How to Stop Being an Interrupting Asshole
Nobody likes someone who interrupts people all the time. It's rude and it actually thwarts clear
Know That Interrupting Is Bad for Everyone
Above all, you should know that interrupting is rarely helpful for anyone, including yourself. When you interrupt others, they feel like they haven't been heard, so they end up talking more just to try and get their point across. That means more listening for you. Or worse, they shut down entirely and feel like their thoughts aren't worth sharing at all, and that ruins the point of communication.
Whatever the reason you interrupt-you want to win, you want to add value to the
Practice Biting Your Tongue
Ever heard the expression "bite your tongue?" Try that-literally. It's like a game. While other people talk, place your tongue between your teeth. If your tongue moves from your teeth, you lose and you're a jackass.
If you don't want to bite your tongue-I get it, it might hurt-just keep your mouth closed. Breathe through your nose during conversations, practice keeping your lips together the whole time, and never open them unless someone asks you something directly. If you accidentally open your mouth to spout out some garbage that would confirm your place as a super great human, stop and take a deep breath instead. Then close your mouth again. The keyword here is "practice." There's no magic pill that will make you stop interrupting people. You have to try and change your habits yourself.
Give Them Three Extra Seconds
Sometimes interruptions aren't meant to be interruptions; you just assume the other person has finished their thought because they paused. But a pause is not always an all-clear! When someone stops talking, count down from three in your head, then respond with your own thoughts. If you can manage that, you'll almost never interrupt someone, even accidentally.
Take Notes If You're in a Meeting
The reason most people interrupt, myself included, is because we have a thought we want to get out before we forget it. We're convinced it's brilliant and vital to the conversation, but that doesn't mean it needs to be blurted out immediately.
If you're in an environment where taking notes is possible, like work or school, Tara Millette at LEADx suggests you write down those thoughts instead of spewing them from your cake-hole. You won't forget them and you'll be able to share them later on in the conversation when the time is right instead of breaking someone else's train of thought.
Try the Five-Second Rule
If you can't write down your thoughts, at least subject them to mental review before you use them to poison the air. Pyschologist Todd E. Linaman, Ph.D., recommends the five-second rule :
Quickly assess the importance of what you are about to blurt out. When the person stops speaking, count to five while asking yourself, "Is what I have to say absolutely critical to the conversation?" Your answer will be "no" most of the time.
You can also start the five-second countdown as soon as the thought comes to you if you're also practicing the three-second waiting period mentioned earlier.
Catch Yourself and Reel It Back
As you try to better yourself, mistakes are bound to happen. You will still interrupt people sometimes. That's okay! Just try to catch yourself when you do it and apologize. It's as simple as interrupting yourself mid-sentence (you know how to do that) and saying something to the effect of, "I'm sorry, I interrupted you, please finish what you were saying." Then go back to biting your tongue and reviewing your thoughts before delivery. If you're having a hard time catching yourself, enlist some help from coworkers, friends, and family members. I'm sure they'll be glad to help you shut up.