The Five Types of Interruptors

Time for another Pet Peeve … this one is really high up on my list, I would say about #3.  This Pet Peeve, though, is a real blood pressure buster for me.  It’s nothing compared to the “space between exclamatory sentence and exclamation point”-thing; and gossipers ‘aint got nothing on it either.  What could be so bad, you ask?  People who excessively interrupt.

I’m not referring to people that accidentally walk into a room while you are putting the moves on your girlfriend in hopes that she will finally put out.  I’m also not talking about a person who has to stop a conversation for a bathroom break or to let their wife know they’re going to be home late.  Nope, I’m just talking about people who in the course of conversation cannot stop themselves from cutting in with their own, random bullshit.

In my mind, there are five major types of interruptors.  With the exception of the first, they are all enough to make me need a blood pressure cuff to make sure I’m not about to stroke out; although, each have their own subtle nuances to the craft of being an arrogant asshole.

#1  The occasional, harmless interrupter.  This person doesn’t actually realize that they are interrupting, and if they do they usually stop and apologize for it.  This happens to me once in a while and it’s usually when I have been around people that interrupt a lot – I just get used to feeling like I need to get my word in before someone else talks me out of the room.  While interruptions of all kinds are pretty damn annoying, this one is probably the least abominable.

#2  On the lower end of the annoyance spectrum, there is also the person who just plain interrupts.  This person was very likely raised in a barn, or a family of uneducated and impolite hillbillies, because they really believe it is just an Okay thing to do.  Very likely, there is nothing behind their interruptions except for the fact that they have absolutely no manners or common sense.  I don’t have much to say about these people except for the fact that they need to get some formal training in social etiquette.

#3  The corporate executive who always has to cut you off to take a phone call.  This interruptor may or may not actually be a corporate executive, but they sure as hell think they are.  While I get that sometimes people do have important phone calls to take, nothing is more annoying than getting that “one second” finger held up in your face while a phone call is taken.  Every time this has happened to me, the phone call could have waited, reminding me of how little importance I and our conversation was to the interruptor.  The thing these interruptors can never seem to grasp is that just because you have a cell phone does not mean you always have to answer it.

#4  That asshole who is clearly not paying attention to you and then interrupts you.  This person is horrible on two levels:  first, they are not paying attention to you; second, they then interrupt you.  You can always tell this is happening because prior to interrupting you to talk about their own bull shit, they’ll periodically go “uh huh” .. “yeah,” while looking at something else (like a cell phone or television).  This is particularly frustrating simply because an interruption, alone, says that what you have to say is not important, but to precede that by clearly not paying attention – well, I have to ask why are we talking if I am that uninteresting to you?

#5  The worst of all interrupters is that complete douche that not only interrupts you, but often finishes your sentences and/or pays absolutely no attention to what you have to say the entire time while finishing what you have to say.  This is so goddamned annoying:  when people interrupt me and then finish my sentence for me.  The other day I was talking to someone about our plans in a few weeks and he kept interrupting me and finishing my sentence.  By the end of the fifteen minutes of this back and forth process rife with frustration, our plans were no more set in stone than they had been before the conversation even began – simply because he kept interrupting me and finishing my sentences with the opposite of what I was actually saying.  To this interruptor, it is not only a matter of “why are we talking if I am that uninteresting to you?,” but also a matter of “if you already know the answer, why the fuck did you ask?”

If you are a friend or family member of me, it is very possible that I am referring to you in this post, simply because so many of you do these things all the time.  To you:  please stop.  There are even a few of you that fall under #s 4 and 5, which begs I ask myself the question:  why the hell am I hanging around you?  I’m not suggesting that we all go out and tell the interruptors of the world that they are stark-raving douche bags – that would be uncouth.  I’m simply suggesting that we all consider whether we are doing one of these five interruptions and mend our ways.


  1. JR F

    Some were hostile about this article. One of the most absurd comments made was “Maybe no one is interested in what you have to say”. Yet, they read the whole thing and then commented on it. People don’t know how ridiculous they sound because they’re having a snit fit. The key word is “rude” and interrupting is exactly that. Some have resorted to lecturing and even name calling, not seeing how childish and petty they are. I don’t blame you for being upset with people interrupting. Not only is it ill mannered, it’s invalidating.

  2. Manny

    You sound like an annoying bitch.

