Many women have had the frustrating experience of trying to make a point in the workplace or a social situation and being interrupted by a man. So, how do deal when you're interrupted by those with a higher status than you? Since they're not always even aware they're doing it, getting them to stop can be tricky.
"Manterrupting" is a real, scientifically documented phenomenon. Women are more likely to be interrupted by both men and women, according to a 2014 George Washington University study. On average, women in the study interrupted women 2.9 times over the course of a three-minute conversation, and men interrupted women 2.1 times, while interrupting other men 1.8 times. Another 1975 study from the University of California-Santa Barbara found that 47 out of 48 interruptions in mixed-gender conversations consisted of men interrupting women.
So, what do we do about this? Most importantly, companies can offer training to teach men — particularly white, straight, cisgender men — and other privileged people to give women, people of color, and other marginalized folks the floor. In fact, given the findings that women interrupt women disproportionately, too, women also need to be conscious of how they speak with other women. In essence, this is the same argument we're constantly making about so many things: Instead of teaching people not to be interrupted, teach people not to interrupt others in the first place.
But in the meantime, a recent Harvard Business Review article by Harvard Business School psychologist Francesca Gino offers some very useful tips on how to deal with manterrupting. Here are a few ways she and other sources have offered to reduce the chances that you'll be interrupted.