We’ve all been there. You’re telling a story and just getting to the crux, when someone interrupts. By the time they’re done talking you may have lost your enthusiasm to continue, or perhaps lost your train of thought. Or maybe someone else has jumped in, the topic has changed and now it feels awkward to go back.
When people interrupt it can sometimes feel like they’re being rude, thoughtless, impatient or selfish. Other times it feels as if they can’t contain their excitement about the topic and want to accelerate it as quickly as possible.
Being a good (and polite) conversationalist at its core involves being a skilled (and active) listener, sharing, thinking, and taking turns.
However on those occasions when interruptions happen, be mindful and thoughtful with how to pause, reflect, answer and advance the conversation accordingly.
What are some ways to respectfully do that?
Separately, in a brainstorm session, it is understood that the point of the time together is to build and expand every idea and concept, and to keep thoughts and suggestions freely flowing. Hence one would not be considered to be interrupting.
No one enjoys being around a conversation interrupter; fortunately we have strategies to address interruptions tactfully and astutely.