  3. Hailey

    While I find this article quite informative and amusing, it would be much easier to share to all audiences if the expletives weren’t added. I completely understand that that they are part of your lexicon, and are there for color, flair and excitement, many of us don’t utilize such language in our everyday lives, and certainly don’t take the Lord’s name in vain. This article would be of more use, also, if you’d understand the mentality of those that interrupt, or realize that in instance #5 perhaps you are speaking too slowly. And quite frankly, maybe they don’t really want to talk to you. Time to move on.

  4. addictionplace

    Lmao at number two “this person was most likely raised in a barn” Gah! The most common type of interrupter i have met. Soooo freaking irritating!!!

  5. William

    When it comes to number 5 or any other example for interruption you should take into account several things.
    Are you rambling on?
    How long have you been talking?
    Are you being uninteresting and predictable?
    Are you switching subjects constantly?
    Are you actually trying to have a conversation or are you trying to be the only one talking?

    Just some food for thought.

    1. h

      Here’s some more food for thought….none of these things is a reason for rudeness, and interrupting is rude.

      1. Manny

        Here’s a thought, maybe no one wants to hear what you have to say.

  6. Laura Latham

    Hi, I couldn’t help but notice that I have the same conflict with my boyfriend. Whenever he asks me a question like, “Why do you do that?”, I begin answering his question with the intention of steering the conversation in a positive direction. When I begin to say “Because there’s a…—“, and he interrupts my response saying “See, this is why I don’t think we’re getting along; because you always find excuses and it’s never going to get anywhere.” What I was going to say was,”Because there was a reason behind it. It concerned me when…and I want to support you.” It’s so frustrating when I’m dating a guy who won’t even let me respond to his own questions and knows he’s interrupting but doesn’t care because he thinks that what he’s about to say is important even though it’s yet another negative complaint. That’s like the next level up! He says he would treat me better if we were married. Is that true?

    1. Jessica

      No!!! It gets worse. If you’re having problems dating, DO NOT GET MARRIED OR PREGNANT!!!

    2. Summer

      All the documentation says do not get married and cut off contact—wish I had some notice. He was a real charmer before we married. Living 100 miles away I did not see him every day as we both had our work and lives. He managed to fool me for a year and I am really stupid not wanting the kids to not have supervision after we married since he worked out of town a few days a week and they would then have to go to foster care.

    3. Knippy

      NOOOOO! Get away! He is a controller!
      Your life will be a frustrating existence in hell.
      I’ve been married to somebody like that for 37 years, and it is a prison. It’s not so easy to leave a marriage when you have heavy duty health issues (maybe caused by the long term stress?)

    4. Jeanne Faulkner-Karateka

      No. He’ll treat you less respectfully after you’re married than he treats you while he’s still courting you. The only reason men get married in the first place is because courtship requires effort and self discipline, and men get tired of having to engage in these behaviors just to get regular, reliable sex. So they get married. Interrupting will get worse, and you’ll eventually require blood pressure medication just to survive the frustration. That, and your fantasies will no longer be sexual; they’ll become homicidal.

      1. Bob

        “The only reason men get married in the first place is because courtship requires effort and self discipline, and men get tired of having to engage in these behaviors just to get regular, reliable sex. So they get married.”
        You’ve got some serious issues lady. I hope your lesbian lover can help you out.

  7. Sam Armytage

    my mother talks at the same time as me and when i ask her any question she goes silent. she can’t focus and changes subject.if i walk off she says i’m rude.

  8. Summer

    My husband has to make some type of noises upon entering a room, or injecting himself into my conversations with others, every time. Whether it is humming, verbalizing some type of annoying sound effects, body sounds, burping or passing gas, loudly, or by cutting me off from what I am doing, watching TV, reading, playing with the animals. The interruption leads absolutely nowhere, no conversation, no statement, no question, he has nothing to say. It appears as if it is just done because he feels so important that he has to announce himself when he enters and everyone must divert their full attention to him. I have asked him at least a hundred times a day to please stop yet he repeats the behaviour, often within 5 seconds of me requesting he stop. The only time I have ever had any peace was when he worked out of town 3 days a week. Different job now and every day around 5pm my anxiety starts building, dreading his arrival home. Now, I am mostly bedridden due to my failing health I am at a loss to be able to move myself around his annoyances and because he sold my car I am his captive audience that has no choice beyond dying to be free of it. I have practiced ignoring it, but after 50 or so interruptions in a 10 minute period I am hard pressed to hold it together. He certainly emulates #4 very well and even when I remove all external distractions during a conversation with him he will make his own, like looking at the turned off TV like it’s going to come alive any minute or his favorite is asking the dogs if they need to go potty. Even if they just came in. He repeats the potty question until he gets the dogs barking effectively ending any interaction with me. The rest of the time the dogs do not exist even when very sick he ignores them. It really has gotten hopeless at this point, but I’m curious to see replies.

