There hasn’t been enough psychological analysis of why certain people enjoy talking so much that they never let another person get a word in edgewise. Even if there may be a skewed perception of someone being this way online that writes a lot, they may be exactly the opposite in real life. Likewise, someone who doesn’t write that much on social media may end up being a chatterbox when you meet them in person. It’s one reason why you should spend as much time in the real world as possible so you can distinguish reality from just faceless text.
Once you experience someone who dominates conversations, though, you’re in for an interesting psychological examination. While overly talkative people may be extremely annoying, they’ve become easier to read now thanks to basic psychology being a little more accessible. You can also deal with them in effective ways without having to be rude and tell them to shut up right in front of other people.
The workplace is one of the worst places where this can happen, particularly when it’s at your desk where you have no escape mechanism. But take heed in knowing that you can still turn the tables and manage to keep the so-called discussion civil.
Typical Scenarios of Garrulousness
That overly talkative employee or friend may always corner you to be their sounding board. Yes, this can be the most annoying situation of all, especially when you need concentration or in a constant hurry to get things done. If the person was a salesperson, you could easily tell them to go jump off a bridge and leave the room instantly. When it’s someone you have to get along with in order to maintain office or domestic peace, you have to work with some psychological tricks.
These people will generally start out a conversation and then go into a lengthy run of the mouth about something they think you’ll be interested in for the next 20 minutes. What makes this worse is that very few things will hold anyone’s interest for over 20 minutes in a conversation. On top of it, the garrulous employee or friend won’t realize they’re boring you. No doubt you’ve had this in your own family where someone may be telling a story you’ve heard 50 times before and takes half-an-hour to tell it.
Ways to Deal with the Talker
Psychology Today notes exactly why these people talk so much: They’re afraid of their own feelings and need to talk in order to avoid addressing them. Frequently, these people will feel inadequate and talk incessantly in order to feel like they matter during social events. It’s a very simple psychological problem to figure out, yet one that doesn’t get much treatment. Those busy talkers are still out there trying to feel important by dominating conversations.
One of the most immediate ways to cut the conversation off is to just interrupt them in the middle with a comment. It’s the equivalent to tying up a balloon that’s quickly expelling helium. When you interrupt, sometimes they’ll take a hint and say out loud that they’re talking too much. If you have something to add that shares in the experience they’re telling about, be forceful yourself and say it to force a two-way conversation.
In other scenarios, though, you may have to just blurt out that you need to get back to work or have an appointment. Even if it’s a lie, people understand that people are short of time. You can do that in today’s time without necessarily being rude, especially if you thank the talkative person for their speech, despite the speech being closer to blather than useful.
You can do this any time, because you’re going to encounter these people again in your family or at work. Some of these people may go on talking anyway no matter you say, which may have to mean just forcibly walking away while saying you have to go.
After this repeated exercise, they may finally catch on to get some psychological counseling. It’s always a victory when these people end up becoming very aware they don’t need to dominate conversations in order to matter and be interesting.