“I can’t stand it when people talk over me.”

"Oblique Motion" by Mimi Stuart
Live the Life you Desire

When you deal with someone who interrupts a lot, you need to learn how to keep talking anyway, without being angry, sullen, or hurt. Or you can say, “Wait! wait! I’m not done…” and then continue with your story.

There’s no need to give an evil glare and announce, “You’re interrupting me again.” That puts you in the critical parent role and the interrupter in the scolded child role—a combination, which leads to hurt, anger, and embarrassment.

Instead, interrupt back in a passionate way, showing that you’re excited about what you’re saying. Of course, you want to make sure that the other person gets a chance to talk too.

People differ greatly in how comfortable they are interrupting in order to get a word into a conversation. In Italy, you will never be heard unless you’re willing to jump in to make your voice heard because several will be talking simultaneously. People who have been raised in quieter, more “polite” environments can benefit from learning to assert themselves around enthusiastic conversationalists.

On the other hand, passionate interrupters might benefit by exercising patience and listening skills. But you’ll need to interrupt assertively to suggest something like that.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “I can never get off the phone.”

Read “Conversation and Active Listening: ‘It seems like I do all the talking.’”

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5 thoughts on ““I can’t stand it when people talk over me.”

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