DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a good friend who always interrupts me in a conversation. I don't think I've ever completed a sentence around her! Then she proceeds to tell me she has a brother, cousin, neighbor, etc. who has gone through whatever I'm trying to express. Help! What do I do??
GENTLE READER: Even constant interrupters occasionally check for a physical or verbal affirmation to see that their audience is still with them. Think of your friend as a wild animal looking for a meal: These checks are her way of making sure you are a suitable audience (meal) because you are still listening (alive).
If you assume an attentive, beatific, static and, above all, silent smile (play dead), she will lose interest and either wander off or ask what you think of what she just said.
The answer to the latter is, "Very interesting. I just was not sure if you were finished."
This eventually works on even the wildest humans, which Miss Manners knows from having spent a great deal of time observing them in their natural habitat. Not having spent much time in the woods, she makes no similar claim about actual wild animals -- no matter how chatty they may be.