Make Room For The Stuttering

Interrupting

Posted on: December 3, 2013

From the Free Online Dictionary, the meaning of the word interrupt and it’s different forms.

in·ter·rupt
(nt-rpt)

v.  in·ter·rupt·ed, in·ter·rupt·ing, in·ter·rupts

v.tr.

1. To break the continuity or uniformity of: Rain interrupted our baseball game.
2. To hinder or stop the action or discourse of (someone) by breaking in on: The baby interrupted me while I was on the phone.

I think about the times I get interrupted. In the middle of a block, someone interrupts and fills in the word they think I was going to say. I sometimes feel disrespected when that happens.

I also think about how many times I actually interrupt another person who stutters, as it’s not always easy to tell when a person who stutters is done speaking or if they are in the middle of a block. It seems to happen a lot when I am chatting with someone over Skype for the podcast.

I usually wind up just apologizing and acknowledging that sometimes it just hard to gauge if the person is done speaking or indeed in a block.

Sometimes it’s hard to establish a rhythm between two people who stutter who are engaged in good conversation and good blocks.

Has it happened to you, that you accidentally interrupt someone who stutters while they’re in a block? How does it make you feel?

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1 Response to "Interrupting"

Pam, when I started talking to people who stutter in Skype I realized how difficult it is actually to not interrupt. Without any bad intentions. For example a person calls and I say, Hi. And it turns out he or she was trying to say hello at that time. Or a connection breaks down and it is not always possible to tell if it is a block or bad connection. A solution for this for me is to develop a skill of listening. It is important with non-stuttering people as well. I often think I know what a person wants to say and start answering, but in fact we never know until a person actually completes his or her thought. I learned to be more understanding of interruptions and more vigilant about my own tendency to interrupt.
Anna

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