Having a balanced conversation with someone who has cultivated a habit of interrupting your sentences is frustratingly paralyzing. For the sake of preserving the goals of the conversation we’re having, we often have to just be patient and allow others to interrupt us into a realm of annoyance.
Brutally calling them out on their ways may bring an important conversation to an end. If there is a goal a conversation is bound to achieve, such as making plans or deals, being blunt in your approach of addressing those who cut you off isn’t likely to produce favorable results.
This article is about two ways you can curb others’ habits of cutting you off while you speak.
Preserving the Social Comfort of Those Who Interrupt Us Is Sometimes Necessary
Common techniques for addressing those who interrupt our speech with thoughts they just can’t wait to express typically leave that person uncomfortable.
Saying, “Sorry, I wasn’t finished,” can be interpreted as a snide remark. Your counterpart may become irritable and bitter; as they may not perceive their act of cutting you off as seriously as you do. In thinking that you may be picking on them for making an innocent mistake, your blunt attempt to make them stop may degrade the quality of the conversation.
There’s not much use to stopping someone from interrupting you only to degrade the quality of the conversation that you’re having. You’d be trading one inconvenient thing for another in such a case.
An optimal goal should thereby be one which eliminates a person’s desire to interrupt you as well as to preserve the positive conversational flow in the process.
Eliciting a Charitable Response Preserves Their Comfort and Pride
Rather than accusing them of cutting you off every time you try to get a word in, it may make sense to keep yourself as the topic while you try to curb their nasty habit.
Calling for the person you’re speaking with to be charitable in their ways of talking seems to work well in them letting you speak.
In this case, eliciting a “charitable response” from the person who keeps interrupting you would entail expressing that you’re having trouble getting a word in. Preface your dialogue by stating that you can’t keep up with them in speech, and that you may need some time to gather your thoughts and present them in full.
Establish yourself as the person lacking the ability to get the word in, rather than accusing those you speak with to be interruptive talkers.
Though this may put a temporary dent in your pride, it seems to be a positive approach in terms of influencing those who keep interrupting you to stop.
Pretending to be slower than the person who keeps interrupting you for the benefit of having successful, positive conversations is a trade worth making. You’ll hopefully entice these individuals to ease up (for at least a little bit) as their focus shifts from saying their next like to caring for your inability to “keep up” with them.
One of the reasons why this approach works well is due to a potential act of playing to their pride.
By stating that you’re having trouble getting a word in, you’d inherently label your counterpart as being quicker than yourself in conversations.
These people would likely appreciate being labeled as quick witted and speedy in their communication. In return for that positive label, they’d leave some breathing room for you to get a word in.
They’d already have won the conquest of being the wittier speaker. Thereby their desires to prove things with their dialogue may lessen. You’d make them feel comfortable in their role as a partner in conversation, which seems to influence such individuals to ease up on the metaphorical gas pedal.
Punishing by Withdrawing May Work Well in the Long Term
Keeping up with the overall goal of not introducing dangerous emotion to your act of stopping others from interrupting you, the long term picture is worth taking a look at.
If the individual with the bad habit of interrupting you is someone you talk to on a regular basis, it is then necessary to think of strategies which help them curb their long term habit of doing so.
Simple, yet consecutive and dependable withdrawal from conversations with these individuals may be necessary to show them that their habit of interrupting others doesn’t bring favorable results.
Discipline those who keep cutting you off not by bluntly addressing their annoying habit, but by simply punishing it with your lack of presence.
As soon as such a person interrupts you to the point of annoyance, find your way out of the conversation with them.
Start becoming disinterested and bored. Find things to do other than to speak with these people, and become generally aloof to the points they’re trying to propagate.
The person interrupting you will likely be smart enough to correlate their act of being forceful in getting their word in with your disinterest in what they have to say. It will be a difficult habit for them to curb, but your implicit ways of punishing that habit of theirs will do well to meaningfully motivate them to stop.