    1. Jessica

      It sounds like you’re in an abusive relationship. He’s isolated you from the outside world by selling your car, and now your health has deteriorated over this. You NEED TO GET OUT, if you can. It’s probably going to escalate to something more dangerous in the future.

    2. Jeanne Faulkner-Karateka

      I seriously suspect that your failing health has at least SOMETHING to do with your unhappiness and frustration from having thrown away so many good years of your life with this ambulating turd. Get the divorce, and impose, impose, impose on any and all relatives that you have to get away from this man and rent or buy your own home elsewhere. Your health will improve the more you’re away from this soul-killing monster, and, as you socialise more with non-psychopathic people, your mood will gradually lift. You might even experience genuine happiness again. Find any kind of work you can, using familial connections, if possible, to find it. Just get out of this evil man’s life. He’s a passive aggressive sociopath, and is trying to destroy you emotionally.

  9. Melissa

    Important point:
    Adults who interrupt frequently may have ADD/ADHD. Talking is a form of hyperactivity and interrupting is a type of impulsivity. This doesn’t excuse the behaviors but insight can be tremendously helpful. Many people do not intentionally interrupt and would appreciate the opportunity to communicate better. See below for more info.

  10. Marilyn

    I admit, I interrupt my bf a *lot.* He will go around the world to tell a story that could be told in three well-constructed sentences. He also loses track of what he’s trying to say and fills the gaps with ‘uhhh…uhh…the…the..uhhh’ and it drives me crazy. His verbal communications are just so fractured that it’s exhausting, and it’s getting worse because he won’t go to the doctor. I’m not a doctor, but I noticed after he had a blood transfusion about a year and a half ago (needed four pints then and four pints about six months later) that he was more on point in his verbal communication and he was able to stay awake instead of passing out as soon as he sat down after work. We’ve been together for five years. He wasn’t like this during the first two years. Had he been, we would not have made it to six months. He really needs to go to the hospital. I think he has lost blood again and the lack of blood flow to his brain is having a negative impact on his brain function. It makes me worry about how difficult communication will be when we are old. I know I lack patience. Always have. I’m trying to work on it because I’m not proud of myself at all for being so short on it with someone I love who also has a medical problem. Any advice is welcome, even if it isn’t something I will like to hear. Thanks in advance.

  11. rb

    What about the people that made it clear that they have no interest in talkong to you, won’t give the time of day, and don’t want anyone else to talk to you either, and when you’re having a conversation they come over amd interrupt, then just take over the conversation and push you to the side.

    1. Granny PJ

      That is the problem I am looking to solve. I’m talking to a coworker about a work related issue, and someone else comes up and they just start talking as if I do not exist. they start carrying a conversation as if I’m not even there. It happens all the time. Since the only constant in the situation is me – I’m wondering how I might be causing this, since it happens outside of work as well.

  12. RC

    Apparently, there are many #5s. I’m married to one. I avoid most conversations now because I’m sick of being cut off. I’ve concluded that he thinks that whatever I have to say can’t possibly be worth listening to. So, he decides to finish my sentences and/or completely change the direction of the conversation if I am the one who started it, because it’s not worth his most holy time. Can you imagine what it’s like to live with someone like this? No one is as awesome as he is and I was blessed the moment I was given the privelege to meet him and be in his presence. I am so sick of this lunatic! If I don’t get away from this, I’ll soon end up in the loonie bin. I think that a person like this can change IF they realize that they have this problem. However, that’s the problem. Somehow, it has become ingrained in these folks that they are god like and you aren’t. It doesn’t just go away.
    At first, you try to figure it out. You try to play the shrink and find the cause. Then, after you realize the damage it can do to you, you start to pull back so that you can get out. This behavior carries over into other areas of life. I feel that in my husband’s case this is a form of bullying. He is very controlling, at least he attempts to be. I’ve gotten to the point where I fight back. I can’t allow him to dominate and control me. I didn’t sign up for that. Sorry to bore you all with my marital issues. Maybe this post will help someome out there.

