How to Respond to People Who Constantly Talk Over You

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Sometimes interruptions are necessary – for example, when someone’s pointless speech at an award show is too long. But more often than not, interruptions where one person talks about another are rude and annoying. and youUnfortunately, some people are chronic interrupters; No matter how many times someone points out what they’re doing, they never really stop.

Lucky for us, author and podcast producer Rose Eveleth – a frequent interview and Interviewee – knows and has a thing or two about interrupters shared some tips for dealing with them. Here’s what you should know.

How to react when someone won’t stop talking over you

Along with Eveleth, we also have that to thank Recommend newsletter, the presented their strategies in a more recent edition. And here they are:

Forget subtlety

You won’t get anywhere by being polite or subtle, so don’t wait around for the other person to realize what they’re doing. (They won’t.)

Don’t wait for a break

Twice Eveleth points out that there are no pauses in conversation when dealing with an interrupter – so don’t wait for one or assume that one will come eventually. (It won’t.) Instead, she offers this solid tip:

“Start your sentence just before your partner has finished theirs,” she writes. “Don’t wait until they actually finish their sentence. Don’t make them stop and think, “Am I really done?” Because the answer is always no.”

QuestionsNeak aattack

Stop the person speaking above you and say, “Jim (or whatever your name is), can I ask you something?” You’ll probably even welcome the opportunity to talk more and tell you what. When they pause for your question, start directly with what you said before or what you want to say now.


Can’t speak up? Begin saying (and repeating) the breaker’s name. (eg, “Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim.”) According to Eveleth, this is effective because it draws attention to the fact that someone is talking about you, and using their name makes it clear that you are addressing them specifically.

Sometime, They have to acknowledge you, which then gives you the opportunity to speak, and point out that they were talking about you.

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As a last resort, Eveleth suggests laughing audibly when the person is talking about you. “Not a little chuckle, a big laugh so they can hear you,” she writes. “It’s incredibly distracting for them because they have no idea what’s funny and can upset them enough to get thrown off the train.”

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