Let Me Finish, Please Stop Interrupting Me!

Let Me Finish, Please Stop Interrupting Me!

“Wait, let me finish . . . what I was trying to say is interrupting other people is rude.”

When you interrupt someone it says to the person talking that what you have to say is more important than what they are sharing. It shows disregard for the person and what they are saying.

As I researched interrupting, I discovered many interesting studies about how women and men communicate. When it comes to interrupting others, men are twice as likely to interrupt women then they are other men. Women interrupt other women more often than they do men but not usually to take the floor. Instead, they often interrupt to be encouraging, as in saying something like, “I know what you mean” or “That sounds hard.”

According to gender communication expert and author Deborah Tannen, men communicate to determine and achieve power and status which leads to more interrupting, especially of women. Women communicate to create connection, and because of this they are less likely to interrupt others which can feel combative rather than collaborative. However, there are women who interrupt to determine power.

No matter who is doing the interrupting, it’s not an enjoyable way to converse with someone. When a person consistently interrupts me I end up feeling like we’re at war rather than having a conversation. It seems pointless and unproductive.

If you tend to be an interrupter, ask yourself why you’re doing it, especially if you’re a man who regularly interrupts women. Are you doing it to dominate; do you want to add to what someone is saying; or is it that you’re worried you’ll forget what you have to say? If you find it is an unconscious need to dominate, stop right now. It’s not a productive way to communicate and your communication partner will most likely shut down rather than continue to fight for the floor. If you’re concerned you’ll forget what you want to say, jot it down on a notepad and then share what you have to say when the other person is finished talking.

For those of you who are interrupted – don’t acquiesce the floor easily. As Ms. Tannen wrote in a 2012 New York Times article, “An interruption takes two — one to start, the other to stop.” However, I would argue, you don’t have to stop talking to be interrupted. I have a female colleague who regularly interrupts me. If I keep talking she talks louder. It becomes a shouting match. I now say to her, “Please let me finish.” And, that’s exactly what the person being interrupted should do. You could also say, “I’d love to hear what you have to say when I’m finished.” Don’t talk louder to out talk the other person, no one is able to hear anything and it seems to create tension and anger. Instead, calmly, but firmly ask the other person to let you finish speaking. If the interrupter continues to interject point it out. Say something like, “Joe, did you know you have interrupted my five times in our conversation. Would you please stop interrupting me? It’s making it difficult to have a discussion.”

Bottom line, don’t interrupt others. It’s rude, arrogant and selfish and usually doesn’t win you many brownie points with others.

How do you feel about being interrupted? Do you keep talking or do you give up the floor? Have you ever asked someone to stop interrupting you?

Arden Clise
Personal Development
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Arden Clise, President of Clise Etiquette, is an expert in the field of etiquette. As a speaker, trainer and coach, Arden has helped thousands of professionals, from executive ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: April 17-21

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on IRIS.xyz, April 17-21, 2017 

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Market Keeping You up at Night? Look for the Right Hedge

Like so many others in the industry, I was wrong. For years, I was certain that the bull market was nearing its end. I thought the market was over-extended, and that, surely, the wild equities run was coming to an end. But everyone else was bullish, and perhaps rightfully so. And while I’ve watched equities continue on their spectacular rise, I do think now is the time (really!) to put a hedge in place. Here’s why. Here’s how. — Adam Patti

2. How to Manage Bond Market Pain and Seek the Gain When Rates Are Rising

The realities for fixed income investors have changed. How is this being reflected in markets? Bond investing has become increasingly difficult over the past decade. Markets have been heavily distorted by ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing, as well as by extreme risk aversion in response to the global economic crisis and the eurozone debt crisis. — Nick Gartside

3. Seven Reasons You'll Fail as a Financial Advisor

Is being a financial advisor worth it? I am an optimistic person and I encourage other people to keep a positive mental attitude (shout-out to Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone). However, by taking a good, hard look at the negatives in life, we can successfully pivot towards the positive aspects that will help us achieve our goals. — James Pollard

4. The Secret to Turning Every Prospect into a Client

How do you treat one of your most valued, existing clients? Here’s a list of some things that come to mind. — Andrew Sobel

5. Why Do Clients Change Advisors?

According to many advisors I speak with, the only clients that leave are those who have died. And while attrition may not be a big problem in this industry, I have to assume that at least a few clients change advisors without doing so via the funeral home. — Julie Littlechild

6. Why You Should Focus on Getting Referral Sources

I was talking with an advisor last week about how to get into conversations about what he does. He was relaying the story of going jogging with a friend who could be a good client but is, more importantly, connected to a large network of people who fit this advisors ideal client description. — Stephen Wershing

7. How Big Picture Thinkers Seize More Opportunities in 7 Steps

Big picture thinkers are not unicorns - rare and mystical. And they were not born with the innate ability to think big. They do, however, pay attention to the broader landscape and take the time to think, analyze and evaluate. — Jill Houtman and Danny Domenighini

8. 5 Actions to Build Your Reputation

Your reputation is who you are and how you show up, Monday to Monday®.  Many of us take our image and reputation for granted.  Give careful thought to the kind of reputation that you would be proud of Monday to Monday® and that would resonate with your purpose and priorities. — Stacey Hanke

9. How Are You Poised to Begin Welcoming GenZ to Your Workplace?

The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. — Shirley Engelmeier

10. Are Price Objections REALLY Price Objections?

Next time you hear your prospects give you price objections, it’s not because of the price. The give price objections because they don’t know the full value proposition that they’d be paying for. And it’s not based on their need, or your features and functions. It’s based on the buying criteria they want to meet internally. — Sofia Carter

11. Understanding the Economic Value of Transition Deals

Last week we wrote about the economic rationale behind going independent vs. moving to another major firm as an employee. As a follow-up topic, we thought it prudent to analyze transition packages attached to big firm moves and peel back the layers of the onion to show the components of these deals. — Louis Diamond

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues to ... Click for full bio