  13. Morgan

    Regarding interrupting, where a conversation stays on the same topic, there is a nuanced point here to be made: To observe 2+ women together talking in a group, women talk over each other, and everyone is happy. Please excuse the generality, but women can have many conversations in a group at once of one or many topics. This is impressive. Yet, the angst presented in this blog, and it is not surprising, is that the most prevalent feuds are cross-gender. We have different styles and intended goals in the most common types of conversation. So, are men or women to blame? Both is the answer, but it’s not that easy. The difficulty is that we should take a lesson from the group of women, and exercise the mind to balance multiple ideas on the same topic at the same time; those of your own and those of the interruptor, yet keep expressing your idea. The interruptor is not being rude if the point is quick. The speaking recipient should not be offended if the interruption is easily accepted, easily rebutted, or easily tabled for later consideration. These result in dynamic engaging conversations, all of which is acceptable. One must must be sure not to mandate an in-line structured conversation where a preverbal talking stick is passed with permission, if your audience is dynamic. After all, you’re in a conversation, not a lecture.

    1. Mel

      Who are you? What you wrote is so sensible. My husband thinks body language, “uh huhs” or minor brief back and forth is all unacceptable interrupting. It is causing us serious issues. I wish I could remember to wait my turn without any flicker of response but often I can’t. I wish what you wrote was considered to be the standard for conversation and that he could realize that his standards are severe. By the way, the reflections about women are “right on” but I’ve also seen this dynamic as ok in family units (like mine before I got married).

      1. Bob

        Oh, So because you’re a woman, interrupting is now a “dynamic”. Do yourself a favor and follow your husband’s lead………………It’s really pretty simple. Speak, Let others respond, Listen & Respond after others have spoken.

    2. h

      I don’t know where you live, but I’m a woman, and I don’t know any other women who think talking over each other is normal. Cutting people off is just plain rude, and the people who do it do so not because they are male or female, but because they have no manners.

  14. artmuseumslibraries

    I have been married to my husband for over 25 years and he still interrupts me. It makes me furious and I end up stomping out of the room. It doesn’t do any good. Never has. But I keep doing it.

    So this evening I read an item (not in this blog) having to do with people who interrupt, and I realized from the examples the other blogger that (not to blame myself as the victim of being interrupted, but in the interest of figuring out another way to communicate) I do sometimes bring up issues or problems at times when we are both tired or in a way that he could interpret as criticism of him. Usually these issues are things I am really worried about, such as taking care of important paperwork or making decisions about what to do with all the crap in the attic (we are not getting any younger, and it’s dark and spooky up there in the garret, on top of just the daunting thought of sorting the Christmas ornaments and the fire-hazard-eligible high school textbooks). So I think I am never going to cure him of interrupting, but I might as well figure out a strategy for when to raise certain topics. It may come down to making an appointment to talk about these matters, and reining in my own inclination to talk about it at 11:30 at night instead of when we are both rested.

    I do think my interests sort of bore my husband. I get kind of excited about my work and want to share it with him. I don’t think he is all that engaged in my enthusiasm, and is trying to figure out a way not to have to listen. So why set myself up for feeling that he lacks interest? He is a nice man and he does mean well. I like to attack a project and analyze it. He takes things more at face value. Interrupting is rude, though, any way you look at it.

    1. Debbie

      Excellent. Thank you for you comment. It give a better perspective for married couples and close relationship.

    2. Granny PJ

      My husband has a job that well, I would have to kill myself if I was forced to do it. No it does not interest me at all. He designs PC Boards, which is a detail-oriented nit-picky 1000 details in one square inch job. He loves details. Lots and lots of them. He can’t tell a story with out a million details to it, which he can’t remember if it was Tuesday, no wait maybe it was Wednesday, oh yes it was Wednesday because I went to Joes and had the meatloaf which was really good with the gravy they make on it, so yes it was Wednesday. By time he he figures it out you’ve forgotten what the hell he was talking about. I want to interrupt him so bad and just tell him to get to the damn point! But then I remember how he treats me like a queen and what an adorable man he is and I’m lucky to have him. Just sayin’ is all.

      1. Granny PJ

        And by the way – we’ve been married for 30 years.

