Do you consider this rude?

Every so often I’ll be at an event, usually a wedding or a business gathering. And I’ll be talking to someone and someone else will come up to the person I’m talking to and just start talking to them without acknowledging me. Often there will be some big hugs-either Hello or Goodbye - between them. Sometimes that’s it. Sometimes the intruder will just launch into some long conversation.

Occasionally I’ll be the one who is approached, maybe as often, but probably not. When that happens I’ll do whatever I can to bring the person I was talking to into the conversation. And when I have to intrude, I always apologize to the third person and try to be as brief as possible, e.g. Excuse me… Harry, sorry I didn’t get a chance to say Hi, I have to run, I’ll call you this week. Excuse me.

I’m also wondering if this is a boy/girl thing. I’m a guy. I haven’t kept count but I think that woman are more likely to feel this kind of interaction is OK.

It’s very rude. Some people were not raised with proper manners. Others simply don’t get it.

Depending on my mood or how much of a smart ass I feel like being, I’ll just interject and introduce myself and say, “You know, John/Jane and I were just having a conversation about <blah> and we were wondering what you thought of <blah topic>!” Then big grin and direct look in the eye of the offender. Alternately, just walk away and let John/Jane catch up to you later if they want to finish the conversation.

I think it’s rude - if you need to say goodbye to someone who’s already engaged in conversation with someone, then you need to excuse yourself, not just barge in. Aknowledge that you’re interrupting, apologize, and greet the person who you need to greet. Also, don’t ignore the other person, even if you have no idea who they are - you’ve interrupted their conversation as well.

I’m a girl and I also think it’s rude.

Sure, sometimes I might break in, especially if I have to leave, but I always acknowledge the other person, and that I am interupting.

I don’t think it’s rude exactly. At a big gathering like that you could wait all day for the person you want to talk to to be unengaged. It’s socially inept for the person approached not to introduce the newcomer to the other person.

“Aunt Rosie! It’s great to see you! This is Nancy’s cousin Eddie’s wife Bella. Bella this is my Aunt Rosie. She’s Jason’s step-grandmother in-law. Aunt Rosie we were just talking about Jason’s prison term. It won’t start till after the honeymoon right?”

I agree with this 100%. Mingling at a party or large gathering is a much more fluid social situation, so people should be open to conversational groups expanding, contracting, merging or fully dissolving. Both the intruder and your friend could have handled the situation more adeptly, but I wouldn’t call them rude.

I think it’s rude in any situation. If you’re interrupting a conversation, you’re interrupting a conversation, no matter where it is, and you need to excuse yourself. People don’t get away with that if someone’s interrupting to talk to me - I bring the interrupted party back into the conversation.

It’s probably somewhat rude. But I don’t think it deserves being bothered about it. :shrug :

I think it’s rude. Sometimes you interrupt someone else’s conversation at a party, but you start with “Sorry to interrrupt…”

If the interrupter starts talking to you, you should say “Hi – here, let me introduce you to [person you’re already talking to].” If you absolutely have to talk to the interrupter, you should apologize to the person you’re talking to, briefly explain why, promise to get back to him or her to finish the conversation – and then make every effort to do so.

If the interrupter is talking to the person you’re talking to, there’s unfortunately not much you can do without compounding rudeness – though I recommend posting on a message board later to vent. :wink:

Yes, it’s rude.

However, for me it’s handy to pretend to be rude sometimes. My group has a code, if you haven’t introduced the interrupter in five seconds, it means you’ve forgotten their name. The other person then makes a big “Well, since Queen Tonya’s been stricken with abominable manners, let me introduce myself. Hi, I’m Judy and you are?”
That way I don’t have to stand there frozen with my forgetting and not rightfully call the interrupter on their intrusion. :slight_smile:

One vote for extremely rude, in any situation. It’s easy enough to simply walk up, make eye contact, wait a little bit for a suitable break, and politely break in with an “Excuse me, I’m sorry to interrupt, but I just wanted to say goodbye.” You can aid this with a light touch on the arm if necessary to get the person’s attention. Walking up and starting along conversation is inexcusable.

