"Mom? Mom? MOMMM!"

What to Do about Interrupting

Imagine that you're watching a great movie and it's just getting to the good part when the good guy is chasing the bad guy and about to catch him. But then the good guy's foot gets caught and he's stuck. The bad guy comes back around, laughs at the good guy, pulls out his laser blaster and...

Suddenly the screen goes out. You've lost connection on your tablet or TV. "Waitwaitwait! What's happening! I gotta know what's happening! My show got interrupted!"

It really bothers people to get interrupted. That includes adults too. Sometimes kids think, "What's the big deal? I'm just asking a quick question, why can't my teacher stop talking for a second to answer my question?" It's because it doesn't feel good to get interrupted, whether you're a kid or an adult.

This woman is having a conversation with her friends. She's telling a funny story, and she's telling it very carefully to keep her friends interested and to get them ready for the big funny part at the end.

Then the woman's son comes over and see's that Mom is "just talking," so he decides to say what he wants to say anyway.

The conversation is smashed! "Please don't interrupt me!" Mom says. "I was just getting to the good part and now I've lost my train of thought. You spoiled the ending."

So what do we do if we want to tell an adult or a friend something but their conversation keeps going on and on and on? In every conversation there are little pauses or breaks when one person finishes saying one idea and before another person begins a new idea. Listen to what the people are saying and listen for these pauses in the conversation. Then say something polite like "excuse me" and say what you would like to say.

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(Images by iStock: moneca, JoKaLAR)