How do you respond to interruption?
I used to feel apologetic in talking with another person, because I believed that I was wasting their time. I used to believe that I needed to keep the other person engaged, because I am so dull that their attention could easily drift elsewhere and I’d never get it back.
In conversations, I had a bad habit of trying to test the other person’s interest in me. While I am talking, if I was interrupted (such as by a friend saying hello or a truck passing by), I would wait after the interruption and not say anything. I wouldn’t resume what I was saying, but simply wait. If the person started talking about something else, I would think “Well, clearly this person isn’t really interested in what I have to say and was only pretending to listen to me this whole time out of politeness. I guess that’s normal. And to think that I thought that they were actually interested in what I had to say. Silly me.”
Yet when someone said “Please continue,” I would feel a lift of happiness. Someone was actually interested in what I had to say! As I started to develop a more truthful perspective of myself, such small gestures were great encouragements that my voice does matter.
Thank God, this lie that I was believing is broken off of me. Yet I know that many people still believe this about themselves. Although I am not responsible for their healing, I can help them be encouraged. Thus, for everyone that I meet, when our conversation gets interrupted, I always make a point of saying “Please continue” or “Tell me more” after the interruption has passed. This communicates to them that what they have to say matters because they are important.