Here's to strong women...may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them.
July 19, 2022

How to Interrupt: Manners, Assertiveness, and No Apologies (Encore) // by Carmelita (Cat) Tiu

(Encore of Episode 05)

“I’m Speaking.”  We all remember that magical, kick-ass Kamala Harris moment, right?  

We encourage our daughters to be assertive, share their stories, and speak up. But when we teach them that interrupting is impolite and rude, are we inadvertently undermining their ability to rightfully claim airtime -- even if they’re interrupted by someone else?  Will they choose politeness over being heard?  Will they be afraid to assert themselves in a lively discussion, afraid that they’ll offend? 

Listen to hear:

  • The different social norms for boys and girls
  • Disparities in how much men talk versus women in executive settings
  • The 10 words every girl needs to learn, according to Soraya Chemaly
  • Sample phrases illustrating how to interrupt
  • What to tell your daughters to make them feel more comfortable with interrupting



Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them

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Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host:

Hi, everyone. As I mentioned in last week's episode, I've decided to take my foot off the new episode pedal for a short summer hiatus. This is my first summer as a podcaster and I underestimated how thrown off I would be by the perfect storm of kid activities, or lack thereof, traveling and bouts of unexpected events like summer colds, block parties, house repairs, et cetera. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I also realized that I really wanted a short break to step back and plan out what the podcast will look like for the next season. So rather than release new episodes, I'm sharing a handful of the top episodes for the next few weeks. I know that every episode is packed with information, even though they're relatively short. So consider this a chance to listen to fan favorite episodes you haven't heard before, or if you're a loyal listener, maybe you'll find yourself celebrating how far you've come or how much you remember since you listened to this episode, the first time. Whatever camp you fall into. I am so glad you're here and I hope you're enjoying summer. I'll be returning with new episodes for season two, which launches in August. If you haven't done so already head to no be raise or the show notes and sign up for my email list. You'll be the first to know about upcoming projects, including a collective for mindful moms of girls, sort of a mastermind for women who want to show up for themselves in powerful ways, and also be intentional about how they raise their daughters and sons for that matter and follow at Noby raise them on Instagram and like the podcast page on Facebook, Raise them. Thanks for listening. Welcome to know them. Be them, raise them a show to help moms stay informed and inspired so they can show up for themselves and their daughters the way they want to. I'm your host, Carmelita two, join me each week. As I cover a variety of topics, all designed to support, mindful and growth oriented moms of girls, especially girls in their crucial queen and teen years today, I'm sharing my own thoughts about something that came up not too long. And left me wondering, I was waiting for the train in earshot of a small group of teens. And I noticed one person kept talking over and interrupting the others. Now I completely understand how tweens and teens much like any group can get riled up and in their excitement, chatter overlaps sentences get finished in a congenial way. And voices naturally get lost in the. But in this particular scenario, it seemed that a couple of girls were being talked over and they just weren't being allowed to speak much. Or have a say about the conversation topic. I know this because as moms, we naturally developed some serious VES dropping skills so I'm half listening and I kept hearing this one person interrupt others time and time again, I kind of wanted to turn around and ask this person. Do you realize you've been interrupting everyone else, let them speak and then tell the girls interrupt back. You were rudely interrupted. So you go ahead and interrupt back. it got me thinking, why didn't they interrupt back? Did they really not care to finish their thoughts? Or were they too polite or nice to call out the interrupter or jump back in with their opinions? I encourage my daughters to be assertive, to share their stories and participate. But by raising my daughters to think that manners are morals and interrupting is impolite and rude. Am I inadvertently undermining their ability to rightfully claim air time? Will they be afraid to assert themselves in a lively discussion, afraid that they'll offend? Will they choose politeness over being heard? Or maybe they'll practice their manners and wait for a, a pause, a time to reenter the conversation. But what if the topic takes a turn and moves on and their point becomes irrelevant as I'm sure you're aware, women and girls are conditioned to be nice much more than men and boys Soia Shamali author of rage becomes her. The power of women's anger puts it. This. globally. Childhood politeness lessons are gender asymmetrical. We socialize girls to take turns, listen more carefully, not curse and resist interrupting in ways we don't expect of boys. Put another way. We generally teach girls subservient habits and boys to exercise dominance. She also adds parents interrupt girls twice as often and hold them to stricter politeness norm. teachers engage boys who correctly see disruptive speech as a marker of dominant masculinity, more often and more dynamically than girls. All of this leads to boys and men being more prone to interrupt and prevent others from interrupting them while girls and women are more likely not to interrupt and yield. When interrupted this pattern established from a young age, leads to women being seen as having less authority. Shamali sites research that found in male dominated problem, solving groups, such as