1. Kathy

    I was just wondering if it is considered rude if you “shush” or “shh” someone, especially if they’re chronically interupting someone who’s already speaking? I recently did this to someone who was talking over someone else in a meeting at work. Afterwards, this lady took me aside and asked, “Did you “shh” me in there or what?” I told her that I was sorry, but I really wanted to hear what was being said. I was really surprised that she seemed so insensed over this, especially under the circumstances.–But I really need to know, is this rude to shh someone. I don’t want to be doing this if it’s rude.

    • “Shh’ing” someone in a professional setting is, in my opinion, a bit juvenile. The Emily Post Institute has addressed those who interrupt at the workplace, and one way of dealing with it is for the person who was interrupted to hold up his/her hand, saying, “One moment, please, I am speaking.” This method calmly lets the other person know that their interruption was unwelcome, but that their comments/queries are still welcome – just as soon as the first person is finished talking.
      If it’s a matter of two people talking to each other at a meeting where a third person is presenting, then the presenter should say something, or you can raise your hand and say, “I’m sorry, I’m having trouble hearing you. What was that last point?” I’d glance at the offending parties as I said it.

    • Jody

      I think it depends on the circumstances. If it’s a case where the other person is interrupting the presenter, it’s up to the presenter to shush them (or for you to do as Just Laura recommends, raising your hand and saying that you didn’t get that last point.

      If it’s a case where the other person is talking to somebody else (for example the person next to her), I think it’s definitely appropriate to shush her. Just make sure your “shh” isn’t so loud as to disturb the presenter. I’ve had to do that a few times in business meetings.

  2. Harriet

    Although “shh’ing” someone may not be the best tactic, I certainly think you are acting appropriately to point out your co-worker’s bad habit of interrupting people.

    However, I want to also point out that your co-worker’s constant interruption could also be an indication of how your meetings are run. Does she have an opportunity to speak if she waits? Or can she only get a word in when she interrupts? People frequently interrupt when they are afraid that the opportunity to contribute will pass them by unless they are aggressive about getting a word in. In addition to the tactics described by Jody and Laura, it may also be effective to assist your co-worker when she is trying to speak so that she feels she has the opportunity to be heard – by making eye contact, nodding and defending her right to speak when and if someone else interrupts or speaks over her.

  3. Kay

    My son, daughter-in-law & myself have been invited to an afternoon garden wedding of a long time, close friend that we have stayed in touch with but only see once or twice a year. We all responed in the positive but now due to work my son & his wife can not attend. He plans to get in touch & let them know of the change but my question is; would it be appropriate for my son to suggest I bring a guest in his place so I won’t have to go alone? My invitation had my name only on it. My guest would be another member of my family that the groom knows well.

    • Alicia

      Absolutely not! Son should contact and change his RSVP as soon as possible but suggesting a guest is not fair to the couple. You were not invited with a guest to begin with you are still not invited with a guest and invites are non transferable.

  4. Cathy B.

    What to do about people who constantly talk on the risers during a chorus rehearsal. And, what to do about the people who constantly “shush” them, which I find equally annoying. We are a competitive women’s a a cappella chorus of around 60 members. Many members find it difficult to keep from discussing notes/words/choreography/shoes/grandchildren,etc etc , thereby disturbing those of us who would rather hear what the director or coach has to say. As I say, though, I’m equally – probably more! – annoyed by the people who feel the need to play the enforcer and “shush” every time anyone says a word.

    So, how to get the talkers to hold themselves back and the shushers to knock it off?!

    • Elizabeth

      I would talk to the director/coach about it. You as one of 60 cannot probably do that much, but if your coach makes an announcement that there have been complaints, people might quiet down. I wonder if it would be useful to institute a “coffee hour” after practice, so people will have time to socialize/catch up that they can look forward to.

  5. Veronica

    I work in collections and sometimes our calls escalate and voices get a little louder than normal but is not out of the norm it happens often but today this man that sits in front of me shushed me extremely loud and drew way more attention than the call itself I told him that was extremely rude an not to shush people. Am I correct? Or was in I. The right to shush me? It just seems childish to me

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