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What To Do When You Are Interrupted

When you are speaking and someone interrupts you, stop speaking. Don’t be insulted. Don’t be angry that you didn’t get to finish your thought. And don’t talk over them. Stop speaking and let the person you are speaking with have the floor.

If someone interrupts you, it could be that they are so excited to share something that they can’t restrain themselves. Let them share what they want to share.

The person interrupting you may not agree with what you are saying. They may interrupt you so that they can disagree. Yield the floor and let them share their disagreement. They may not be able to really listen until they speak their mind.

The person that decides to speak over you may not really be interested in what you are saying. They may interrupt you so that they can move forward to something that interests them. Let them say what they need to say.

Sometimes you may be being interrupted because the person to whom you are speaking simply fears that they won’t have an opportunity to respond, or that they’ll forget what they wanted to say.

The best thing you can do when interrupted is to allow the other person to talk. When they finish speaking, you can pick up right where you left off and finish your thought. Or, you can simply move on to some other topic.

The answer to someone talking over you isn’t talking over them. The answer is listening.

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  • Barbara Mckinney

    Easier said than done. Sometimes if I get interrupted I end up losing my temper and confronting that person (in private). I know it’s not the best way to react in this kind of situation and your credibility can be hurt if you respond rudely when someone interrupts you so I’m slowly trying to control myself.

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      I gets easier, I promise. It’s easier than repairing any damage caused by losing your temper (not that I know, I have a friend, you know?)

      • Barbara Mckinney

        So what’s your point?

  • Colly Graham

    Interesting, and yes, I agree it is the way to handle this, recently someone talked over the top of me in a meeting, I unfortunately got angry with the person for not allowing me to finish and they walked out of the meeting

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      Ouch! I was too late with this post, Colly!