Social Question

SuperMouse's avatar

What is your opinion on this social situation?

Asked by SuperMouse (30785points) July 29th, 2010

Here are the scenarios:

1) You are sitting and chatting with someone. A grown up member of your family – with whom you interact on a regular basis – walks up and without an “excuse me” or even missing a beat interrupts your conversation.

2) You are sitting and chatting with the same person. A grown up individual you have never seen before and will never see again walks ups without an “excuse me” or even missing a beat and interrupts your conversation.

Would you call out your family member for interrupting? Would you call out the stranger? Would you let the interruption go ignored or express your disapproval no matter who was doing the interrupting? Why would you react this way?

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12 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Gosh. I guess I’d treat them just like I’d treat a five year old, only more coldly. I think I’d say something like, “I’ll be with you in just a moment.”......

Blackberry's avatar

I would call out the family member and not the stranger. I would ignore the stranger.

cockswain's avatar

In both cases, I’d say something to the extent of “Excuse me, I was talking.” or “Is it OK if I finish what I was saying?” For some reason that usually works pretty well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Blackberry I think you’re probably right. Maybe it would depend on the discussion I was having as to whether I’d call a stranger out…

Austinlad's avatar

I live alone, so this kind of situation is likely to happen only in my workplace—and it does, often. If I’m having an open-door meeting with someone and one of the following people interrupts, this is how I handle it:

1) Peer or subordinate—I either politely say, “Give us a minute” or, if I’m in a snarky mood, I saym “I don’t recall inviting you to this meeting.” (Caveat: If it’s obvious to me that this person isn’t just inviting himself into my office but really needs my help, I’ll usually stop and see what they want.

2) Internal client, manager or any other superior—I say nothing because usually what they need deserves priority.

Jude's avatar

I would turn and talk to both the stranger and the family member (to see what they wanted). No big deal.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’d look to see if they were on fire and then respond accordingly. Either “Excuse me a moment I must finish this conversation.” or “Excuse me a moment. As you can see, she is on fire. I’ll get right back to you.”

Seek's avatar

I don’t think my three seconds are so valuable to warrant a display of moral superiority.

I’ll finish whatever sentence I happen to be in the middle of, then respond to the interrupter. They could only wish one of two things: To join the conversation (why wouldn’t I welcome them?) or they require a moment’s assistance (which is clearly more pressing than my casual chat).

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I’d let both slide. It’s not really worth causing a fuss over. If they sat down between us and just started talking to my friend, then there’d be an issue and I’d alert them both.

augustlan's avatar

In either case, I’d hold up my finger in the universal “one second, please” gesture, and finish what I was saying. I’d then turn my attention to the interrupter. For the stranger, that would be the end of it. For the family member, if I thought the behavior was rude, I’d address it later, in private.

SufiClown's avatar

I think most people, including myself, would correct the family member rather than the stranger because when you know someone better you realize its easier to correct them. In case of strangers, politeness demands that you let there mistake pass; even though politeness demands that the stranger not interrupt in such a manner. Like Dickens said, ”So, throughout life, our worst weaknesses and meannesses are usually committed for the sake of the people whom we most despise.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It depends – if it was my mother and she does this regularly, I’d let it go because it’s better in the long run as she can get so much worse.

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