On Interruptions in Conversation

I consider interruptions a problem both in formal conversations and personal conversations. I’d like to create a sociopersonal framework that prevents them, while recognizing cases where interruptions might be productive (for instance, a speaker who goes on too long and doesn’t let others talk).

– When someone begins to speak, no one is to interrupt them at all for the first 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, an incidental interruption is acceptable. A speaker may continue to talk as long as they wish while recognizing they are only guaranteed no interruptions for the first 30 seconds.
– Call out any interruptions. Any decisions regarding punitive action are up to the discretion of the individual or group.
– This promotes the following general guideline: As a speaker, make your point and any needed caveats as succinctly as possible.
– If you need to make a longer point, preface your point by saying so, and the listener(s) may grant you a longer no-interruption period at their discretion.

I realize this may be play-pretend-esque idealism to many, but I feel an active effort towards curbing interruptions is worth exploring. People’s input are frequently marginalized through inconsiderate interruptions of others in a group discussion (sometimes intentionally, but typically it’s just rude and shows a lack of consideration).

Also, don’t fucking interrupt me when I’m making a point. I often listen a lot and talk little, so if I’ve got something to say, it’s for good reason. Listen.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: