Interrupting People Is Super Not Cool

Interrupting People Is Super Not Cool August 23, 2022

Ever run into someone who interrupts you, like a lot? You listen to them for 5 to 10 minutes, then you get a chance to contribute to the conversation, and halfway through your first sentence, they cut you off. Most of us know at least one person like this. I’ve known people who will cut you off and elevate their voice over you if you try to finish your sentence. If you are like me, you generally avoid interacting with people like this.

Their habit of cutting you off mid-sentence is not only generally unpleasant, it’s super not cool.

Some Things To Consider

If you find that you are among those who, with force and verve, cut people off when they are talking, consider some of the following points:

When you cut someone off, you are telling them that what you have to say is more important than what they have to say.

Ok so fair enough, maybe what you have to say is important. Maybe if they don’t stop immediately and listen to what you have to say, they will walk around in squalor the rest of their days. But if not, let the other person finish their sentence. If you do cut them off, it should be for a really good reason, and your impatience isn’t a good reason. If you keep doing it, you will start to gain a reputation for being a pompous… well you know what. And you don’t want that do you?

Interrupting people demonstrates that you aren’t patient enough to hear the full thought of others.

I do get it, sometimes people will go on and on. It’s like they are trying to fit a whole year’s worth of words into a single conversation. If that’s the case, a tactful interruption is understandable. But if someone has only used up two of their five-sentence quota and you cut them off, then you might just be too impatient. What I mean to say is, you are too impatient and that is super not cool.

Stopping someone mid-sentence to correct minor irrelevant details just makes you sound like a Mr. Knowitall.

I do understand that sometimes details matter. But pick your battles. If you have to stop someone over and over again because they just can’t seem to get all the details right, then you might need to dial back the persnickety. Rather than being impressed, your colleague is probably giving you a mental “Mr. Knowitall” award. And that is an award that makes people not want to be around you. Slow down, let them say some inaccurate things. Then pick some key inaccuracies for purposes of advancing a productive conversation.

Interrupting people because you think they are stupid and have nothing of value to add to the conversation makes you more dumber.

We all know that it’s hard for you to be around your intellectual inferiors, but if you can’t learn anything from uneducated people, then you aren’t as smart as you thought you were. Dumb people are super easy to learn from. It’s those highly educated Ph.D. types that are hard to understand. Some of the most interesting things I have learned, I learned from homeless people with very little education. Unfortunately, we can’t spend all of our time walking around talking with homeless people. However, I’ve found that being intentional about talking with people from different walks of life is invaluable.

 

Conclusion

Interrupting people robs you of getting to know a person more thoroughly. If you regularly interrupt someone, they will learn that you are not the kind of person who wants to get to know them. So if you are someone who interrupts people a lot and you feel lonely or you feel like no one understands you, it may be because you don’t do what is necessary to get to know other people. Getting to know someone well involves talking about their likes and dislikes, interests, ideas, and hobbies. Fleshing that out requires give and take and an actual interest in the other person. When you interrupt someone you are showing them that you aren’t interested in their likes and dislikes, interests, ideas, and hobbies. So don’t be surprised when they aren’t interested in yours.

Finally, interrupting people is disrespectful. Even if a person doesn’t have much to say, listen to them anyway. When you do this, it doesn’t mean that you think they are saying something true or profound. Rather, by listening to them you are telling them that you respect them in virtue of their being a rational agent made in the image of God. If you have no other reason to listen to someone, do it for this reason.


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