The Rudeness Epidemic: Anne and Kim

Smart-Mouthed Sister
"My sister is a person who interrupts all the time," says Anne about her younger sibling, Kimberly. "She not only interrupts, Dr. Phil, but she rudely interrupts."
 
Kimberly interjects, "I try to give corrective criticism, because my family, do you know what they would look like if it wasn't for me?"
 
"This is exactly what I mean. I'm supposed to be asking you to please help my sister," Anne says. "She does not let me talk."
 
The sisters bicker.
 
Kimberly and Anne join Dr. Phil onstage. Turning to Anne, Dr. Phil asks, "What's going on with your sister?"
 
"She rudely interrupts all the time," Anne says. "Never a chance for anyone to speak."
 
"Is that true?" Dr. Phil asks Kimberly.
 
"I just try to help them out. Sometimes what I have to say is more important than what they're saying, because they're basically talking about nothing," Kimberly replies.[AD]
 
"No, that's not true," Anne says.
 
Before she can finish, her sister chimes in, "That is true."
 
Dr. Phil presses a buzzer, which sounds every time Kimberly butts in while her sister is talking.
 
"Yes!" Anne says with a huge grin. "I am so happy about this. I never get to get my point across. We'll have family functions, and a time to talk about things that are going on in our lives, and she will not let anyone finish their story."
Dr. Phil runs down some examples of Kimberly's rudeness. Turning to Anne, he says, "You said that she interrupted her nephew talking about getting into pre-med to talk about clothes that she bought."
 
"It was so boring, what they were talking about. I really wasn't interested. I only had a little bit of time," Kimberly explains.
 
"What you're saying is more important than him going to pre-med. We need to talk about your dress!" Dr. Phil jokes. "Do you really think that what you say is more important than what anybody else has to say?"
 
"Yes, I do. When I say something, it's going to be the truth. Everybody just sugarcoats things," Kimberly responds. [AD]
 
"Does this happen all the time?" Dr. Phil asks Anne.
 
"It's all the time," Anne says. She recounts an incident where the family was gathered around to sing Happy Birthday to Kimberly's 6-year-old son, and she interrupted to inquire about Anne's necklace.
 
Gesturing to his former guest, Robert, Dr. Phil asks Kimberly, "How did you feel about this guy? Do you think he was rude?"
 
"I actually agree with a lot of what he was saying," she answers. "I have that same issue with waiters and waitresses."
"What is it about you that you think what you have to say is more interesting, more important and of a higher priority than what your sister, or her son or a child or anyone else might have to say?" Dr. Phil asks Kimberly. "Do you think you have a desperate need for attention?"
 
"Maybe. I do demand attention," Kimberly says. "I am the youngest of six kids. I always got attention, so I'm used to it, probably."
 
"Why is it all about you?" Dr. Phil probes.
 
"I have three kids. I have a busy life. I don't have time to sit there and listen to things that don't make sense to me," Kimberly explains.
 
"I'm wondering if she is really related to Kanye West, because she's the spotlight," Anne says.
 
"I think Kanye, actually, was speaking his mind. That's really how he felt," Kimberly says.[AD]
 
"You do not think that this guy getting up out of the audience, and going up to a young girl, and taking the microphone away from her on one of the biggest moments of her life to draw attention to himself in a self-righteous, sanctimonious way, was appropriate. Tell me you don't believe that!"
 
"I do, because he's an entertainer, and he entertained me," Kimberly says. "He did his job. He entertained me."
 
"If you've got somebody being rude to you. You've got to really make a decision to just not react," Dr. Phil says. "You don't have to be confrontive, but you do need to stand up for yourself. If she keeps interrupting, disengage from the conversation."