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How to de-rail someone's monologue with out causing a row - any ideas?

(62 Posts)
UsedtobeFeckless Thu 03-Dec-15 11:24:50

For a whole raft of un-get-out-of-able reasons to do with ancient parents and family expectations and us having a tiny house and the wrong sort of stairs and what not I'm having Christmas lunch with a close relative who, while basically lovely, is horribly intelligent and has a tendency to hold forth remorselessly after a few drinks ... He's quite loud and talks over everyone else until we're all sitting looking glazed and quietly wishing we'd faked noro virus and stayed at home on the sofa eating biscuits in front of a Spooks box set ( Which was my first impulse on hearing of the guest list. )

I'm used to him but DP has a real sore spot about having his gems of wisdom disregarded and will sulk well into the New Year so I'm dreading the whole thing ... Any ideas how to pour oil on troubled waters? ( Or failing that horror stories about similar pests so I don't feel so alone ... )

Redcrayons Thu 03-Dec-15 11:27:06


hellsbellsmelons Thu 03-Dec-15 11:27:45

Just play a load of games.
Always gets things moving in the right direction.
But... I have no advice.
I'm the one who would tell them to be quiet and listen to others, quite forecfully!

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Thu 03-Dec-15 11:31:26

Don't go? Or just stop by for an hour or two in the morning? Is it absolutely obligatory? After all, it sounds like your parents won't be on their own.

KurriKurri Thu 03-Dec-15 11:37:34

Oh God I think I'd just jump up and shout 'drinks anyone?' every ten minutes to break the flow. Also encourage them to fill their mouth with snacks so they can't talk.

Or you could do the wooden spoon thing - you can only speak in a discussion when you are holding it, and no one gets to hold it for more than two minutes then you wrest it out of their hands and they have to shut up - build it up as a 'Christmas game' - who can be most succinct in their argument.

SanityClause Thu 03-Dec-15 11:39:51

Your DH will sulk about it into the new year?

Tell him to grow up.

SaucyJack Thu 03-Dec-15 11:50:32

Just ignore them? Give them a couple of minutes to talk "normally", but once they go into monologue mode then just act as if they're not there.

Move to the sofa from the table/get your phone out/carry on where you left off with the conversation they've just interrupted/whatever it takes.

My mum is PITA for doing it- as are a lot of people who live alone IME. It's like they've forgotten how to have a conversation with someone rather than just broadcasting a stream of consciousness at them.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Thu 03-Dec-15 11:56:23

Tease, crack jokes, change the subject.

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Thu 03-Dec-15 11:56:40

That's so true Saucy, my mother does the same! I can even leave the room and she still keeps going when there's no-one there. confused

Senpai Thu 03-Dec-15 11:57:25

I just wander off or start talking to the person next to me, slightly under the volume of the main speaker. No need for one person to be talking at a time in a group like that. Surely you can have little side conversations.

Justaboy Thu 03-Dec-15 11:59:01

Perhaps old Ebenezer was right about humbug time;-?.

Daisysbear Thu 03-Dec-15 12:00:47

Your relative sounds very annoying, but your DP sounds like a PITA as well. Seriously, he will sulk into the New Year? He sounds ridiculously precious.

Lancelottie Thu 03-Dec-15 12:01:32

Your relative or his?

If it's your brother/dad/nephew, just interrupt them mercilessly. Hiccup a bit and blame it on the sherry.

Or buy them some really sticky toffee.

dodobookends Thu 03-Dec-15 12:03:04

Is there a bit of an Alpha-male thing going on between your DH and this relative?

Perhaps alcohol and maybe some games like Jenga which rely on physical dexterity rather than being a clever-clogs grin

UsedtobeFeckless Thu 03-Dec-15 12:03:27

We're cooking the lunch so I sort of have to stick around to eat it, but after that I'm solid gone, baby ... grin

@Sanity In my dreams! If I did the resultant No-one respects me! shit storm would last into 2017 ...

Snowglobe18 Thu 03-Dec-15 12:04:10

Urgh. I'd tell your DP to grow up. Don't know what I'd do about the other chap, though.

TPel Thu 03-Dec-15 12:05:26

Very chewy toffees. For him!wink

MajesticWhine Thu 03-Dec-15 12:05:50

Take a quiz or forfeits or something for everyone to do at the table to keep things light and break up the waffling.

UsedtobeFeckless Thu 03-Dec-15 12:07:32

It is my brother and DP and there's a lot of Alpha Male twatery going on there, has been for years. sad

I hope that my sister is bringing her other half, who's an affable type, and might dilute the atmosphere a bit!

MoreGilmoreGirls Thu 03-Dec-15 12:07:43

Mil does this agreed think it's cos she lives alone, she just talks at you for hours. I just blatantly interupt, change the subject or retreat to kitchen for booze.

lorelei9 Thu 03-Dec-15 12:13:57

your brother expounds for hours and then gets cross if he's asked to stop?

you need to tell him he's being an arse. Do it now and the resulting shit storm will get you out of Xmas. Seriously, it's only when people realise this won't be tolerated that they get a grip.

Daisysbear Thu 03-Dec-15 12:14:08

Then you have my sympathy OP. In a former job I used to go for coffee breaks with a group that included two males like this - each one determined to hold the floor and bore everyone with their significant views on life.
A couple of us started having coffee at our desks!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 03-Dec-15 12:15:19

Play word Bingo with DH. First one to win gets oral sex in the garden. Might lighten things up a little --and get him to promptsmile

MajesticWhine Thu 03-Dec-15 12:17:52

Oral sex in the garden fshock. At Christmas?

Lancelottie Thu 03-Dec-15 12:21:09

The phrase 'Antlers down, dears, antlers down...' just might have been used here on similar occasions.

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