Why some people hit, or touch, other people while talking
If you've ever been with someone who, while talking, taps your arm, you have been listening to a very boring person who gets interrupted a lot. I call these people "hitters", but sometimes all they do is reach over and touch your arm while they're talking. If that's you, please stop.
Here is why people hit while talking
• Boring and tedious people can recognize when someone is no longer listening, and need to be brought back, with a hit. The hit always occurs when attention is wandering, or when the other person thinks that the story is (thankfully!) almost over.
• Boring and tedious people are on the lookout for being interrupted. When a person is used to telling boring stories that typically are interrupted, they try to regain attention physically. They tap, or hit. It's the equivalent of a judge pounding the gavel at the bench, demanding order. They are trying to communicate that they still have the floor, that they have more to say. And more, and more...
If you're a hitter, then this is what I suggest: stop hitting, and start engaging in conversation. If you're a great speaker, up on a stage, of course people will listen to you without needing to be reminded. But chances are that you aren't Mark Twain. So if you're talking to people, instead of launching into a long, boring, and tedious story, and trying to regain attention by swatting people, keep your stories short. Rambling on and on, and trying to get to the point is the reason that most people aren't listening to you, or they are interrupting you. Yes, do tell people that you lived in Timbuktu. But then stop. If that reminds someone of a long and boring story, and they start hitting you, walk away.
Posted by Brad Hall