  15. Austin Haynes (@thathaynesguy)

    NUMBER FIVE! I have personal, almost daily interaction with a young lady who is a classic Number Five: A late 20-something Know-It-All. Sadly, the majority of Number Five’s I work with are female STEM graduates. What is it? Is it lack of confidence, or something? Was every collegiate class of theirs some kind of Yella-Vision verbal boxing match to prove who knew everything? UGH!

  16. kimbal

    This conversation is appropriate to what I have been going through lately, in most respects. The one thing that is different is that the person who is doing the interrupting is my brothers girlfriend. Now a little back story, my brother is 60 and his girlfriend is 58 so she should have better manners. Anyway, I have noticed that she only does this with me not with anyone else while I am around and she does it constantly. If I am in the middle of talking to my niece about something she will start a conversation with my niece that has nothing to do with what we were talking about, she does not wait for a lull in the conversation to jump in or wait until I have finished a sentence. She will just start talking to my niece or whoever I am speaking to about something else. This happens all the time when we are together. I have also noticed that she rarely looks at me when she does speak to me, yet she will look at anyone else as one usually does when speaking to someone. I get the feeling that she dislikes me and this is a rather passive aggressive way of her attempting to let me know. I want to come right out and ask her if that is the case but I have done things like this on a few occasions in the past with other people and you know they always deny it but you really can tell you are right if you trust your gut. What do other people here think about this situation? Also, how do people feel about just coming out to ask if it is the case? I have not known her that long and know I have not done anything to hurt her. Most people like me but every now and then you get the ones who don’t. I really would like the feedback of this community because it is bothering me very much. I also do not want to cause problems for my brother who I like very much. So what should I do?

    1. Bob

      My suggestion is that when she interrupts you while you’re talking to someone else, simply interrupt her immediately and say, “I’m sorry but could you hold off on your thoughts for just a moment until I’m finished talking with (Whomever).” Also, when the 2 of you are talking and she does not look you in the eyes, move yourself to position yourself in the direction she is looking. As she sees you doing this “little dance” every time the 2 of you talk, she may figure out how rude/disrespectful she is being. If she questions why you’re doing this “dance” when the 2 of you talk, simply say, “I thought it would be nice if you gave me some eye contact when we talk, being that I’ve noticed you seem to do it with everyone else you talk to.” Maybe you could have a quiet word with brother about the situation & see what he thinks. Failing these options, I would avoid her as much as you can, though I realize that’s not easy to do as she’s your brother’s gf.

      1. kimbal

        I like all your suggestions except talking to my brother about the problem. We grew up in a very dysfunctional family and although I have done a lot of work on myself and realize and take into account some problems I was bringing to the family (I have since corrected these) but he has never taken responsibility for anything he does wrong or his part of the family does that is not acceptable such as his daughters and now his girlfriend.. Only after the fact when he decides he has to divorce a wife will he recognize that there was something wrong. If I brought it up now he would become very irritated, he would pull away from me and state that I was making it all up in my imagination. So unfortunately that is not an option.I wish I could to to him about more aspects of our lives and what is happening and how he treats people but that is not a part of things I can deal with unless I want to be cut out of his life.

    2. Mash

      Hi.. Im just now coming across this about a year later, but i can totally relate to everything you are saying. I also have a relative that acts EXACTLY like this. I personally believe it is a passive aggressive way of demonstrating some rooted discontent with you. I realized over time, that it stems from jealousy and a need to feel much more important. If i would make a statement about an accomplishment, this person always has a counter- comment on something they have done or plan to do… He would ignore me and interrupt to talk to the person i was currently talking to, as if i wasn’t there.
      The day i called him out on it, in front of anyone- turns out not only did he deny what he was doing, but wasnt man enough to own it.
      I say try to find the entertainment in it, but also address it right when it happens, each time it happens. I find that these passive aggressive types think they are making a big statement to you, by acting this way..
      Good luck….

  17. Mersenne

    Good article but there’s something missing. How about, the person who interrupts because it’s the only way he can speak? I suggest, if you find yourself obsessed with interrupters, look at how much you speak and how much interest you show in those who listen to you. Conversation is an art–it needs a give and take, a bit of charm, and lots of interest in the other participants.

    1. kimbal

      I am not sure if you are suggesting that I do not give others the courtesy I would expect from them but if that is what you mean it is off base. I realize you do not know me but I always listen to what others have to say and do not interrupt. If I have a thought i wait until they have had their say then I will give a reply.

