Some extroverts will do anything to get introverts talking and then interrupt us mid-sentence. Click to tweet.  They might do this several times in a conversation without even realizing it.  Most introverts will patiently endure these careless swats to the ego, but don’t be fooled; we do notice,  we do mind, and we would really appreciate it if you stopped.

Introverts put a lot of thought into the few words we do say so interruptions can be really frustrating. As you chatter away, we are desperately clinging to our last thought – and the hope that you’ll let us spit it out.  Usually our hopes are dashed, as the discussion swiftly moves on to new topics.

Interrupt us enough times and we won’t even bother trying to interject.  We’ll spend the rest of the conversation nodding our heads while secretly stewing over your inability to listen.

We’ll also be plagued with the nagging sense that something isn’t right in the world (similar to the feeling you get after watching a Lady Gaga video).  Basically, we’ll be left with a bad taste in our tightly shut mouths – a taste that we’ll forever associate with talking to you (and watching Lady Gaga videos).

You can’t blame us for feeling uneasy.  I’m pretty sure I remember Mrs. Green teaching our kindergarten class that it’s not nice to interrupt.  And so far, she’s been right about most things.

Frankly, interrupting an introvert is more than not nice.  It’s actually insulting for a number of reasons.

Let’s examine the message that is sent when you interrupt someone:

  • What I have to say is more important than what you have to say.
  • What you’re saying is boring.
  • I don’t value your thoughts and opinions.
  • You’re talking too slowly.  I don’t have time for this.
  • I don’t really want to converse, I just like to listen to the sound of my own voice.

I realize I’m sounding a bit harsh, but don’t worry; I’m about to get really soft and squishy on you.  The truth is, interrupting us hurts our feelings.  I can’t help but feel a little bit smaller every time someone cuts me off mid-sentence.   I’m left to wonder why my opinions don’t matter enough to be heard in full.

Should I speak louder?  Should I construct jazzier sentences that grab your attention?  Would you listen if I spoke more like the Kardasian sisters, inserting ‘like’ and ‘d’ya know what I mean’ into every other sentence? People seem to care what they have to say.

Anyway,I think you get my point.  If not, please consult your local introvert’s association for more information.  Or consider repeating kindergarten.