Why Interruptions Are Bad
They’re obviously rude and annoying. It’s apparent to the other conversationalists and any audience. It’s also increasingly frustrating when it’s constant.
They reveal arrogance and self-infatuation. The interrupter thinks what they have to say is more important, and assumes the other participants and audience agree.
They’re purely emotional and never intellectual. They happen mid-thought of the other person, indicating that the interrupter is not actually processing that thought, but vomiting their immediate feelings mixed in with half-baked ideas.
They’re an attempt to compensate for logical inferiority. A strong and well-formed argument requires taking in everything the other person is saying and addressing those points. The interrupter is unwilling or incapable of understanding the other person’s thoughts, therefore tries to make up for it by talking more.
They’re a verbal train wreck in slow motion. Due to the lack of intentional thought, the interruption usually results in incoherent statements, unrelated tangents, and general nonsensical rambling.
They reveal conversational insecurity. The interrupter knows or feels they can’t compete in turn-based dialogue. Therefore they aim to overwhelm and dominate by talking louder and talking more. They try to make up for their lack of communication quality by substituting in vocal quantity.
They bring everything down. They degrade the image of the interrupter, but also that of other conversationalists. Others are put in a difficult situation of allowing the interrupter to continue, therefore letting the monologue get out of control and appearing weak. Or they are forced to also interrupt and raise their voice to regain control, thus resulting in incomprehensible gibberish. It results in eye rolls from everyone else because we’re all wasting our time.
They happen everywhere, in families, social gatherings, business meetings, and political debates.
But here’s the worst part…
We crave it.
Though we know interruptions are bad, we’ve been conditioned to want it and replicate it. TV and radio talk shows made entertainment out of people arguing and interrupting each other, and we loved it. News programs transported that model by having “expert panelists” argue and interrupt each other, and we loved it. So it shouldn’t be surprising that at the national political stage, “leaders” will argue and interrupt each other.
We express our disgust at it, but we love it. We love to hate it. It gives us something to talk about and something to feel superior about. Drama is easier to digest than information.
It continues because it works. For supporters of the interrupter, they are seen through foggy lenses as the clear “winner” of the debate because of their perceived dominance.
We’ve created the interruption monster we hate. The calm, polite, and logical individuals never make it past the primaries, onto the news station debates, or onto talks shows. It’s the loud, obnoxious, interrupters that trample their way into more viewers, more votes, and more power.
Because in the end, they’re simply more entertaining to watch, and we want to be entertained, not informed.
Originally published at https://steven.ma