  18. EmptyBlackAdventures

    Reblogged this on standoutunique and commented:
    I really like this blog. I can totally relate to it with people and family that I know. Also a couple you’ve mentioned are even habits that I find myself doing but want to overcome them

  19. Alma

    Seeking the digital equivalent of a campfire chat about this very topic: Have (had?) a new acquaintance whom I’m realizing has the kind of husband who not only regularly and blithely interrupts her while we are on the phone, but even more critically she allows & validates it in fact. In our so far short 5 months of knowing one another, I’ve been put on “hold” more often than I can count when her hubby calls. No, he’s not a doctor nor involved in any life or death situations. It’s apparently a snapshot of their overall marriage where he expects and more importantly, is GIVEN premium attention no matter what else may be going on. The other day, weirdly enough, she/I are chatting when suddenly his voice comes on the line saying her name, I was so startled and I’ll admit a bit creeped out at the extent of validation for these interruptions including apparently, his barging onto the phone line, splat into the middle of our conversation. I believe this was a bit of a watershed moment of realizing the limitations of this acquaintanceship. In fairness to what I thought might be a developing friendship, I did make a comment when she called me back wondering “what had happened” that with such important matters to discuss with her husband I didn’t want to just stay on hold this time. I asked her if they had a party line (no, so I don’t know how he’s able to just get on the same line). I assured her I was used to such behavior from my friends who once had children. With a husband nearing 70, while I know that had a bit of an ‘edge’ to it; self respect rather demanded that something be said to indicate that it’s just odd behavior all the way around. Takes all kinds in this world, and I’m thankful that I received this insight now.. Nice person, could be a solid acquaintance; but having seen her priorities I know to not put too much into a person who treats everyone but her Liege and Lord of a husband as disposable. Thanks for the opportunity of weighing in!

  20. Rachel

    This is my family to a tea… I actually have had a burning hate for one family member in particular and I was wondering why… Then I figured it out… He is soooo self absorbed. He always need attention or validation for nothing in particular. I’ve never been able to have a conversation with him… He interrupts me every. single. time. Often times he did not hear a word I said. He’s even walked off in the middle of a conversation or started talking to the person next to him. I have started calling him out and every time he storms out of the room and slams the door like a baby. Did I mention he’s nearly double my age? It’s gotten to the point where I get anxiety if he is around because trying to interact with him at a basic adult level is impossible… I can’t have any kind of relationship with him… which is disheartening because his issues get worst by the day and he doesn’t even give a shit.

    1. kimbal

      It is always a shame when we can’t communicate with each otherr on an adult level but I have learned that many people have issues they have not learned to deal with and are still at the point of a two year old when it comes to conversing. I rathr thing that unless they go for therapy therre is not much that will change, unfortunate but we can eitherr accept it or confront it or just leave it alone because at that age they will most likely not change. But there is always hope.

  21. Kathy

    I just wanted to say ” if this helps anyone , I’m grateful “. Also this is like an addiction, and if you keep this in mind, than you will realize that this won’t go away anytime soon. It is a work in progress. My friend is 40 and she also teaches high school (in an atmosphere that is NOT condusive to her trying to stop her own behavior of interrupting – because she is around just that – teenagers constantly interrupting her – JUST LIKE HER AND HER MOTHER GROWING UP ). So, she is partaking in the behavior all day at work, and I have to remind her to SWITCH OFF, when she walks through the door. Reminding her that I AM NOT A STUDENT, that she is HOME, and that I WILL NOT TOLERATE IT, and if she starts the behavior , I WALK AWAY and go to my room. She usually ends up apologizing every time. There is no feeling sorry for her or making excuses for the behavior. IT IS A BLACK and WHITE issue. It’s WRONG and it needs to be addressed every time it happens. If you see it getting progressively worse instead of better, than it is up to YOU to change and modify YOUR behavior to increase the distance between you and the interruptor, and lessen the interaction as soon as it occurs. Do NOT get into a confrontation, because interruptors also like this….they like strife, like being right, like being heard…to whoever will listen. Shut them down and go away. They can’t interrupt you anymore. IMAGINE THAT.

