On this week’s episode of “I Want to Like You,” host and Real Simple editor Kristin van Ogtrop tackles an annoyance we’ve all had to deal with—interruptions. Of course, our world is full of interruptions—from cell phones to emails—but this focuses more on people, and those who can’t seem to let you finish one sentence without interjecting. However, it might not be as rude as you think—according to Cynthia Gordon, associate professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, some people are “high involvement” when it comes to conversation—so their interruptions might just be a way to show they’re taking interest in your story. But what if they aren’t showing interest, and they’re just inconsiderate?
Jane Hight McMurry, relationship expert and author of Navigating the Lipstick Jungle ($10, amazon.com) offers an acronym to help you deal with irritating interrupters—whether someone won’t let you finish your sentences, or drops by your desk or home unannounced. The word is L.A.S.T., and it stands for: listen, apologize, solve, and thank. When applied to the previously mentioned scenario—a person who often drops by without warning—McMurry suggests listening and saying hello, apologizing that visitation doesn’t fit with your schedule at the moment, suggesting a time to get together in the near future (which solves the problem), and thanking them for their time and for coming by.