BMD asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 1 decade ago

The interrupter... how to handle?

I have three people in my life right now who do not breath when they talk (you know the type?).

When I am on the phone with them, it's like I can't even answer a question without being interrupted. I like all three of them (one of them is my sister-in-law), and i have evaluated the situation to see if it might be me (I am the common denominator, ya know?), but I will listen intently to each of them, and then I will gently ease into speaking whether it be stating an opinion, answering a question and/or whatever it may be, and low and behold, she (all three of them will do this) will interrupt me. I sometimes just HOLD THE PHONE without talking .. adn then one of them will say "are you there?" And I'll say, "Oh yes, I am I was just listening... " And then they start up again (it' slike they don't get it). One of them in particular never wants to hear "my" stories, but she will GO ON AND ON AN ON about one of her stories... how does one handle this (gently)?


To Troy F: You answer is so helpful. The funny thing is that I (as many do) already knew that to be the answer, but I had an early, early morning conversation with one of the "interruptors" this morning (because we have a mutual couple friend who will be on TLC's Rock this Reception, and we were discussing it), and i was SO frustrated that I used this as a vent. The truth is that she is the type (well, at least one of them) that WILL not let me get a word in edge wise (regardless), but I will try your suggestion. Thanks again.

5 Answers

  • Troy F
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Realize that these people probably don't intend to be's just their conversational behavior. I know it's irritating, but try not to take it personally. Ligthen up just a bit and tolerate SOME of the interrupting...but here's how to get "a word in edgewise":

    1. when you've started talking and they start to interrupt, raise your finger and get just a little louder and keep talking. In other words, don't let them interrupt you. On the phone, keep talking, but get just a tad louder...make it clear that you're not listening to them while you're finishing your sentence by ignoring the interruption.

    2. When they cut you off, hold your thought...then when they come up for air, say..."okay, let me finish what I started to tell you..." and go right back to what you started to say.

    3. Interrupt the interruption...As they start to interrupt, say "let me finish my sentence", or "now, hold on...." and keep talking without skipping a beat.

    4. You might have to get a little more assertive if these ideas don't work. You can wait till their finished with what they're saying and then say..." interrupted me. What I was trying to say was....."

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  • 1 decade ago

    My spouse is a terrible interruptor....not that he goes on and on, but I don't think I've finished more than 10 uninterrupted sentences in 24 years of marriage. I know he's ADD and low in the impulse control department, but it does annoy me. I have become more assertive about it...usually say "if I could finish my sentence, I would say....." or "let me finish my sentence first". I don't do it in a snotty manner, just let him know that I wasn't finished. This truly has helped. I will admit it is easier to do in person than over the phone. I thought Troy's suggestions were great.

    Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Thanks so much for that question - it helped me too! All my in laws do it but my sister in law is the worst. She is CONSTANTLY interupting. If you start to tell a story before you can even start to get into what you want to say she is cutting you off to tell her story (which is similar to what you were about to say but she just takes OVER!!!). It is soooo frustrating I know! And I like the idea of remembering what you were saying and then say well what I was GOING TO SAY was...... that is classic and I am sure after you do it enough they will get the hint. I am going to try that too!!

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  • 1 decade ago

    There's no fix to your problem with these people. The only thing you can do is just don't plan on talking. I know 2 people like that and I just don't plan to have anything to say when I talk to's just easier and they don't listen anyway.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Just hang up next time.

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