  22. Kathy

    I have lived with a #5 for 5 years. I will say what is true. They know and they are aware that they do it. They don’t care about what you have to say more than what they have to say. They are inconsiderate and the only way they will change or even start to change, is if they make a concious effort. Like an addiction, it first starts with admittance, they have to admit that they do this habitually. 2nd , and I believe the most important, is you have to find out “the Root Cause”, “when they started interrupting and “WHY”? These are key to changing this or modifying this behavior. I personally found out it stemmed from my friends childhood, from her parents. I actually witness this everytime I go to her moms and they converse. OMG, it is non-stop interrupting back-and-forth, one talking over the other, who can be louder, and on and on. I leave the room. I ended up not going for a long time, and then we had to make a deal that I would go if she agreed to change the behavior. She wanted me to go MORE THAN > not changing the behavior. I mention this and this is crucial because it is a reward system. Like trying to change any bad behavior , you have to reward it with a good behavior. I never believed that just ignoring a behavior will make it go away….it doesn’t. 3rdly they have to know and realize, understand, why THEY do it. It’s great that we know why, but for the behavior to change , they have to know why and understand that it is not normal, and that it is rude, selfish, unacceptable to most people,and that it’s negative. YOU ARE SAYING TO THE PERSON that you are interrupting, ” I don’t value what you are saying or about to say next, so I am interrupting you because what I have to say is way more important”. THIS IS THE TRUTH. There is NO EXCUSE for this rude behavior if it is consistant. Once in a while , we all make mistakes and interrupt. 4th point – CARING, COMPASSION, SYMPATHY. EMOTION, PATIENCE. – do not go along with a CONSISTANT INTERRUPTOR.

    1. kimbal

      Yes, I can see what you are saying and agree with you. I believe that with my brothers girlfriend she is doing it because for some reason she wants to break our relationship apart and this is her one way of doing it. I don’t know why, I have not been around her that long. They have been together about a year and although she has some good points I do wish she would break up with my brother. Unfortunately she will have to be the one who breaks up because my brother just puts up with stuff from whoever he is with. I don’t even see what he likes in this one if anyone reminds me of our mother who we both had issues with she is the most like our mother in looks and personality. She also knows a good thing when she finds it, he makes a very good income and she is very motivated by money so I think this attracts her to him. He used to tell me that he did not drink much anymore but now his cabinets are overflowing with all types of alcoholic products. I;ve never heard of most of these so I wonder if she is a bit of a drinker. He has also bought her many expensive gifts and I really believe that she is a gold digger but could never tell him this, he will have to come to that conclusion for himself. If she is it;s a shame but he has to learn to listen to himself and come to his own conclusions. I love him a lot and hate to see him go through anything negative but he must learn to test people before he jumps right in.

  23. valerie

    My boyfriend ALWAYS interupts me. He has missed out on alot of things about me because I refuse to repeat what I was trying to say. We had a heated argument about this as well as other issues. He promised he would do better….SO he lasted a whopping 48 hours before interrupting me AGAIN!!! This might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people but its rude,annoying and hurtful.

    1. kimbal

      You are right it is rude, annoying and hurtful. So why are you staying with him? Don’t let anyone treat you this way on a regular basis. No one should be that rude and hurtful, you need to be shown respect and to be allowed to be heard. Please try to find someone who allows you to be yourself and give you the courtesy you deserve.

  24. Quinn

    I am a #5, and I assure you, there is nothing more obnoxious than someone getting irritated that I’ve interrupted them and incorrectly finished a sentence.

    I come from a largely textual communications background, and it is agonizing to wait for some people to finish sentences, it has nothing to do with polite behavior. If what you’re trying to say can’t be said concisely, or you can’t think of a way to, it’s either unimportant or you don’t know what you want to say before you start speaking. Make it entertaining or wait until you’ve formed a sentence to speak, don’t expect my brain’s processing speed to go down. That’s not the way the human mind works.

    Seriously though, I can stand gaps in conversation fine, you won’t lose my attention.

    1. Bob

      “A largely textual communications background”. WTF does that mean ? You grew up with your cellphone on the dinner table, sending text messages while your parents tried to engage you in civil, face-to-face conversation. Anyone can ignore others, especially in today’s “textual communications” world, so if being rude is your thing, then I’d imagine most people wouldn’t want to converse with you. Anyone can talk, it’s listening (not hearing) that is the true art. Try it sometime, even when you can’t wait the extra 10 seconds for whoever you’re talking to, to finish their sentence. Patience is a virtue. People who constantly interrupt are just plain rude.

