please interrupt

I should really call this blog — the extremely niche guide to extremely niche social interactions. Well, I should not actually, because that is not the point of the blog (there is no point! other than to write 1 million words over some period of time). But if you were to analyze the content — a thing I will one day do — gut for me says that a recurring topic lives at the intersection of TALKING TO OTHER HUMANS <> understanding one’s self.

It may come across in a “holy that is neurotic type of way” or alternatively in a “wow this guy is insecure type of way.” Neither is the intention. But if you read this blog, you would probably know that. The idea is merely to think through some of the details as a means to being more effective (or at minimum more aware of what I like, dislike, and perhaps the why’s behind each as to strengthen or weaken my thinking).

And so…today’s topic falls into one of those categories. An idea I have thought about before but have not really crisped up to the degree I would really like — it’s the notion that interrupting people is actually kind.

It falls downstream of the idea that interactions are about communication of information. And if you are playing in a game of sorts — in this case engaging in an interaction — where no further words someone would say (or appears to be on track to say) would actually make a positive impact on you (for whatever reason you decide), then INTERRUPTING is perhaps a kind thing to do.

This is not the social norm today. It is viewed as a rude thing in most all social interactions that I see to not let someone talk. But it is not clear to me that that sort of thing is actually a good rule for culture. I think you can save people a lot of time and energy if both people show up to the conversation as genuine participants who are not trying to manipulate one another and therefore will talk when they want to talk in an attempt to participate in the discourse (and communicate information). So blocking them if they are going off the rails or not contributing, well that doesn’t seem so bad.

What seems bad, or why things are the way they are probably, is that people like to feel heard, even when what they are saying is ~stupid. So they make up these rules that you should never talk when someone else is speaking — I try not to talk when other people are talking that I do not know, because people react so negatively to any form of interruption.

But interrupting is often just you saying HEY THIS IS BORING LET’S MOVE ON BECAUSE MOVING ON WOULD BE IN BOTH OUR BEST INTERESTS.

Now this does not work if the reason you are interrupting is just to hear your own voice (and not to move things forward). I think people make this mistake extremely often and perhaps that is why interrupting gets such a bad reputation (as it should in this scenario). An interruption should bring things forward.


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