People who frequently interrupt others still haven’t learned these 10 life lessons

I am a person with a persistent habit: I interrupt people a lot. 

My most common habit is that I finish people’s sentences or interrupt them in order to cut in with my own thoughts or commentary. 

Over the past several years I have become more and more aware of my habit and improved it. I want to allow others to finish what they are saying even if I do not immediately know why they are saying it or I think of something else to add.

The fact of the matter is that no matter the reasons for interrupting, those who do so very frequently have a number of lessons to learn. 

Here are the biggest life lessons that people who interrupt a lot need to learn.  

1) Listening is useful

The first important thing to note is that listening is useful. 

Even if you do not particularly like the person who is talking or find them all that interesting, they may say things which are genuinely useful.

What people say can be directly to your decision making and your life, and you often need to hear them out to know this.

2) There’s power in pausing

The next big lesson about interrupting, is that it lessens your personal charisma and power. 

Look at the best actors, life coaches and orators. 

They know how to use effective pauses to keep people engaged and to add emotional weight and gravitus to what they are saying. 

When you interrupt, you cut short your ability to pause effectively and show that you are not flustered or pressured by a situation or conversation.

3) Learning is possible

Even when it seems clear that you already know what someone is going to say or they are saying things which are inaccurate or irrelevant, it is not always possible to tell right away. 

If you find that you interrupt people quite often, making an effort not to do so is a great way to begin learning more.

You can find out all sorts of things you didn’t know. 

Even when somebody is saying things which are untrue or not very important, you can learn a lot about society and your workplace by hearing the kind of incorrect things and subjects that people engage in.

4) Empathy builds bridges

Interrupting a lot is ultimately an egotistical activity. Even if you do have a lot of important things to say, getting in the habit of interrupting shows that you judge your own contributions as being more valuable than others.

This may objectively be true in some cases, however making a decision to interrupt people less often also is empathetic and builds bridges with them on the interpersonal level. 

Friendship, business networking, romance and other endeavors are all more likely and heightened when you engage in more listening instead of interrupting.

5) Respect breeds respect

When you offer respect by not interrupting a lot, this also brings respect back in your direction

This relates to the earlier point I made about empathy and building bridges as well as the usefulness of listening. 

When you choose to hear someone out, there is a much greater chance they will do the same for you in return. 

6) Letting people finish creates space

Earlier I mentioned the power of pausing and how this creates charisma and attraction

Letting people finish what they are saying also creates space. 

Instead of interrupting, consider what you truly want to say and why. 

It gives you time to think of what you are going to say and what is important to you. 

7) Interrupting too much can spark conflict

Many arguments start due to interruptions. 

Potential arguments can often be defused by not interrupting and by letting someone finish what they’re saying. 

Even when you strongly disagree with someone, giving them those extra moments to finish their sentences can be vital to not letting the interaction descend into an all-out argument. 

You’ll find that you also begin to feel more secure and confident as you let others take their time and say what they want. 

Your feeling of inner security increases as you realize that you don’t need to be heard right away and that you’re confident enough to disagree with somebody without jumping in right away or commenting the first reaction that you have. 

8) People’s need to share can be beautiful

This ties into the previous point:

When you stop interrupting you start adding more to the balance sheet than you take away, socially speaking. 

You hold back on your own need and desire to speak, react and be heard, and you start recognizing other people’s need to be heard and understood. 

It’s actually quite empowering and is a way to make people around you feel much more valuable and understood. 

If you’ve ever felt unheard and misunderstood as I have, it turns out that one of the best ways to flip this around is to really listen and try to understand others. 

This kind of true empathy and listening is really powerful and makes you feel more and more confident in yourself. 

9) Sometimes other folks do come first

Even when it’s not pleasant or easy, sometimes other people do need to be put first. 

This is common, for example, in families. Parents may have a lot to say and decide, but their child is excited about school and really wants to talk. 

So instead of interrupting and being all adult, they let their youngster chatter a bit and feel heard. 

Another example would be when someone is going through a real crisis and genuinely needs somebody to talk to. 

You might have many questions for them or things you don’t understand, but sometimes it’s necessary to just let them talk it out before adding in anything of your own. 

10) Conversational surprises do happen 

Even if somebody isn’t saying anything all that interesting or relevant nine times out of ten, that tenth time they may say something that floors you. 

Surprises do happen, and even the most seemingly hum drum interaction can lead to unexpected connections and revelations. 

This is part of what interrupting does:

It stops surprises from happening by boxing in interactions and limiting them according to your own schedule and preconceptions. 

Letting the conversation happen without interrupting allows new things to emerge, sometimes when you least expect them. 

Interrupting: The final word

There are times when interrupting is necessary, especially during an emergency or when you’re in a rush. 

Other examples include when somebody is saying things which are genuinely hurtful or incorrect in a way which is dangerous and could cause harm. 

However generally speaking you do not have much to lose by letting somebody finish what they’re saying, at least for a few moments. 

This gives you time to think about your response and hear what’s being said fully.  

Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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