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How to deal with people that dominate conversation and talk over others?

(84 Posts)
Galaxycounters Sun 02-Dec-12 17:11:02

Yesterday I went on a day/night out for a friend's hen day/night. There were 10 of us that went. I'm friends with them all but not good friends.

Two that went are very, very loud dominant characters. One in particular is extremely loud, talks constantly and expects full attention of everyone in the group every time she opens her mouth, which was extremely draining. We met up initially at lunchtime and had lunch as a group and for the whole of the lunch (90 mins) she talked and expected full attention of the group, in a very loud voice, talking about things about her and her life. No one else could get a word in edgeways. The other loud girl did sometimes get to speak but she'd usually totally cut off anyone that tried to speak and carry on talking, so in the end we all gave up. I tried a couple of times to make conversation in a little sub group with the 2 either side of me and she'd start looking at us all, saying our names, or pointing at us like she was directly talking to us and no one else so it felt rude to talk.

We did an activity in the afternoon, which was fine as we were in pairs/small groups and it was easy to avoid her, although she was VERY loud. Then in the evening we had another meal, during which she was even worse than lunchtime. We must have been in the restaurant for 2.5 hours and she talked the entire time. She had had a lot of alcohol and spoke again about things she'd told us in the morning at lunchtime, and again no one else could get a word in edgeways. If any of us spoke in a small group she'd just dominate the conversation and try to drag us back into listening. The few occasions anyone else did manage to talk she'd turn it back round onto her. I didn't hear her ask anyone else a single question about themselves, it was all about her.

I'm so cross. I feel she ruined the entire day tbh. I found her speeches very boring, she isn't very politically correct and I would imagine has caused a bit of offence.

How is it best to deal with people like that? Why do people get away with that kind of behaviour?

goralka Sun 02-Dec-12 17:14:57

she sounds ghastly. I have run a lot of speaking groups and I have noticed that a lot of this is about eye contact, if you don't make eye contact with someone they cannot dominate....although some characters do just 'steam-roll'...
they get away with it because they are very forceful and are used to getting their own way.

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Sun 02-Dec-12 17:22:50

She's sounds awful. Can you arrange a meet up with the nice friends and not include the loud mouth? Really what does anyone get out of it if she's there?

ImperialBlether Sun 02-Dec-12 17:36:40

Sorry I can't help. I know a few people like this and they drive me mad. It's so important to them that everyone in the group is listening to them. Whenever anyone else talks, it's accepted that people are split into smaller groups of two or three, but when this type of person talks literally everyone has to listen.

Will anyone on here admit to being this type of person? I would love to speak to someone about why they do it.

Iggly Sun 02-Dec-12 17:38:06

I usually find something to pick on which shuts them up. Especially if she's not very PC - easy to challenge then.

MrsFlibble Sun 02-Dec-12 17:42:30

Anyone in the group brave enough to tell her to shut up?

LeBFG Sun 02-Dec-12 17:43:32

I'm afraid I'm rather rude back to these sorts. I carry on talking to my sub-group blind and deaf to big-gob. Hard work though. My sympathies.

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 17:47:03

I have a couple of acquaintances like this. I simply refuse to go out with them unless there are plenty of other people there to dilute the impact. I arrange smaller get togethers behind their backs, I don't care if that makes me 'orrible.

Galaxycounters Sun 02-Dec-12 18:58:16

Nope, no one told her to shut up. We all just lamely sat there listening to her and letting her behave the way she did.

Her names not Claire, is it?

cakebar Sun 02-Dec-12 19:09:22

I know two people like this, one I simply avoid, including turning down social invitations where I know she will be there. I won't go and join a group that she is standing with even if that means missing out catching up with good friends.

The other, I do actually like but can only spend limited time with so after a while I avoid eye contact and talk with others who I sense feel the same.

MissVerinder Sun 02-Dec-12 19:19:03

Oh, I am guilty of this. If someone told me to shutup, I would be a) grateful and b) mortified in that order.

I can feel myself doing it... :-(

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sun 02-Dec-12 19:23:08

My husband does this when pissed.

I'm afraid I've lost all manners and now say "Look. Do you want a conversation or a bloody audience?"

You could always try that grin

ImperialBlether Sun 02-Dec-12 20:15:50

But MissVerinder, if you're serious about doing this, why do you do it? Aren't you interested in what anyone else has to say?

HEC is right - if you're with someone like that you're just the audience. In fact some people, if you walk off while they're mid flow, just turn to someone else and continue - it's clear that it doesn't matter who they're talking to.

greeneyed Sun 02-Dec-12 21:29:53

I see you've met my mother grin

greeneyed Sun 02-Dec-12 21:31:31

Don't tell this sort of person to shut up, rein it in etc - they'll likely burst into tears be terribly hurt etc and the rest of the evening will be spent nursing their drama.

Oh I talk far too much and would gladly be told to shut up.

BluelightsAndSirens Sun 02-Dec-12 21:38:11

I would probably let them have the first half of the lunch but interrupt as soon as I could find her take a breath by asking another member of the group, by name, a question.

By the evening I would have none of it, no eye contact with her and start my own conversation around me and when she called my name or tries to interrupt I would casually say "yes I know, you have already spoken to us about that this afternoon, I'm now talking with x y z"

Eye contact for a second or two and then back to my conversation.

My DH and my boss are socially inept with alcohol, I've skilled the art of steering social conversation away from turning into a presentation about them smile

FivesAndNorks Sun 02-Dec-12 21:39:38

I was out yesterday and had far too much to drink, I was with mners. Really hoping this isn't about me with some details changed

Viviennemary Sun 02-Dec-12 21:43:45

There's always people like this in a larger group. I don't think there is any point in having a go at them about it though. You will be the villain for hurting their feelings! I'd just avoid going out with a large group and just go out with two or three friends.

MissVerinder Sun 02-Dec-12 22:17:44

imperial, I think I want to be part of the conversation and identify with the others. I do say "i'm very sorry, I didn't mean to be so rude and interrupt you" when I do it though.

also I tend to float in and out of conversations which apparently doesn't count as an endearing trait either! grin blush

Hassled Sun 02-Dec-12 22:21:10

I have an acquaintance/sort of a once friend who is exactly like this - the loud, relentless talking, the "it's all about me" subject matter. I went from cross, to baffled she seems so popular, to just avoiding her - which is a shame, as we have mutual friends. But it got to the nails-on-a-blackboard stage with me; I just couldn't bear it.

Hassled Sun 02-Dec-12 22:23:28

My person, I should point out, is actually a nice woman - she means well, her heart's in the right place. I guess it's just an odd sort of lack of social skills, mixed with insecurity maybe? Maybe I should be more tolerant of her.

PretzelTime Sun 02-Dec-12 22:28:26

So is it best to ignore this type of person?

Galaxycounters Sun 02-Dec-12 22:31:37

I think I feel disappointed more than anything as I don't see most of these people very often, and was looking forward to catching up with them all and enjoying everyone's company. Instead I feel that we were all forced into listening to this woman's stories, which we'd heard before anyway, and that she essentially ruled the day. I've met people before that are dominant and talk a lot but she was far worse than anyone I've ever come across before.

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