      1. Quinn

        When I was living with my parents, cell phones hadn’t been invented, thanks though.

        I was a computer engineer for ten years before I owned my first cell phone. Most of my work was done remotely, and conversations weren’t full of waste in that environment, because messages took minutes- note minutes, not the ten seconds you seem to have gathered from nowhere- to round-trip.

      2. Bob

        Ooops, my bad. Doesn’t change the fact that people who interrupt others who are speaking, are disrespectful, impatient and rude.

      3. Lin

        Thank you for saying this. This guy seems to think he is smarter and more clever than most.

      4. Doogie Howser M.D.

        People like Quinn needs to seriously get smacked in the head. Hey! Stupid! I’m talking to YOU!

        I come from an IT background as well. Quinn, I can assure you that not only is your conduct rude, but it has cost you dearly in terms of personal relations as well as career advancement. Being an enterprise architecture manager at a large banking group, I know the importance of listening and interpersonal skills. You might have even killed any prospect of future advancement at your current place of work, having rubbed the wrong people the wrong way. You are probably also not in a customer facing position (as many tech people are these days). You will quickly realise your folly once you get a customer’s requirements wrong, or even piss them off, because of your rude behaviour.

        You are delusional if you think your intelligence is what leads you to interrupting people. You merely lack self control. The mere fact that you fail to exert this self control indicates that your intelligence is limited – you act on impulse rather than logic. Logic would dictate that you actually need information from other people to effectively do your job, and that you therefore need to shut the hell up and LISTEN.

      5. Doogie Howser M.D.

        Quinn, seriously. I was a software engineer for about 3 years before becoming a solutions architect. I was a solutions architect for about2.5 years before becoming an enterprise architect. Another 2 years later and I am a Director. Sure, technical ability contributed to my advancement, but even more than that I credit my listening and interpersonal skills for my advancement.

        I would probably still be stuck at the software engineering level if I had your mindset.

        Think about that for a moment.

    2. Becca

      I fail to see why it falls to others to tailor their communications to your interests, or suffer the consequences of your (apparently justly given?) rudeness. Your lack of consideration for the fact that others think differently than you do does NOT entitle you to disrespect them. If you’re simply not interested in what they have to say, do both of you a favor and find other people to talk to – because acting like a jerk just hurts them and makes you look like a conceited asshole.

  25. Bob

    Spaces before/after brackets & question marks is annoying to you ? Man, I’d hate to see you deal with a really serious issue.

  26. Marc

    Heather, you are an angel. Thank you for this post.

  27. Jeremy (@takeshikitano3)

    I know I wasn’t in this blog because I am simply amazing. And this guy in my office I hate that farts and is all manner of annoying always interrupts people, and says “Let me finish” if you try to interrupt him. So annoying, hate him.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      You are simply amazing, actually. I can’t stand when people say “let me finish” when they are the worst of all with not letting people … finish.

      1. Fedup

        I have a friend who does that and I have resorted to not speaking to him, unless it is about the business we have. I will call him to discuss something and almost instantly he is interupting. And he talks loudly over me to do it, then I will just get quiet so not to scream and he will go on and on for a long time, contradicting everything I say or making it like I was not being clear so that is why he had to interrupt immediately. Then when he has gone on a long time til the point that I have aged a year, I will interrupt to finish what I was going to say, and he will say “Let me finish. I am almost done.” And he will go on even longer, ranting at that point.

        I am very emotionally exhausted when I get off cell with him

        He also interrupts me immediately when I have an opinion on his relationship, when I offer advice, but he regularly gives them on mine and expect me to accept them

        People who are quick to interrupt , love to here themselves talk
        Usually they need to be interrupted because by the time they are done talking, the end of days would be here.

        Once me, I exploded and told my friend to let me talk and learn to listen to what I got to say to. He snapped out and hung up the phone

  28. lifeinthefarcelane

    Do you hate people who leave a space between the bracket and the word? i.e:

    ( This isn’t how it’s meant to be done )

    (This is how it’s meant to be done!)

    I do.

    1. Heather Christena Schmidt

      I do!! I would love to blog about that actually! I cannot stand it when people do this and the exclamation point (why ! ! ! – annoying, isn’t it?); and I do not understand why so many people are making so many grammar and punctuation errors in general now. Do they really think there will be more emphasis if you place spaces in there? How stupid can they be?!

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