Interrupting A Conversation Politely: How To Interrupt Without Being Rude

Published: 01st June 2011
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It is never easy finding yourself in a situation where you need to interrupt the conversation. Sometimes, your friends are talking among themselves and there is something you canít wait to tell them. Sometimes, others are dominating the conversation and you canít get a word in.

Whatever it is, sometimes you just have to. It may seem a little unusual, but the fact is thereís such a thing as interrupting a conversation politely. Here's how to do it without being rude.

Tip # 1: Use Opening Phrase.

"Please excuse me," "Let me interrupt for a minute," and "That reminds me," are some phrases you can use to ease your way into the discussion.

Just be sure that your announcement is really important that it canít wait till the lull in the conversation. Remember to speak clearly, but not loudly.

Tip # 2: Signal To The Speaker.

Make eye-contact with the speaker to let them know that you have something to say. You can also clear your throat or use body language such as hand gestures. You may also touch the person speaking if they are close enough.

When interrupting a conversation politely, donít forget to smile and keep from being too abrupt.

Tip # 3: Respond.

Take advantage of the chance to respond. In the appropriate time, express your opinions or views over the topic being discussed. You can also ask a question or ask for a clarification. From there, you can make the transition to your specific concern.

Tip # 4: Involve Others.

If your attempts at interrupting a conversation politely havenít been noticed by the speaker, others in the group probably have.

If youíre too shy or youíre not in the position to be noticed directly, you can signal to the others who can in turn signal to the speaker. Another method is asking about the opinion of others, opening a window for you to voice out yours as well.

Tip # 5: Acknowledge The Speaker.

Let them have your undivided attention. When they have finished, state that you have heard their point and politely switch to your own topic.

Itís also important to be discerning. Know when to keep quiet and wait, and know when to speak up and interrupt.

Think about how you will feel if the tables were turned. Interrupting a conversation politely is a social skill that can be learned. No one wants to be interrupted so when you have to, do so respectfully.

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