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janbb's avatar

Do you like it when an intimate finishes your sentences?

Asked by janbb (44824 points ) January 1st, 2013

Was just thinking about this. One of my exe’s complaints about me was that I would guess at the end of his sentences and not let him finish. I have a close friend now who does that with me and I find it very endearing as he is often right. I take it as a sign that he knows me well and is on the same wavelength. My ex found it intrusive or controlling – not quite sure what. How do you react when someone you know well finishes your sentences?

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24 Answers

tom_g's avatar

It’s infuriating and a complete deal breaker.

On a related note – a coworker of mine has a severe stutter. Try to finish her sentence and it’s a lesson in why people shouldn’t do that – even if you’re in a serious relationship. There is something to be said for considering a relationship to be two individuals who thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.

bob_'s avatar

I usually like it when Google does it, but sometimes I’m all “WOULD YOU PLEASE LET ME TYPE MY GODDAMNED SEARCH MYSELF?”.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think it can be endearing and certainly when a relationship is new and fresh and you are in that ‘honeymoon phase’. I find it irritating when my husband tries to preempt a sentence of mine and the ending he assumed is wrong. If he is right, doesn’t bother me really.

JennyPrince's avatar

My sister would do that to me a lot and I didn’t like it. She would always interrupt what I would say and think she knew where i was going and was often wrong. It happened so much that I couldn’t bear to be around her. She was also always correcting me and telling me I was wrong.

luigigurl's avatar

I don’t mind it usually, but occasionally it gets incredibly annoying. It’s like you never get to that nice feeling when you finish a thought

linguaphile's avatar

It depends on how, when and how often. If it’s during an argument, it comes across as condescending, or if the tone is mocking, I’d get really hurt. If it’s in a fun situation, a restaurant, at a carnival—- in a lighthearted tone, it would be endearing and wouldn’t bother me. I’d probably laugh out loud and have a fun comeback ready.

If it became excessive sentence-completing, I’d feel like, “Okay, okay so you find me annoying.” I agree with the others, when it’s a wrong assumption or putting words in my mouth, it can be irritating.

gailcalled's avatar

No and I don’t do it to others (although sometimes I will take bets w. myself to see whether I can guess where the speaker is going.)

hearkat's avatar

I have this habit, as well. I think that for someone who might have some insecurity issues and a family member or partner finishes their sentences, it is perceived as demeaning (despite the intentions of the one finishing the sentence). I have been accused by more than one ex of being a know-it-all, so this helped me realize that perhaps there was some truth to it.

I have been not listened to enough in my life that I have made an effort to become a better listener. Having an undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences, I do know that one should allow a stutterer to finish their sentences, and that has helped me be a better listener, too. Perhaps that is something you could focus on. There’s the saying that we have two ear and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we speak.

I have a close friend who has other learning difficulties, and she does have a hard time with word-finding and she appreciates when I jump in with the word she’s looking for to help keep the conversation flowing. She likes that I ‘get’ her. When taking case histories from patients, the subtle differences between how they explain their symptoms can actually help us narrow down potential diagnoses, so I have to be careful to not ask leading questions or to jump to conclusions. It is very situation dependent.

burntbonez's avatar

I have my father’s problem in that I seem to forget where I am in a sentence as I go along. This has been happening to me more and more as I get older. My mother used to finish my father’s sentences, and it seemed to work for them. Occasionally he’d get chippy and tell her to be patient and he’d say what he meant to say. But it could be damned frustrating to hear these long pauses and of course, a vacuum wants to be filled. It was hard to resist trying to help him out by making suggestions of what he might want to say.

Now I find my mind seems to mysteriously go away in the middle of a sentence and I can’t remember where I was trying to go. I think it would be nice if there was someone to help me out, but there isn’t.

I think it would make a difference depending on whether they guessed right or wrong about where I was going. I don’t know if it would be endearing or not. To me, it just seems sort of practical or impatient. Depending on which it is, I’d like it or not.

cookieman's avatar

My wife speaks three languages and sometimes, for lack of a better phrase, gets “stuck” on her words. So I will sometimes complete her sentence if it is obvious what she’s trying to say.

