Your recent story about someone in a theatre interrupting a conversation with their own prompted me to tell this story. I’m still a little unclear of who’s in the wrong here and would appreciate yours and readers advice.
I’m a pretty quiet person and fairly content to sit back and listen and chime into the group conversation occasionally.
In one group of friends, however, it’s hard to get a word in. One woman in particular talks A LOT. It’s pretty much a wall of sound and she doesn’t have any problem interrupting what you’re saying to get going. The dynamics of the group means that people also tend to just let her talk. Subsequently, I don’t talk much when I’m in this group. When I do try and say something, I’m often interrupted by this person.
I was getting pretty annoyed by this. And reduced the amount of time I was spending with this group because of it. After a while though I thought, “Well, maybe I’m just being too sensitive and this is just how the group interacts with each other”. The next time I was spending time with them I decided that when I had something to say I was going to say it, whether that interrupted her or not.
Well… it didn’t go down well. I was met with “No, I’m talking let me finish. Don’t interrupt”. Basically, she can stop me mid sentence but if anyone does it to her, it’s a problem.
I don’t particularly want to spend my time with this group sitting in silence but I’m genuinely perplexed as to how to join a conversation when it’s so hard to get a word in edgewise. 0707-18
And why haven’t you tried her own statement to her when she interrupts you? My husband used to have a particularly clever way of dealing with people who repeatedly interrupted him by saying, “Oh, I’m sorry. Please forgive me for talking while you were interrupting. ” Done the right way, it can be a funny way to get the point across. People like this woman are more selfish than anything else. They are verbal bulls in the china shop and the only way to get that bull under control is to take the bull by the horns….not exactly something quiet or non-assertive people are comfortable doing.
The other dynamic is that apparently what this woman has to say captivates the audience to the point that they routinely gather to hear her talk. If she was boring, people would wander away to form smaller conversation circles until her audience is greatly diminished or gone all together. I’m not sure why you choose to be an audience member when the option exists to start side conversations with someone on the periphery of the group.