Anxiety can be a really debilitating illness.
It forms like a cluster of energy in your chest and in your head that blocks all rational thought and decision-making. It can really alter your life, and if you aren’t careful, it can fully take over your life.
Redditor superlion1083 has anxiety and is slowly trying to make peace with it.
To that end they have started forming boundaries around their own and others’ behavior which is a boon for them, but predictably a minor annoyance to others.
Unclear if they went too far in setting one of their boundaries, they logged onto the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for some objective feedback.
“AITA for refusing to continue my ‘story’ after my aunt interrupted me?”
Our original poster, or OP, isn’t the biggest fan of talking about themselves.
“I don’t like talking about myself as it is. I have anxiety and grew up with a dad that would grill/interrogate me about every little thing (and I wasn’t a troublemaker).”
“So whenever I get interrupted or something I figure I’m being boring and stop talking. When my family would ask ‘what’s new?’ I used to just say ‘nothing’ but then my dad said that was rude and they wanted to hear about my life so I need to come up with something to tell them.”
“My family is weird and basically has one big conversation at dinner, where one person talks at a time and everyone listens.”
“Well over the weekend my family had a get together. My uncle was asking me about college during dinner and what classes I’m taking next year.”
OP’s aunt interrupted them.
“I was in the middle of telling him and my aunt interrupts me ‘did Sara tell you she’s going to volleyball camp?’ (Sara is my cousin) So I stopped talking.”
“Thing is this aunt has basically done this my whole life. She cuts me off when I’m talking about anything (when something is new), talk about her kids (my cousins).”
“It’s annoying. I didn’t notice it til I started getting older (she did it when I was a kid too) but it’s literally every time.”
“Usually when she stops they want me to continue and I usually do but I’m sick of getting halfway through something and losing my train of thought, or finishing eating and being expected to stay at the table til I can finish my story.”
But they decided against continuing.
“When she was done my uncle was like ‘-name- what were you saying?’ I just said ‘nothing, nevermind’ and was done eating so I got up.”
“Later my dad kinda lectured me saying that it’s rude to get halfway through a story and then not finish it.”
“I said that it’s rude when people interrupt because they think they’re more important. He claims ‘it’s not done intentionally and I should let it go.'”
“I feel like I did let it go, but if I have to give a speech (what it feels like) during family functions I’d rather do it all at once. AITA for not continuing talking after my aunt interrupted me?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors thought OP actually did something very powerful.
“I was just talking about this in another post. The only correct response to ‘that’s just how they are’ regarding sh*tty behavior is, ‘but that’s a BAD way to be.’ Being sh*tty is not an excuse to continue to be sh*tty.”
“If you’re going to interrupt and talk over someone, the natural consequence of that is not getting to know what that person was going to say.”
“NTA at all OP. I come from a family of interrupters and struggle with it myself. People who are interested in what you have to say will listen to you, not talk over you.”
“You have no obligation to talk to people who clearly demonstrate that they have no interest in what you have to say.”
“Also, I was also a super shy kid and my parents forced me talk about myself in social situations similar to OPs family.”
“Now, as an adult I talk compulsively in social situations and can get super obnoxious. (And no I can’t stop even when I’m annoying myself, because staying quiet feels worse. Thanks parents!)”
“It’s a hard habit to break, so stand up for yourself, OP, and never force yourself to talk when you a) don’t want to, or b) don’t feel like anyone is listening.”-Kathrynlena
“I think OP should have said why she stopped talking at the table. Like ‘Oh, well, when Aunt interrupted me, I assumed that she didn’t want to hear the rest of my answer.'”
“We all get interrupted and we have to learn to deal with it. OPs response is ok-ish here but a little immature. They will need a better technique for coworkers.”
“NTA but needs improvement.”-Fredredphooey
“NTA. Why waste your breath when you wont even be able to get your point across without being interrupted?”
“Your aunt is TA and someone should say something about her self-centered behavior rather than making up excuses.”-mercifulalien
“NTA. Before you even start talking look directly at your aunt and say ‘do you have anything you want to say first because if I start talking and you interrupt me AGAIN I will be done talking.'”
“Then wait a couple beats to see if she says anything before you start talking. Though that could backfire because she will know if she interrupts you, you will stop talking.”
