I have a confession to make. On occasion, I have been known to interrupt a conversation or two. My knack of interrupting goes back as far as I can remember. “Sara needs to allow others to have turn speaking at circle time”. “We appreciate Sara’s excitement, she needs to learn to let others have their say.”. “Sara needs to allow others to take the lead.” . “Sara should work on keeping her idea’s to herself until the other person is finished…and until I have completed teaching the lesson.” – just a few of the of the comments left on my report cards, from various teachers, at various schools, in various cities…and provinces. Unfortunately for my hubby and child, my knack for interruption has been known to extend to movies, television shows and video games. To save the blank stare from my child and to save my marriage there is a new phrase bestowed on yours truly, “Is this important or can it wait a minute?” . I’m not sure if I read it somewhere, heard it somewhere or came up with this gem on my own. All I know is this is what I have asked my family to say to me when my run on sentence’s run right into whatever they are saying or doing.
The point to today’s tale? To help all those who have fallen victim to being interrupted. To come to the aide of the victim’s of the over-talkers and over-texters – the latter I am proud to say I am not guilty of. Nothing worse than text after text coming at you before you have a chance to respond to the first. …of course, this is probably the universe evening the score with me for my past interruptions. Being me, I have compiled a little list to help the interrupter and the interruptee (I know, it’s not a word…stop interrupting…it works for today’s tale). …feel free to share
– if you have ever gone into a shop and physically come between a sales person and a customer, not only are you an interrupter, you have now transitioned into a physical interrupter. An example – As I am talking to a woman about the difference between Joico’s Joimist Firm and JoiFix firm, another woman comes up to us and stands between us, asking if I sell Redken products – my first customer and I have been verbally and physically interrupted.
– when looking for information about how to use a conditioning treatment, let the salesperson explain it you. Jumping in mid explanation because I said the word protein which made you remember what the T.V. doctor said about protein is not polite. You have now transitioned from an interrupter to an over-talker/interrupter.
– when you text your stylist asking if there is an appointment available on a certain date at a certain time, give her/him a moment to check their book. When you text “do you? lol” over and over without pause, you have now transitioned to an interrupter who is now an over-texter. I know we have become accustomed to immediate gratification via Google, just give it a minute. Take a breath. Put down the phone and take a look around…or better yet, how about using your phone to actually call someone and speak person to person, have a real conversation.
– when your loved one is watching their favorite show, it is probably a good idea to either 1) wait for a commercial break or 2) take a moment and ask yourself (silently) “is this important or can it wait” to show them the hilarious video of the Peek a Boo kitten
– when you and your stylist are discussing the shade of red you want to dye your hair, it is best to let her say a certain shade, then either agree or disagree. While your stylist is in the middle of saying “red like Jessica Rabbit?” and you interrupt/over-talk by stating you love rabbit…guess what’s gonna happen.
– guessing what someone is going to say next is interrupting, plain and simple. This is not the county fair and you will not win a prize if you guess correctly, which 98% of the time you will not. (…this is my biggest issue…I get too excited during a conversation. Not only do I put my two cents in, I usually end up putting my foot in it too.).
– when you interrupt, the person speaking has now been muted, and guess what? You are not being heard either.
Here’s the deal. I am guilty of being an interrupter. So are you. At some point,we all are. The biggest favor you can do for yourself, your loved ones, your stylist, the world in general, tell others to ask you “Is this important or can it wait?” when you begin to interrupt. Ask yourself the same question when you are itching to add to the conversation. When someone else’s mouth is moving, yours should not. When someone is speaking, instead of thinking about what you are going to say next, try listening. If you are aching to say something, silently tell yourself to keep your mouth shut. We all have something to say, we all want to be heard. We all think we are absolutely hilarious. We all have something to add. It comes down to putting it in order of importance – you have to decide what is more important – speaking, or being heard.