Wednesday, March 21, 2012

16 Pet Peevery Lane

Warning: trigger alert

Have you ever interrupted someone while they were talking, telling a story, making a comment, to say something you were so excited to add it couldn't wait until the other person was finished, so you raised your voice over the top of theirs, squashed their words, and made the conversation about what you had to say?

I've done it. On occasion. I do try to apologize for it after the fact.

Have you ever interrupted someone while they were talking to you, telling a story, making a comment, by raising your voice over the top of theirs, squashing their words, and introducing an entirely different topic than the one the person you've just interrupted was discussing?

Think back.

Have you?

Have you ever interrupted someone so often they stop talking altogether? Or were you too deafened by your own voice to notice you were the only one speaking anymore?

Interrupting someone mid-sentence is rude and unacceptable. Rather than focusing on what you might have contributed to the conversation, the person interrupted is left thinking and feeling one of three things:

1)  They are unimportant to you.
2)  They do not have your respect or your attention.
3)  You are a narcissistic jerk in love with your own voice and thoughts.

Just. Stop. It.

Or you might find, eventually, that the only one left in the room listening is you.


Gaelyn said...

I sure interrupt less often than I used to. Yet it is an art to just listen. I like to talk, it's what I do for a living. But you are so right, it's Rude.

Shari said...

Strange. I've been in a terrible mood the last couple of days, grinding my teeth over exactly this topic. I've noticed a pattern of certain people in my life actually physically walking away into another room when I start to talk, sometimes even starting to talk to someone else while I'm trying to finish a sentence (even if it's in answer to a question they asked!) It's seriously gotten bad enough I don't care to talk around them at all.

a.eye said...

Long ago, I noticed Oprah doing this to ALL of her guests ALL the time. I made a note to not ever interrupt people the way she does.

Although, recently, I have noticed that I am starting to interrupt people a bit again.

Thanks for the reminder.

alienbody said...

I do interrupt occasionally, often to add to the conversation. I still don't like that I do it. I am interrupted, especially by some people, a lot. I'm pretty sure I'm uninteresting to them. Beneath them. Whatever. Meh...

Laine Griffin said...

Have you been hanging out with my husband? This is so him lately.

Barfly said...

Let's talk about something else. Something

cdnkaro said...

This is one of my pet peeves as well, though I'll admit I sometimes notice myself being guilty of the same obnoxiousness. I do take the time to apologize though. Good reminder!

Bon said...

This is also one of my peeves - and it infuriates me. I have caught myself doing it and always apologize after.

My daughter does this sometimes. I grok that it's part of being a burgeoning teen. I also know that stamping this tendency flat is important. You can be assertive and still polite.

Which is, I think, a message that kids are not being taught nowadays.
Weren't you told from a young age that interrupting is rude, that is makes the other person feel bad/mad/homicidal?

Maybe that is at the bottom of this epidemic of over-talkers?

I don't know. I have no answer. Except perhaps this tastytasty box of Ex-Lax Chip cookies to offer the really rotten members of that particular tribe?

Lucy said...

Gosh, I understand this all too well,I try to explain it to my husband along with remembering it myself, the art of listening is so important!

Celeste Neumann said...

No, I don't do that - at least I haven't done it for 20 years. It's that language I speak when I'm not reading your blog.
In German, the active verb wanders to the very end of the subordinate clause. So you're never sure what some means until they finish saying it.
"Imagine, if you will, that this an example of what I say would be."
The Germans interrupt each other all the time, because they can antipate what each other will say. I still - after all these years - cannot do that. Everybody thinks I'm a good listener, but I assure it's all deceit. I'd simply be lost if I butted into the conversation. Maybe we should go back to Old English - it's exactly like modern-day German.

Peaceful Warrior said...

Good points made by all above, so I don't need to say anything more, but I

If someone talks over another without waiting until that person has finished, clearly they are either rude, thoughtless or egoic. Try and avoid them in future...

A conversation is a two way dialogue and therefore as alienbody says, a responsive comment can add to the flow of the dialogue rather than letting it be a monologue, rant or sermon.

However, for the sake of argument there may well be a specific reason to butt in (like the house is on fire) so that may feel like the more pressing reason to speak over....but in other circumstances it is better to listen rather than assume you can predict what they are about to say, or will say and then even worse, what it all means and what should be done about it, all based upon an assumption.

It may be that the conversation needs the odd thrown in comment, for the speaker to be aware that the listener is actually listening, but in the main body language will prove that. If you nod etc, and eye contact gives powerful clues too. So if someone is looking elsewhere or texting, fiddling with something etc when you speak they are not listening to you either, possibly not interested.

And those people that keep saying the line, 'Yer know' every so often or even worse, three times per sentence, then they clearly are neither listening or paying attention when they speak, because if they were being attentive to your reactions, they would know..

Manners dictate a level of conduct in these Matters, so as the comment above says, Maybe we should go back to Olde English....

A great debate triggered here Jane. Something we all do well to consider.

Big hugs.

Masked Mom said...

I think this is one of those human foibles of which we are all sometimes guilty, but awareness is definitely the key. And being around someone who does it perpetually (for example, Cranky Ex-Boss Lady or several of my male coworkers) can be not only annoying but actually toxic, I think. It completely undermines any potential--or desire--for real connection.

Jenn and Casey said...

I do interrupt sometimes, but I try really hard not to because it annoys me to. When I do, it's usually because I am so excited about xyz and want to put in my two cents. But I'm working on it. My pet peeve is when you say something and the person chimes in with THEIR experience with xyz without validating anything you said.

A.P. Delchi said...

Does it count if all you say is " Hell yes! " , or " Good for you ! " ?