“Or you could be kinda rude to everyone and when it’s your ‘turn’ to talk just stare directly at your aunt and if she opens her mouth stop whatever you were saying and say to her ‘excuse me I’m still talking here can you wait’ then go back to what you were saying without waiting for her reply.”-kablez21
Being interrupted is a clear sign of disrespect.
“NTA. It’s very obnoxious on your aunt’s part. I don’t think you should penalize your uncle because he actually asked you.”
“Maybe next time you can point out to your aunt that you don’t appreciate being interrupted. Something like: ‘I’m still busy talking’ would suffice.”
“Man, I can sympathize. I’ve got family who are just like that. And often they’ll interrupt to one up me. Me: ‘So I bought a donut.'”
“Relative: ‘Actually I remember this time in 1985 where I bought the biggest donut ever created…’ Sounds like you were being one-upped with this volleyball story.”-CadmeusCain
“NTA – I F*ING HATE being interrupted. My wife does this to me constantly and I’d patiently wait until I could tell her what I had to say. Lately I’ve just been stopping.”
“If I get interrupted twice, I’m done. Obviously, me talking wasn’t important enough to actually LISTEN to, so why bother wasting the effort.”
“It’s bad enough that we have a bunch of kids so it happens from them too, but when it’s in that situation? No – I agree with what you did.”-Lurkingentropy
“My SO and I both interrupt each other a lot, but don’t consciously realize we’re doing it. We basically call each other out every time with a ‘let me finish’ comment to help break the habit.”
“We’ve gotten a lot better at catching ourselves sooner and apologizing for interrupting the other. I come from a family of interrupters like OPs where we all just talk over each other and can get really loud.”
“The first time my ILs saw my siblings and I in an unfettered convo they asked my SO if we were in an argument.”
“It’s really hard to break that habit, but you have to. Not everyone is comfortable with that communication style.”
“I have to make a point to apologize and acknowledge that when I’m speaking with someone who is bothered by it.”
“OP, you should call out your aunt. It 100% sounds like she’s doing it intentionally, but even if she wasn’t, you don’t appreciate it.”
“You deserve to speak the way you want to speak without someone cutting you off.”-indigbogwitch
“NTA. Next time she interrupts you say ‘I am speaking. The polite thing to do is wait until I am done speaking before you change the subject.'”
“‘The last time you interrupted me, I was reprimanded by for being impolite in not finishing my story. I assume courtesy and general good manners are now required at these family meals, so I accept you will abide by these rules of etiquette too. Right dad? That’s what you said.’”-lincmidd
And anytime someone interrupts you, it’s a safe bet they weren’t actually listening.
Better to save that story for another time.
“NTA she obviously feels competitive about her children vs her siblings children. She needs to show that her’s are successful too, and at your expense.”
“It’s likely got nothing to do with you personally, rather whichever of your parents are her sibling. Curious, are you doing ‘better’ than your cousins in the traditional way?”-opheliasdinosaur
“NTA. Your Aunt was being very rude. Next time she does that, wait until she pauses then say ‘Aunt whatever, I’m sorry but I was still answering Uncle about college’ or whatever you were talking about.”
“Or ‘Sorry, but I wasn’t finished talking.’ It’s worth a try and maybe after doing that several times she’ll get it. If not, then don’t continue after she’s done.”
“You aren’t being rude at all. I’m surprised no one sticks up for you. The only other thing I can think of it maybe you’re taking too long to come to the point? But she’s still rude even then.”-LoveBeach8
“NTA. No one is entitled to your time or patience.”
“That being said, it might not be an intentional thing from your aunt. I’d talk to her 1:1, let her know how it makes you feel, and ask her to be more understanding.”
“It might be that she just hadn’t considered your anxiety, especially if she doesn’t suffer in the same way.”-PoliteRadical
“NTA. Interrupting people is my biggest pet peeve, and I have a lot of family members like your aunt. Most of the time it isn’t intentional, but that doesn’t make it any less rude.”
“The whole ‘My intentions were good, so no one should criticize my actions’ thing is baby boomer nonsense.”
“Ive gotten into the same habit of just not continuing when they do it. I throw out a quick ‘yikes’ ‘wow’ or ‘never mind, I guess’ and move on.”-TogarSucks
Boundary setting is important, because your time and your space are important.
And OP has just learned an important lesson about how to respect their own space and time.