We’re taught from a young age not to interrupt someone. If you have ever experienced what it’s like to be interrupted, and to feel that what you are saying is of little importance, you know that waiting your turn is always the polite thing to do.
Yet, there are times when you can’t help but interject when others are speaking. However, it is possible to give a rude behavior an etiquette-ful spin.
Interruptions are usually deemed a selfish, rude behavior. It doesn’t take much nerve to interrupt someone, it simply takes thoughtlessness. A coworker, lost in their own thoughts, walks into the manager’s office while you are in the middle of a conversation with him and blurts out a question regarding a report received. Your coworker was only thinking of himself, giving no regard to your presence.
Other reasons interruptions occur are:
Interrupting is not always a completely selfish act, though. There are times when a person speaking needs a little help.
Even when it’s for purely selfish reasons, it is possible to interrupt someone in an etiquette-ful manner. Being mindful and aware will help you navigate the conversation and your level of participation in it.
Your awareness of the demeanor of those already in conversation and the status of the conversation itself will guide you. Is the conversation at a point where your interruption won’t be too disruptive? Is the speaker pausing long enough for you to interject? Will your interruption be welcome, or will it appear rude no matter what you say?
Polite interruptions may include:
Remember that a smile and eye contact will help you represent yourself as friendly and sincere. Two important characteristics when you decide to interrupt someone.
We know what it’s like to be interrupted, but no one would like to be known as an interrupter. And then, again, no one would like to be known as a conversation hog. So, we work, etiquette-fully to be considerate and respectful of others and try to catch ourselves and correct ourselves when we are not.