boards, committees, and legislators, men speak 75% more than women, which is why researchers summed up. Having a seat at the table is not the same as having a voice. And what if your daughter is quieter by nature? One of my daughters presents as more introverted and quiet, so I'm always curious and maybe concerned that she's not speaking up and being heard for girls like her. that adds another obstacle. Another layer of hesitation on top of the gendered expectations of politeness. It's a lot to try and wrap your head around. I suspect we need to address this as much as possible when girls are growing up. when they presumably have safe spaces in the classroom and at home when they've been less worn down by everyday slights. And when the gender gaps on boards in pay, et cetera, haven't been subconsciously normalized yet. So how can we strike a balance? How can we help ensure our daughters feel comfortable, continuing to speak their minds and holding their own without entirely forsaking good manners. And if you're like me, If I have to interrupt, I'd rather do so in a user friendly way, that's less likely to alienate others. It can build trust and allyship, both important qualities to have in any setting. So after digging around, here's what I wanna teach my girls. Number one, interrupting. And whether interrupting back is appropriate. Depends on the context. A judge interrupting a lawyer in the courtroom is different than a teacher interrupting a student to make a correction, which is also different from a classmate interrupting as you're sharing your opinion on climate change. there aren't any real hard and fast rules, but as a very loose general rule, if it's in a casual setting, a classroom discussion or a work meeting, I think you should speak confidently and feel comfortable preventing interruptions from others and interrupt back if someone does, which leads me to my second point, interrupting back. If you're in one of those contexts, then you can and should interrupt back when you've been rudely interrupted. Think of Kamala Harris during the vice presidential debates in 2020, and confidently say, I'm speaking and continue with your thoughts when someone tries to interrupt other options, depending on your personality might be, would you mind if I finish or I'm not quite done with my point yet, or maybe as soon as I'm done, then you can. Then when you're done speaking, you can loop back to them and say, okay, so, and so you wanted to say something, number three, practice, and be prepared to use the phrases that PSIA Shamali proffers in her article 10 simple words. Every girl needs to learn first stopped interrupting me second. I just said that. And third, no explanation needed. It's 10, 10 words between three phrases. Stop interrupting me. I just said that and no explanation needed. These are straightforward ways of getting the point across and taking back the conversation. Number four, when you have to initiate an interruption, Casey, Aaron Clark and Julie fog, a vital voice offer a few approaches. You can acknowledge the previous point first. That's a really good point, or I hear what you're saying, then continue with your thoughts. You can also begin by saying, I need to interrupt you for a second before we switch topics, or I need to interrupt you before we move on. If you can use your interruption to throw support behind a classmate or a colleague, then even better, this ties back to that allyship aspect as well. Like, you know, related to this discussion point, Ella just did a paper on that. number five when interrupting speak confidently loudly, and without any apologies, I used to be one of those people that said, sorry, way too often. Even when I was bumping at the table, like who was I hurting? No one. And even when I wasn't saying, sorry, I sometimes spoke, like I was apologizing. I know you've heard it that, so I, I, I need you to turn in this report, that kind of thing. I've become much better at that, but it took practice speaking with courage and confidence, and I hope my girls learn that and know that practicing will help them feel those emotions too. Number six, don't confuse a step outside of your comfort zone with a misstep don't let discomfort or fear stop you from standing up for yourself or others. Number seven. Remember you are not responsible for everyone. Else's feelings. Know what you need to say and know that you deserve to be heard, how other people take it is their problem. That's not to say you should completely disregard others' feelings in every context, but if you are interrupting back, And or are interrupting someone who may consciously or subconsciously think men have more authority and should speak more than women, then they'll likely be offended, but that's not your problem. Don't silence yourself to make someone else comfortable. As I wrote these, I realized that I'm still practicing and fine tuning most of these points, these tips are just as much for me at 46 as they are for my daughters. I'm definitely a product of societal expectations and gendered behavior of the seventies, eighties, nineties. But I'm optimistic that if I start impressing these ideas upon my daughters, now they'll. Skills that they practice then Excel at and over time they'll become second nature. And then if they're interrupted at Thanksgiving dinner or perhaps a vice presidential debate, I'll be so proud and tickled to hear them interrupt back with an unapologetic. I'm speaking. Thanks for joining me today. It takes action to claim something. So by listening, you've already shown that you're the kind of mom who shows up for herself and her daughter Woohoo. That's worthy of a high five and a thumbs up emoji. For sure. If you liked what you heard, please tell a friend and hit subscribe or follow in your favorite podcast app. If you're on Instagram, follow at no B raise them for quotes from wise women reminders and tips and a heads up on upcoming podcasts. And feel free to visit no, be raise to sign up for the monthly newsletter. Thanks again for listening and here's to strong women. May we know them? May we be them? And may we raise them?