When someone is starting to tell you something from his or her life, some persons are immediately interrupting and starting to talk about the same topic, but from their own perspective instead. Example:

Person A: I just came back from Italy, I had a..

Person B: Oh Italy! I remember when I was there five years ago, bla bla bla..

Is there a word for that?

  • 6
    I have a colleague who does that. Constantly. Predictably. He has not missed one spot yet. Assuredly. I'm still waiting for him not to do it. Without fail. All the time. Invariably. 100% of the time. Almost religiously. Internally I refer to him as an "Unclever twat". Sep 18, 2014 at 21:35

5 Answers 5


That's what I'd call hijacking the conversation:




Take over (something) and use it for a different purpose:
the organization had been hijacked by extremists


The public power belongs to everyone and when majorities hijack it for sectarian purposes they act oppressively.

Where Pringle is even-handed in showing how extremists have hijacked the debate over GM food, Nestle is an unapologetic partisan.

We should not let racist organisations hijack our national flag.

(Definition and examples from Oxforddictionaries.com)

Sometimes, a person who hijacks the conversation could be termed an attention whore:

Label given to any person who craves attention to such an extent that they will do anything to receive it. The type of attention (negative or positive) does not matter.

(Definition from Urbandictionary.com)

  • 1
    That should work, however I was looking more for a Seinfeld type of word.
    – Kristoffer
    Sep 18, 2014 at 21:05
  • You could call him a me monster because no matter what the conversation is it always turns into me, me, me: "Person B: Oh you did that well, <me, me, me, me>...
    – Jim
    Sep 18, 2014 at 22:29

There is an idiom, stealing someone's thunder

To use, appropriate, or preempt the use of another's idea, especially to one's own advantage and without consent by the originator.

Similarly steal the spotlight

to get attention for oneself. Ann always tries to steal the spotlight when she and I make a presentation


And steal the limelight

to get more attention than anyone or anything else in a situation

[Cambridge Dictionaries Online]


And then there's conversational one-upmanship

behavior in which someone tries to get an advantage by doing, saying, or having better things than someone else


  • Maybe not stealing thunder (that's saying what a third party was about to say), but possibly one of the other two! Sep 18, 2014 at 23:35
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    -1 because stealing someone's thunder does not apply to the situation the OP asked about. Stealing someone's thunder is when you tell an audience what the first person was going to tell. It does not happen in a conversation between 2 people. Sep 20, 2014 at 6:07

My first thought was going off on a tangent. In conversation, a subject is tangential to the original/previous subject if the two are only partially related. The person who drives the conversation to focus on a tangential subject is commonly said to be "going off on a tangent", i.e. venturing/straying away from the original subject to pursue the tangential one.

If someone wanted to do this politely, they'd first apologize for or announce the new subject's tangency: "I hate to go off on a tangent, but..." or "On a tangent: ..." or "Tangentially, ..." are all phrases I find myself using surprisingly often.


There are several words: A bad mannered bore!


I would call it as "Chronic interruption habit" which could be cured if you tell that person about this bad habit.

That's why children in school and at home must be taught all good manners (etiquette class), to be polite to people around. (Intelligent people would never do this).

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    "Intelligent people would never do this" This is demonstrably false, and also an illogical assertion. Learning behaviours is not the same as being blessed with high intelligence. Sep 18, 2014 at 22:36
  • 1
    Ha! @LightnessRacesinOrbit detected an instance of the "No True Scotsman" fallacy! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman Sep 18, 2014 at 22:39

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