#363 Don’t Interrupt

My goal, for those of you who are curious, is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.


Don’t interrupt

The majority of us learn a few basic social rules as we grow. We are told not to pick our noses in public and most of us remember this into adulthood. We learn not to interrupt someone speaking and yet we don’t master that skill. How can we be good at one but not the other? They are both rather gross habits.

Being a good listener depends on hearing the entire context of what we are listening to. When we interrupt a speaker, we cut short the speakers context. Often, we fill in the missing piece with a personal assumption as understood through our own lens, potentially misconstruing the speaker’s intent.

When we interrupt, we steal energy from the speaker, diminishing the value of their comment; implying that it is less important than what we need to say. At the very least, it is a show of disrespect for what they are sharing. It may validate a sense of “I don’t matter”.

If the speaker – more so than ‘what’ the speaker is saying – matters to you; Don’t interrupt. Even if the content is not your ‘thing’… if your interest in the topic is nil… if it is emotionally charged… if it is controversial… let the speaker finish an entire thought before you chime in. Imagine the respect that can be demonstrated in a conversation if the entire exchange is transacted with complete thoughts and implied value!

Don’t interrupt.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.


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