“Why is everyone interrupting each other at the dinner table?”

This was my husband’s comment at his first holiday with my loud and opinionated family. Yes, we talk over each other and have lively conversation. But I really hadn’t even noticed because it was standard fare in my home. We love to debate, challenge each other, and yes…interrupt each other. In my family, interrupting was a sign of friendliness and openness. It meant you were engaged in the conversation.

But not everyone is comfortable with this practice and some consider it rude. Interrupters can also be considered annoying, especially if you are an introvert. Introverts think a long time before they speak. When they get ready to say something, they don’t want to be interrupted because they feel their information is important and they want to be heard.

So if you are someone who is interrupted, here are a few things you can do to stop this from happening more often:

  • Don’t take too long to get to your point. Interruptions can happen when people become impatient with you getting to the point. Are you giving too many details, wandering off point and frustrating the person who is trying to listen?
  • Interrupt the interrupter and say something like, “I’d like to finish my point before you comment.”
  • Try not to speak in circles and practice being concise. Ask yourself, does this happen often with other people? If the answer is yes, try to identify why this is happening.

Now if you are the one who interrupts, consider these tips:

  • Be aware of how often you interrupt and try not to do it.
  • Apologize to the person, stop and tell them to go ahead and talk.

Listen to this week’s episode of The Dr. Linda Mintle Show for more ideas for building strong relationships through conversation.

Hey, stop interrupting me

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