An open letter to those who interrupt

Open letter benchI think before I speak. I also speak slowly and methodically. This isn’t a bad thing. However, this often leads to others interrupting me while I’m speaking. When this happens, I’ll usually just bite my tongue and let the conversation continue. I’m not one to make a scene. But being interrupted does bother me. I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while now and thought I’d write an open letter to those who interrupt me:

Hey there!

I hope you’re having a great day so far. There’s something that’s been bothering me for a while now and I really wanted to talk to you about it. I thought about broaching the subject to you in person, but I can express myself better through writing, so I decided to write you a letter.

You already know that I’m a pretty easy going person. It takes a lot to upset me. But one thing that does bother me is being interrupted while I’m speaking. And you tend to do this on a regular basis. As an introvert, it takes me a long time to think of what I want to say and how I want to say it. As a result, I usually don’t speak as much as those around me. I understand that extroverts are naturally able to speak more readily than I am. They will probably talk for longer too, but that doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is being interrupted.

You may not realize it, but when someone interrupts me, they’re sending a very obvious message. Whether or not it is their intention, and I’m assuming it is not, being interrupted tells me that they’re not interested in what I have to say. My opinion doesn’t matter. They’d rather continue talking about “insert subject here”.

Being interrupted is a horrible feeling. When I’m in a conversation, I’m constantly thinking. I’m thinking hard about what I want to say and what words will best convey my meaning. It takes me a long time to do this. When I finally have a comment to add, I’ll wait for a break in the conversation so I don’t accidentally interrupt someone. Then I’ll summon up all my courage and speak the few words I’ve come up with. After all this work,  you can imagine how frustrating it is when someone cuts you off. Its so discouraging. And the more I’m interrupted, the less likely I am to speak next time.

I totally understand that accidents happen. If someone inadvertently interrupts me, I really appreciate it when they apologize and let me finish my thought. At least I know they’re interested in what I have to say.

I’m want you to know I’m not angry or upset with you. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you and if you’d like to discuss this further, let me know.

Your friend,
Ally

What would you like to tell people who interrupt you?

Image credit: “Its time to relax and unwind…” by Vinoth Chandar is licensed under CC by 2.0

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15 thoughts on “An open letter to those who interrupt

  1. VTNessa says:

    Yes! I fully agree! I get particularly frustrated when my MIL asks me a question, then interrupts my answer, sometimes even turning to someone else and starting a new conversation.

    I think you summed it up pretty well. All I might add is that it is rude and a sign of bad manners.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pearlgirl says:

    I feel the same way! And, if I have something longer to say, being interrupted often derails me enough that I forget what I was going to say. That’s very frustrating too! Fortunately, most of the people in my life understand that I take a little longer to form what I want to say and then say it. So for the most part they’re patient with me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I completely agree. Sometimes I’m able to pick up where I left off, but a lot of the time my mind goes blank. My friends and family are very patient and I’m so grateful for that. People at work are definitely a lot different 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Driva Louise Leyonmarck says:

    This is so true! I also find I forget what I was saying if i get interrupted. I feel that what I have to say is not so important, so I just go quiet and feel very hurt. Thank you for bringing it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Warrior Freya says:

    I normally don’t say anything when I’m interrupted. I’ll try to get my thoughts into the conversation, but if it keeps happening then I sit back and just let things go on without me.

    It’s interesting because sometimes other people will catch on to what is happening. They see I’m trying to talk and getting run over, and you can see how their perspective of the conversation changes.

    Normally the people who interrupt me do not know me very well. We’re either loose acquaintances, or they are people from outside my circle, friends of friends, or something along those lines. In that regard I don’t fault them, but it does bother me.

    I feel like interrupting people on a base level is rude and inconsiderate. It’s as you said, by interrupting me you are sending me signals that my thoughts and feelings are not important to you. At least not enough for you to actually listen and comprehend. Too often people listen only long enough to reply, rather than to understand.

    Responding is only part of the communication process. If you’re not going to take the time to comprehend where I am coming from, then I’m not going to give you that level of respect. I’m all about fair, and if I don’t feel I am being treated fairly I’m going to move on.

    I have other things to do with my time than to fight to be part of a conversation. A conversation shouldn’t be a fight, it shouldn’t feel exhausting. It should be a mutual sharing. At least in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      I completely agree with you. Conversations should be, in a perfect world, opportunities where each person is given the time to express their thoughts and opinions without the fear of being ignored or interrupted.

      Not only do I notice when others interrupt me but I also notice when it happens to others. Usually I’ll try to give them some kind of smile, nod, or words of agreement. Just something to let them know that I’m listening. I can’t do this all the time, but I want to make sure they feel as if their words have value.

      The one ‘good’ thing that comes from all of this is you realize who is actually interested in what you have to say. I have a few acquaintances who tell me “we’ve got to catch up” every time I see them. However, it becomes an opportunity for them to talk about themselves and they aren’t really that interested in what I’ve been up to. It makes you appreciate the people who take the time to listen to you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sevenyearsinadrawer says:

    Oh my gosh thank you thank you thank you for writing this. I really want to stick this up on the office fridge. Actually, I want to stick it up everywhere because these “Interruptors” are EVERYWHERE! Pretty sure it’s the latest epidemic. Luckily, we are immune. haha #ItsFunBeingPerfect 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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