you can translate that as, “I may be wrong but this is the point I am going to force on you because I feel like you are missing it entirely you idiot.” Don’t rule out the idea that they could be correct.