What might you see?

  • Talking non-stop
  • Not allowing the listener a turn to speak
  • Frequent interruptions during conversations
  • Inability to adjust communication style for the situation
  • Bringing up the same topic over and over again (this is known as perseveration)

How can you help?

  • Politely interrupt and ask for a chance to speak. Tell the service member or veteran you would like to say something.
  • Ask them to please make their conversation brief.
  • Develop a hand signal, which indicates that they may not be taking turns during the conversation.
  • Gently remind the service member or veteran that the topic change was too abrupt or that they have interrupted and will be given a chance to speak in a moment.
  • Use positive reinforcement for all attempts at listening rather than talking.
  • Recognize that the service member or veteran may be interrupting because they are “lost” in the conversation. Encourage them to let you know if they don’t understand what is being said.