Is It Ever Okay to Interrupt Someone in a Conversation?

Is It Ever Okay to Interrupt Someone in a Conversation?


Not all interruptions are created equal.

If you view all interruptions as equal, then you will get annoyed by every conversation.


There are normal interruptions that happen when 2 people are talking and there are bad interruptions that ruin the flow of the interaction.

The more social experiences we have, the more we will be able to tell the difference between the interruption styles.


Avoid making rash decisions.

Assess the situation for what it is.

First, let’s learn why interruptions happen.


Complexity within Complexity


When you think about it, a conversation is hard to have.

A bunch of things are happening:

  • Listening.
  • Remembering.
  • Thinking on the fly.
  • Being engaging.


These are all complex activities that we take for granted.


Added to this, humans are complex beings themselves.

They have moods, desires, affinity for certain topics and distaste for other topics.


When 2 people are interacting, there is complexity within complexity.

Complex humans are participating in a complex act.


To make this even more complex, add in multiple people!

Aka: Group conversations.


In an ideal world, people will start their train of thought, finish their train of thought, then a new person begins their train of thought.

In the real world, 2 people can have their train of thought at the same time.


Spotting Okay Interruptions


The okay interruptions are the ones that happen every now and then.

The conversation starts, and one-person interrupts and takes the spotlight.


A lot of times, these mistakes are completely harmless.

Maybe they didn’t even notice you were saying something.


The more people in the interaction, the rowdier it is going to get.

If there are 5+ people, expect there to be frequent interruptions.


‘What if I’m having a 1-on-1 interaction, why is the person interrupting me more today?’

Maybe they have more energy.


When people are comfortable around you, their energy often matches your energy.

So, if you are in a talkative mood, don’t be surprised if they are in a talkative mood too!


Avoid yelling at them or telling them to shut up.

Give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to have fun with you in this interaction.


When Interrupting Goes Wrong


Interrupting goes wrong when it constantly happens.

A great way to spot bad interruptions is by watching more interviews.


There are 2 interviews that stick out.

The interview Jordan Peterson did with Richard Dawkins and the interview Funkmaster Flex did with 50 Cent.

There were so many interruptions, swaying of topics, and poor listening skills that it ruined the dialogue.


By listening to interviews, you can spot irregular rhythms in conversations.

It’s easier to develop a feel for what’s appropriate and what’s not.


When you’re thinking:

‘Will you shut up and let him finish??’

Then you have spotted bad interruptions


People do bad interruptions for a variety of reasons.:

  • They have not had a social interaction in a while, so their timing is rusty.
  • They are a narcissist.
  • Maybe they have no clue they are interrupting.


You’ll feel it in your body when interruptions go from okay to annoying.


How to Stop Frequently Interrupting Others


If you are constantly interrupting others:

  1. Make yourself aware.
  2. Resist saying anything.


This is a muscle.


Discipline is not only about what you get yourself to do, but also what you get yourself not to do.

It’s so difficult to not say something when you want to say something.

This often happens with buzzwords.


The other person said a word that you have a personal connection with.

  • Toronto.

‘Toronto?? I was just there! I should butt in the conversation!’




Just listen.


Your body will fight you on this.

It will tempt you to say something.

‘Interrupt really quick so you can let them know you’ve been to Toronto to.’


That’s when you need to exercise phantom discipline.

Say nothing and just listen.


The more you get yourself to be silent when you wanted to interrupt someone, the easier it gets to have better conversations.

In the future, your timing will be on point.


How to Tell Someone to Stop Interrupting


There will be times when you keep getting interrupted in a conversation.

What should you do?


First, I like to bucket the people who interrupt me.

Is this someone I have to routinely talk to or is it a rare interaction?


If it’s a rare interaction, then I’ll let them interrupt.

I don’t have the time to teach this person basic social skills.

It’s a small interaction in the grand scheme of things.


But if this is a person that I have to routinely talk to, then I’ll pull them aside and say:

‘Hey fam, you interrupt me a lot! You need to let me finish, homie.’


I’ll add in friendly words like “fam” and “homie”, so they aren’t embarrassed.

I’ll also deliver the entire statement with a smile and friendly tone.


A lot of times, they will get embarrassed anyway:

‘Oh snap, my bad! I didn’t notice. Sorry man, ever since the lockdowns I haven’t had the chance to talk to many people. I guess I’m rusty.’


It’s crucial that you pull people aside to let them know when they are interrupting you.

When you bring up their quirk in front of people, they will resent you.

Your message will fall on deaf ears.


Not All Interruptions Are the Same


In conversations, interruptions will happen.

Be able to spot the difference between okay interruptions and annoying interruptions.


Okay interruptions happen because 2 complex beings are engaging in a complex act.

The complexity increases as we add in more people.


Bad interruptions are when it’s constant and hurting the flow.

You’ll be able to spot bad interruptions if you listen to more interviews.


You’ll think:

‘Shut up and let them talk!’


It’s your choice with how you want to deal with bad interruptions.

  • If you do it, stop.
  • If others do it to you, know when to pick your battles.


For more insights into social skills, check out the Charisma King eBook

– ArmaniTalks 🎙️🔥



Share This On:


Level up your communication skills with a new email everyday at 7pm EST


Armani Talks: Level Up Mentality : A Guide to Re-engineer your Mindset for Confidence - Book By Armani Talks


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join the
ArmaniTalks 🎙️🔥

Stay updated with all latest tips , tricks & strategies to build communcications skills.



Get the Free eBook by signing up below.​
You can unsubscribe anytime
Build communication skills with daily tips
Join 10K subscribers


Level up your communication skills with a new email everyday at 7pm EST