She does the same with me occasionally. Not because I speak many languages, but because I’m a dope.

gailcalled's avatar

(^^^or because your mouth is stuffed full of cookies.)

cookieman's avatar

@gailcalled: mmph nm pdoo*
*this is true

augustlan's avatar

I’m the finisher, too, @janbb. My ex didn’t like it, and said I was always interrupting him. I learned to hold my tongue somewhat, but I’m still guilty of doing it sometimes. My husband doesn’t seem to mind, and I don’t generally mind when it’s done to me. If it was constant, I might.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t mind. It’s usually helpful. My mind doesn’t work that well any more. I have a harder time finishing sentences in speech. Maybe that’s why writing is more fun. No one knows how smoothly the words flow when I write.

bob_'s avatar

@wundayatta Oh, we know they’re flowing, buddy.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t mind usually. If it is a casual conversation or joking around especially I don’t mind. Sometimes when it is serious or an argument, and you want to finish a complete thought because you feel you are being misunderstood it can be annoying, because the whole reason there might be an argument is because of miscommunication and assumptions the other person is making about what you are thinking. I think in America northerners tend to do this more than other parts of the country, especially from large cities, but that is not an end all be all generalization. We tend to speak fast and if you aren’t getting it out fast enough we might finish your sentence, or help the sentence along faster so we can get our thoughts out on the topic too. Generally people think it is rude to not wait for someone else to finish their thoughts, but it is kind of a cultural norm in some areas of the country to not mind much when it is done, and conversations move very quickly, and bounce around from one topic to another and back. I also think women are better at this than men; bouncing from one topic to another and not getting frustrated easily.

If the other person finishes your sentence along with you then you both call “jinx.”

jonsblond's avatar

My husband does this sometimes. It’s a nice reminder that he knows me so well after all these years. I don’t mind at all.

Sunny2's avatar

Jumping in when the right word won’t appear is helpful when you go blank and a spouse is the one best able to know when that happens and how to fill in the blank. We do it frequently.

ucme's avatar

The only scenario in which i’d see this in a positive light is if I browsed through my family tree & found someone had escaped from prison, be cool & meant that they’d not finished their senten…okay, so it was long winded & crass!

janbb's avatar

I guess when my friend and I do it with each other, we each see it as a sign that we are in synch with each other’s thoughts. It often happens when we are planning something or about to change to a new topic. As I said, I take it with him as a sign that he knows how I think. I think my ex must have felt that I was impatient or a know-it-all? So there can be different ways of doing it or different interpretations put on it.

tom_g's avatar

@janbb – I should have qualified my answer above. When my wife occasionally finishes my sentence for me when we are alone, it can either be ok (we’re so similar, we are thinking the same thing) or disaster (that’s the complete opposite of what I was saying, and you interrupted me). But when an ex used to do this in public, I took it as completely controlling. It seemed to serve to….
– Take away my voice, which is all I have when I am attempting to communicate in public.
– It was a way of claiming that my experience was not fully mine.
– Often, the finishing of the sentence would me a shift in who was speaking. She would finish the sentence, and since she was now talking, the conversation was now focused on her, despite the fact that I had a lot more to say.

janbb's avatar

It is an interesting subject. Part of the issue w/ my ex and I was that we came from very different cultures with different conversstional styles,

wundayatta's avatar

What was the difference in cultures, @janbb? Is this something you discovered as the relationship went along, or did you know it from the beginning? Are we talking about different cultures within the US, or international different cultures?

I find this a very interesting subject, actually. I blame a difference in cultures for my breakup with my two girlfriends prior to meeting my wife. Both came from very large, Catholic families. They had very different attitudes about food, money and personal space than I did, coming from a small, protestant/jewish family. For me, these rise to the level of cultural differences, since they are unconscious attitudes about how life should be lived.

janbb's avatar

He is English and I am Jewish – our families had very different ways of doing many things.

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