Sometimes I'm a real 'chatty Cathy.' When I'm among my WOWs or WILLOWS, or close other friends, I keep up with the best of them.* I tend to interject when Excy is 'holding court,' because, frankly, he can talk too much or too long (Seriously. Ask anybody).
One thing I won't do is dominate the conversation or go on too long -- underneath it all, I am a bit of an introvert. I can only fully articulate my feelings on the written page. And arguments make me 'shut down.' I am getting better with age at speaking up. I wouldn't call myself a door-mat, by any means, but sometimes it takes an effort when it's a touchy subject.
In the '90s when I was at my last full-time job, I spent all my working days in meetings, interviewing people, on the phone, and writing and editing on the page and for videos. When I needed to write (newsletter, scripts, speeches, brochures, etc.), I was frustrated by constant interruptions. I finally made a sign and tried to establish guidelines of when I didn't mind being interrupted and when I'd be checking email, that kind of thing...of course, it didn't work that well. It's amazing how many people don't think a sign applies to them. They want what they want when they want it. "I saw your sign, and know you're working, but I just need to ask...."
My director was the worst. I guess she thought she had to " pop in for a sec" just to make sure I wasn't face-down on the desk catching a few ZZZZZs or cruising the internet.
The last thing I felt like doing when I got home was talking on the phone. So I started to take 'vows of silence' and refusing phone calls. A ringing phone never bothers me, anyway. I usually let 'the electronic butler' take a message and get back to the caller later. That can drive Excy crazy, since he can not NOT answer a ringing phone. Not to mention a friend who insists on calling just to 'chat' while out running errands. Drives me insane...but most of my friends respect my 'phone phobia,' and I don't mind a good long conversation if it's been awhile since I've seen someone.
Sometimes I spend a whole day not talking at all. No set day, just when I feel I need to refuel from a hectic pace. Honestly, with email and a writing tablet, it's not that difficult to go one day without talking. Excy doesn't mind, knowing I will go at least one full day without interrupting, and I am a captive audience. Unless you call a hastily scratched note an interruption...
* sometimes I catch myself interrupting, which I hate to do, but it's the only way to get a word in edge-wise, at times, with a group of excitable women (particularly ones with wineglasses in their hands)...