Why People Interrupt So Much! 5 Clever Ways To Deal With Chronic Interrupters
You’ve bravely decided to speak up at a work meeting about the idea you’ve been working on. Great! As soon as you speak the first sentence, a co-worker rudely interrupts with, “So I have an idea!”
Well, you’re not alone. We all have had those run-ins with people who love to interrupt without zero regard for others’ feelings and communication styles. It’s not only rude, frustrating, and annoying but it can be counterproductive to having smooth communication.
Whether at work, at a family get-together, or with our significant other, we are bound to meet a chronic interrupter. At times, even you can be guilty of being one!
While an occasional interruption can be irritating, it probably doesn’t matter much when you’re dealing with a chronic interrupter. Now that can be a different story. Those constant interruptions can not only get super annoying after a point but can severely affect your relationship, disrupt your thinking process, and cause emotional distress.
In this blog, we’re taking a look at how to cleverly and effectively deal with a chronic interrupter. Before we begin, let’s first understand why people interrupt so much!
Why Do People Interrupt So Much?
We want to be heard. That’s it. And when we feel we’re not being listened to, it can be the beginning of a very slippery slope. Constant interruptions from the same person may not only begin to show a lack of respect towards you but can also show a sense of being self-centered.
When you’re constantly interrupted, you may eventually begin to feel unimportant and unworthy. These kinds of feelings can ultimately lead to emotional and mental distress.
So why do people interrupt so much? Are there any causes?
Some people’s tendencies to constantly interrupt stem from childhood experiences, family backgrounds, and even cultural backgrounds. For some people, interrupting others may seem natural but other interrupters are born out of impatience. These interrupters are goal-driven and want to get straight to the point without making any small or polite talk.
They want to control and they believe that interrupting while others are talking is a good way to take control of the situation or conversation.
Some interrupters are just too excited to hold in their thoughts until the other is done speaking. Because of their uncontrolled excitement, they interrupt others. And other chronic interrupters? Well, they aren’t even aware of their constant interruptions and how they are affecting the dynamic of a relationship.
Fun Fact! Did you know that men interrupt women more than they seem to interrupt other men? In a study conducted by George Washington University, it was found that women were interrupted by men 33% more than other men. Meanwhile, women are likely to interrupt men only once in a conversation.
However, regardless of gender, the truth is that interruptions during a conversation – either work or personal – can affect your mental state. Whether aware or not, chronic interrupters seem to assert their power and ideas at your expense. In many cases, interruptions are purely selfish.
Another fun fact about interruptions is that many emotionally abusive people or manipulators seem to use interruptions as a tool to control a submissive person. So to avoid being submissive and manipulated in a conversation, here are some ways to deal with chronic interrupters.
How To Deal With Chronic Interrupters?
1. Let It Go
I know, I know! How can you let go without putting across your point? Well, sometimes, this is the only way. When dealing with a chronic interrupter, one of the best (and clever) ways is to just take a deep breath and let it go. Communication styles differ from person to person and I’ve mentioned above as well that some people may only interrupt when they are too excited to hold in their thoughts. So, let it be. Let them say their point first and after they are done, you can continue.
2. Set Expectations Beforehand
Regardless of the situation where you face an interrupter, what you need to do is set expectations beforehand. Make it clear that you will find any interruptions during the conversation. How you do that is entirely up to you though. You can use a round-about way or you can be straightforward with your approach. This is also a good way to set boundaries and make sure you can speak your mind without being interrupted.
3. Continue With Your Point
*Sigh* After all is said and done, there are still interrupters who are likely to disregard your wishes and continue to make interruptions without zero regard. So if they are continuing to interrupt, why can’t you do the same? Sometimes being clever is more important than being polite. If you’re being interrupted, ignore the interrupter, and continue with your point. If you need to, then you can pause for a second, say, “one moment, I’m still speaking” and finish your point. Yes, yes, it’s childish but sometimes you can only fight fire with fire.
4. Address The Interruption
There are times when no amount of strategy or technique can work to stop the interrupter. In such cases, the only way to deal with a chronic interrupter is to address the interruption, head-on. This way means you can’t be sweet. You need to be firm and direct to address the rudeness. Be blunt the next time someone interrupts in the middle of your speech. Be straightforward and be firm by directly addressing the interrupter.
5. Use Humor To Defend
Staying calm while dealing with an interrupter is a good strategy but so is being humorous and using humor to defend your point. If you’re being interrupted for the nth time, then just smile, laugh, and don’t get defensive. Let the interrupter know that you’re not going to play this game but are finding their interruptions quite amusing. A light sarcasm or a joke can go a long way to let the interrupter know they are being rude and they need to stop.
Remember, you have the choice to walk away too!
Sometimes, there’s no reason to stick around for someone who’s being rude to you or disrespecting you with their constant interruptions. If you’re being pestered by a chronic interrupter, the best way is to walk away from them.
Dealing with a chronic interrupter is not easy but you deserve to put your point across in a conversation without being interrupted every two seconds.
I hope these above ways to deal with a chronic interrupter will help you have a smooth conversation in your next meeting! For more, you can write to us at email@example.com or DM us on social media. You can also share your ways to deal with a chronic interrupter in the comments below!