When it comes to a conversation, the last word is way too important to some people.
The thing is, the last word is really just that: The last word.
- It’s not the most valuable word.
- It’s not the right word.
- It isn’t even the most interesting word.
- It’s simply the final comment in an exchange.
The willingness to listen to the other person and then make your point, allowing them to have the last word, is a sign of confidence and professionalism. In my experience, once the dialogue has run it’s course and you have given your best opinion, you can weaken not only your point, but also your reputation, by insisting on the last word.
The last word on winning
Whilst there are a number of reasons why a particular person may insist on having the last word, commonly we find online (on blogs and in forums) that there’s a belief that by doing so, they they have somehow “won.” They assume that their point is magically victorious, simply because it was made last, without response.
The reality is that each person reading a thread of comments, decides who they agree with, based on how well a point was made or whether a point was based on something they believe in – Not on the chronological order of the points. After all, we often see people having the last word, purely because their comment was seen as irrelevant, off topic or an attempt to self-promote.