My friend’s daughter (who was old enough to know better) was once doing the "Mom . . . Mom . . . Mom . . . " bit that kids do while my friend was busy (on the phone or with a customer or something). I told her that she’d have much better luck by just walking up to her mother and waiting with a big smile until she was acknowledged. Mom agreed, and after that I saw her use the new method several times, with much success (and thanks from Mom).

Female checking in saying it’s rude. I dealt with this sort of thing alot when my husband would play gigs. I should be more forgiving with that given the environment, but it still bugged the shit out of me.

Which is the other side to the rudeness in OP. You walk up to someone you know pretty well, and are on good terms with. That person is talking to someone who’s a stranger to you. You don’t interrupt. You just stand close by, obviously listening to their conversation, and obviously wanting to speak with your acquaintance. But he or she just keeps talking to the other person for minutes on end, ignoring your presence. This happened to me once, and I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. Eventually the stranger introduced herself to me, obviously wanting to bring me into the conversation. It was rude of my acquaintance, but I don’t think he meant it that way. It think he was just clueless.

It’s simply rude. Even if it’s urgent, it just doesn’t take that long to say “Excuse me…” or “Pardon me…” If you’re one of the people in the conversation, it also doesn’t take that long to say, “Sure, just a moment” to the newcomer and “Excuse me, please” to the person with whom you were conversing.

People at our old synagogue used to do this to me and cwPartner all the time. The only thing that bothered me more than the intrusion was that cwPartner (and they always wanted to talk to cwPartner, not me) would just let them hijack the conversation and drop me like a hot potato.

Another female weighing in on the “rude” side. As twickster alluded, it’s not the interruption itself that is rude so much as the method of interruption. There is absolutely no excuse for not saying “excuse me,” “sorry to interrupt,” or something along those lines.

See, I consider this to be just as rude: it’s still an interruption, just a passive-aggressive one (again, it’s the method much more than the interruption itself). I don’t blame your friend one bit for ignoring you. I can’t stand people who come up to me in situations like you describe and just hover – or people at the office who walk up to my desk while I’m working and just stand there until I look up and acknowledge them. Your very presence is an interruption, but if you don’t have the grace to say “excuse me” and then say what’s on your mind (or join the conversation), darn straight I’m going to ignore you. I also ignore people who approach me in the manner described in the OP … or, if I must acknowledge them, I smile and say, “I’m sorry, but I was talking with XXX; I’ll be right with you.” I do not reward rudeness if I can help it.

I agree with most of what’s been already said, except the part about the hovering being rude. I tend to hover, waiting for a natural pause or break in the conversation before butting in with an “excuse me please …” , because I think that is more polite than butting in blindly.

Well, I did say “Hi,” and thought he’d at least respond.

Next time I’ll be sure first to say: “Excuse me for saying ‘Hi,’ but…well, Hi. Is that okay with you? Excuse my ‘hovering’, please. If you could tell me somewhere else to put my body in this tiny, cramped room filled with people that won’t offend you, please do.”

Nah. I’ll just find someone else to talk to. Someone who understands “Hi.”

It is a bit rude, however the alternative can involve rudeness; you approach a couple of people who are talking; they glance at you, then resume their conversation at length; you stand there, waiting for an opportunity to say something (which more often than not is as simple as ‘gotta go, thanks for everything, bye!’), but they just keep on talking, aware that you’re there waiting to say something. This is rude.

Sorry to put a cramp in your martyrdom, but in your first post you neglected to mention that you’d said anything. You only said that you stood close by, listening to their conversation. Standing around hovering is rude; saying “hi” is fine (not as good as “excuse me,” but you’re at least attempting to ease your way in). Don’t tell a story and then simultaneously change it and get all defensive when you don’t get the reaction you were looking for. :dubious:

Besides, I’m the only one in the thread so far who thinks that hovering is rude; why get your knickers in a twist about little ol’ me? :smiley:

The situation I’m imagining is something like this. . .

A & B are talking to each other.

I’m leaving the party. I walk up and tap A on the elbow, and fire off a quick, “I’m taking off. See ya.”

A says, “All right, nice to see you. We’re still on for Wednesday right?”


Then I’m gone.

I wouldn’t go up to two people conversing and go, “how about that Orioles game last night?”

Trying to define a social setting in writing and commenting on the rules of what’s appropriate isn’t exactly easy. All social settings have their own set of rules/flow/etiquette.