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I’m Not Trying to Be Rude If I Interrupt You, I Have ADHD

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I have a problem with… finishing others’ sentences. Interrupting them before they have a chance to finish their thought. It is something I am not proud of, and for a while, I thought I was simply self-centered. But now I have a better understanding of why I do this.

Impulsivity is the main reason. And a fear of forgetting.

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My struggle with interrupting others is due to my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — it’s a component of hyperactivity and impulsivity. This is further amplified during my occasional episodes of hypomania and mania as a part of having bipolar disorder.

I typically don’t share this with people because it sounds like an excuse for rudeness, doesn’t it? In fact, I have been called rude before, particularly during bouts of (hypo)mania.

In addition, because of my ADHD, I also have a tendency to want to get my thoughts out before I forget them, which can also lead to cutting the other person in the conversation off.

I just wanted to say to anyone who has been on the receiving end of someone repeatedly interrupting you, they often don’t mean it. Majority of the time, there is something else going.

How do I handle this now that I have more self-awareness?

I apologize, but not excessively. I apologize when it’s needed; I also sometimes give my friends the truth behind my actions — that it is part of a developmental condition and not inherent rudeness. Most people are understanding. When I am with strangers and acquaintances, I am now very mindful. The interrupting and impulsive speech still happens, but I do my best to slow it down and reduce the frequency. I try to breathe, listen and take pauses before responding.

Thank you for reading this! And if you relate, feel free to comment below!

Getty image by wichai leesawatwong

Originally published: September 19, 2021
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