Can you say something like, “Sorry, my brain can’t handle more than one thing at once. Can you let me finish this task first? Then I’d love to talk to you about [whatever].” Or, when she interrupts, “Can I just finish my point first? I don’t want to leave out anything important.”
Think about what bothers you most and how you might handle it. Write down possible responses and rehearse them. It might seem a bit artificial, but a simple “I’m sorry, I can’t” can help prevent your being sidetracked into unproductive conversations.
For some things, such as her ramblings about people you don’t even know, you can listen politely for a few seconds, say “Wow, that sounds weird/unfair/whatever,” then break eye contact and get back to work.
- This reply was modified 2 years ago by LoriR.