The Unbearable Habit Of Cutting People Off, Let’s Put A Stop To It!

Last updated by Rosie Harlow

If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s getting cut off when I’m talking. I get the impression that what I’m saying is of no importance to the person in front of me. So yes, maybe the person we’re talking to is afraid of forgetting their train of thought and rushes the words out of their mouth, but still. The icing on the cake? It’s when there’s no excuse and it happens all the time. What an unbearable habit cutting people off is!

The Unbearable Habit Of Cutting People Off, Let’s Put A Stop To It!

Why does it drive us crazy?

When I get cut off, I find myself lost in thought 😵. That’s right, the person I’m talking to has just interrupted the flow of my thoughts and ideas! The worst time to get cut off is when you’re explaining something. Most of the time you lose a lot of information that you wanted to convey.

However, as the psychologist Xavier Amador explains, interruption gives rise to a strong feeling of frustration. Indeed, when we get cut off, we feel like we’re not being listened to. It’s difficult to calm your anger at a time like that 😬! Depending on the sensitivity of each person, this anger can be transformed in two different ways:

  • either we can explode and enter into open conflict with the person who cut us off (this usually happens to me with my family or close friends),
  • or we can turn our anger against ourselves and feel guilty (this happens more in a professional context).

In the first case, it leads to a deterioration in the relationship, regardless of the type of anger. In the second case, it has an impact on your self-confidence. You feel guilty for not having spoken as you wanted, you question what you said. In short, in both cases, the quality of the relationship is greatly compromised 🤕.

Characteristics of the person who cuts you off

I’ve also been known to cut people off. I moan, but sometimes (often?) I’ve been at fault too 🤐. Personally, I know that my worry lies in the fear that my train of thought will get away from me. Nevertheless, I’ve always apologized immediately and invited the person to start speaking again.

You may miss information about who you’re talking to, what they do, how they work, and what drives them. That’s why it’s important to give the floor back to them when you realize you’ve cut them off.

When you listen with one ear...

What’s more, interruption also comes from a lack of active listening, as psychologist Julian Treasure explains. We only listen with one ear, mainly because we’re immersed in our inner world🌎. Except that, my attention would have to be focused on what the person in front of me was saying! Fortunately, I’ve managed to reduce this bad habit, not least because I’m still an empathetic person. Meditation also helps me to calm my flow of thoughts, which allows me to be more attentive.

🗨️

If I’m in any doubt about what the person I’m talking to has said? I rephrase the sentence I’ve just heard to show that I’ve been listening.

Reasons for interrupting

For me, the reason I sometimes cut people off is that I’m afraid I’ll forget about my thoughts. I’m usually too excited to express myself and I can’t manage my emotionsBut that’s not the only reason why someone might cut you off. For some people, it’s a need to keep speaking and therefore to be in control. For others, it may be a heightened passion for the subject. It may also be a lack of knowledge about the art of conversation... In short, just because we cut people off sometimes doesn’t mean we have an over-inflated ego 😅.

👋 You may be interested in this article: Why do I constantly need to be in control?

How to react when you’re cut off?

To prevent anger from taking hold of us, it’s important to communicate and point out the problem, whether in a personal or professional context or even after speaking in public. To do this, there are various ways of reacting to getting cut off:

  • Ask to speak again: “May I speak again?” A polite way of pointing out that you’ve been interrupted.
  • Use humor: “Well, if we put $1 in a jar every time you cut me off, by the end of the year I’ll be rich.” A good way to lighten the atmosphere with someone close to you.
  • Interrupt the person interrupting: “I’ll cut you off, as you just did.” Be careful, this can be passive-aggressive and should only be used when it’s happened several times and if you feel you’re being disrespected.
  • Defend others who have been interrupted: “Excuse me, but you just cut that person off.” This is a good way of showing support, especially in the workplace.

👉 There are different ways of reacting depending on the person opposite you and the context. You need to be able to adapt accordingly! And above all, remember how unpleasant it is to get cut off so don’t do it yourself. Listening is the key to avoiding interrupting the person you’re talking to 😌.

Editor’s note: Listening attentively can be learned!

Getting constantly cut off is very annoying, but as you’ve seen, there are some very effective ways of dealing with it. If after reading this article, you realize that you’re the one with the annoying habit of cutting people off, it’s never too late to become aware of it and work on it! You need to learn to listen carefully to others, so don’t hesitate to contact a coach to find solutions together.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!

#BornToBeMe

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Article presented by Rosie Harlow

Writing has always been a form of therapy for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always used paper as a punching bag. Get to know me, I am Rosie Harlow.

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