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When Someone Constantly Interrupts

When someone you love interrupts you a lot, it can be extremely frustrating. Try these steps:

1. Sit down together and define "interruption" and "interjection". Sometimes it's necessary to interject something while somebody else is talking. To cut somebody off any other time is interrupting and is rude. In a calm moment (not in the middle of a discussion about something else), make sure that everybody agrees on when it's necessary to interject. Consider all other "butting in" to be interruption.

To get you started, the following things are usually considered necessary interjections:
a. emergency situations. ("Stop! That's a red light!")
b. quick comments on the scenery.
c. quick greetings to passersby.
d. a quick "Me too."
e. clarifications. If you do not understand what your conversational partner is talking about, it's really important to stop him or her and ask right away. If you pretend to understand, you will have to do it forever, and, over time, it gets more likely that your deception will be found out.
f. corrections. If you ask one question and your conversational partner starts answering a different question, it's fair for you to save time by politely stopping him or her and re-asking the question.

2. During conversations, admit your own interruptions, with a quick "Oops!" or "Sorry!" On the other hand, defend your interjections -- gently.

3. When you are interrupted, gently say, "Wait!" or "I'm not finished." On the other hand, be very careful to reward necessary interjections with an, "I'm glad you told me that," or at least with a smile.

4. You will know that things are getting better when you and the ones you love start getting into lively "interjection vs. interruption" discussions. Your loved ones' willingness to debate this with you shows that they care at least a little whether they interrupt or not. If you continue to be a good sport who easily agrees on what fits into which category, pretty soon they should start correcting themselves when they stray into the interruption category.

  Next Memo: What She Never Told You

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Donít force behavior! 
Change attitudes.