How to Get People to Stop Talking over You and Listen
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How to Get People to Stop Talking over You and Listen

It's frustrating and upsetting to have someone talk over you repeatedly. If you're in this situation you will probably want to know how to get others to stop interrupting and listen to you. The way to do this is to project power behind your words.

When you are speaking and someone interrupts and talks over you it can make you feel a variety of emotions. You may feel angry and frustrated, or you may feel small and overlooked. Being ignored isn’t a pleasant experience and is often received as a sign of rejection.

There are a variety of reasons why someone may talk over you:

  • They are excited to see you and brimming over with enthusiasm.
  • They have something very important to say.
  • They are ignorant and unskilled in the art of communication.
  • They are rude and obnoxious.
  • You are not speaking with power.

Everyone gets interrupted now and then due to the first four reasons above. However if you are being interrupted regularly the chances are that you are not speaking with power behind your words. When your intention to be heard isn’t felt other people are less likely to listen to you. Sensitive individuals who are skilled communicators may not talk over you, but the average person will butt in and over-ride what you have to say.

Even pet animals don’t respond to commands given by owners who don’t have power behind their words. Just try and train a dog if you speak with a lack of oomph and you’ll know what I mean.

How to project the power of intention when communicating

To understand what to do you first have to take a look at what not to do. Think about how bashful people who are meek and apologetic speak. They are likely to avoid eye contact with the people they are talking to. They may tilt their head towards the ground so that their words aren’t projected. They may speak softly and mumble.

Now imagine how a powerful person talks. They stand or sit tall with their back straight. They face the people they want to talk to and gain eye contact before speaking. They project their voice and sometimes use physical gestures to help them explain what they are saying.

When you speak you can have a more powerful presence if you use positive body language so people, and even your dog, knows you mean business.

  • Stand up/sit up straight.
  • Take up space.
  • Use physical gestures to make your presence obvious.
  • Face the person/people you are talking to head on.
  • Gain eye contact.

What to do if people have made talking over you a habit which is hard to break.

Sometimes you may be talked over if your friends/family have strong personalities and are extra loud. It can happen that they have talked over you for so long that they don’t even realize they are doing it anymore and it’s hard to get through to them. If this is the case tell whoever talks over you regularly that you have noticed that they often interrupt you. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming over emotional or upset in front of them. Instead smile as you inform them that when they talk over you they miss learning anything new as they already know what they want to say.

Tell them that from now on you’ll signal them if they inadvertently interrupt you. A loud, slow hand-clap should do the trick until they stop. Then you can smile brightly and speak without being interrupted anymore.

By projecting a powerful presence you can command attention. Practice with a good friend or in front of a mirror. Record your speech and listen to what you sound like when you speak. You’ll soon know if your voice has power or lacks dynamism. If it does keep practicing until you sound like the kind of person even a stranger’s dog would take commands from. Then people will stop talking over you.

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Comments (10)

Wow, I really learned something from this article. Now I know what I am doing wrong because people talk over me all of the time.

Some great tips for making yourself heard!

Ranked #3 in Psychology

Good info and presented well.Promoted since I am out of votes.

Excellent job on this article. Voted up.

This is some very good advice, although I cannot see myself being assertive enough to do a hand clap each time it happens. Voted up and shared.

Ranked #1 in Psychology

Thank-you for the great comments everyone

Great article!

Excellent article. Voted.

i talk to my mother .she talks when i'm talking and when i stop she's silent.i throw water in your face .she can't work out why unless i simplify things. she also walks away when i talk.
I was googling this subject, since I wanted to learn all the ways how to stop this kind of bullying. What I've noticed so far, is I get the best tools from the interrupter him self. It was easier to analyze the ways he uses when I recorded our 'conversation'. Some were: when someone interrupts you continue to repeat the word you were saying when he interrupted you. Repeat like broken record untill he stops. This way no one hears what he has to say and also notices that he was the one to interrupt. Continue with "Thank" or "Now let me finish" or something like that which tells the person, you noticed what he tried to do or has been doing while interrupting you. Another way is to repeat the persons name untill he stops and then thanking him to let you finish what you were saying. If you want to change the subject change it by repeating the name of the thing you want to discuss about. This works as convincing autosuggestion for your self and suggestion for the interrupter. He kind of gives you a tool to play with his head. Just some thoughts. Some people (who have respect for no one) never learn, and some learn quickly to appreciate you.