Creative Leadership

Please Stop Interrupting!

I love a great cause.  World hunger, poverty, clean water – whatever.   I love anything that helps make the world better.  And now, I’m suggesting another great cause – stopping people who interrupt.  Sound far-fetched?  Maybe.   But I’m convinced that more great ideas, innovative thinking, and brilliance have been squashed by interruptions than anything else.  Think about it – when you’re interrupted – especially by a “serial interrupter” – doesn’t it infuriate you?  Doesn’t it take the wind out of your sails, and the momentum from your thinking?

I have a friend who’s a serial interrupter.  I’ve asked her to stop, but it doesn’t help.  It’s gotten so bad I avoid her.   I know she’s not trying to be a jerk, but she has no discipline or grace when it comes to conversations.  Anytime an idea pops into her head – no matter how lame or inappropriate – she just blurts it out – no matter who’s talking.  Drives me nuts.

I’ve been told that interrupting is the verbal equivalent of shoving, and I agree.  Interrupters are conversational bullies – whether they mean to be or not.  Learn to be comfortable with silence.  Value the other person enough to let them finish.  Let’s start a revolution of civilized conversation.


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  1. Excuse me, could I just tell you what I think!!!!–I think if you want to save the whales, then just eat more lobster and what about the trees-maybe we should just make everything out of recycled tires that way we could scrub the dishes and exfoliate all of our age spots at the same time. I want to know who picked the colors for a traffic light–why not neon green and fusia–I’m getting tired or red, yellow and green. Could someone tell me what school airline employees go to?-I would like to cut their funding!! Does anyone else think it’s halarious that Dunkin Donuts coffee beat out Starbucks? Why do preacher’s never wear watches? blah-blah-blah-blah-blah——–Sorry, I couldn’t resist

  2. Talking about interrupters, I wonder if some big mega-church and television preachers are more susceptible to suffer from this condition….Any ideas?

  3. And by the way, if it’s that important or that earth-shattering of an idea, hold on to it in your mind. Nobody with any sense ever complained that someone had a better idea. But they might miss your better idea if you don’t have the patience to not interrupt to suggest it.

  4. Are we living our Christ-like life like a bull in a china shop, rushing through with a singular goal in mind (no matter how noble, or even God-called), shattering fragile things of beauty, (or shattering fragile lifes?).  Or is our choice to realize we have a calling, but that servanthood rises above even our calling and divine purpose.  A servant is humble, waits to speak, is eager to serve, but doesn’t require thanks.  

    Great posts — plus I learned two new words "serial interrupter" and "conversational bullies"  
    (and I loved the graphic  accompanying the post!)

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