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to think that talking about yourself ALL THE TIME is blardy rude and blardy dull? (Warning: ranty)

(173 Posts)
MonstrousMerryHenry Sun 25-Oct-09 22:25:47

I have now accepted that these days most people talk passionately about themselves and show next to no interest in other people. I can honestly say that when I meet new people, about 70% of them are perfectly happy to rabbit on about themselves until the cows come home and then when they stop they suddenly encounter brain paralysis which renders them unable to think of a single thing to ask me about myself. Happened just today to me and DH (with the same people at a small gathering).

On one occasion, about 5 mins into a convo, DH ended up saying to a bloke: 'Well, would you like to know what my name is?'. It's bizarre. We once invited neighbours over for lunch; DH and I asked them lots of questions about themselves, left lots of gaps for them to ask about ourselves, and found that they filled those gaps by going: <<sigh>> <<look up at the ceiling>>. hmm That was all they could manage. I kid you not. I am not exaggerating. They sat with us for 2 of the most painful hours of my life, talking about themselves and then sighing.

Were they socially inept, educationally limited, lacking in opportunities to develop themselves? No. These were people with degrees from Cambridge and lots of friends (I wonder why). Very chatty when the convo was focused on them. Couldn't even come up with 'so, how did you guys meet?' or 'what do you do for a living?'

When I was younger I used to fill the gaps by offering information about myself, but then decided 'let's see what happens if I wait for them to ask first.' And what happens? 9 times out of 10, they don't!

AIBU to think that it's a sign of good communication to show an interest in other people?

Seabright Sun 25-Oct-09 22:32:42

YANBU. You have very strange neighbours.

Would it help if I ask you some questions? Are you well? Have you been anywhere nice this year? Have you read any good books lately?

Hope that redresses the balance a little! grin

MonstrousMerryHenry Sun 25-Oct-09 22:36:53

grin Thanks, Seabright!

They seemed normal, until they entered our home. Needless to say, that was their first and last invitation - and thankfully they never reciprocated!

famishedass Sun 25-Oct-09 22:41:15

YANBU - the amount of times I've sat next to people at dinner parties who have spent the entire evening talking about themselves is shocking.

One particular woman I always seem to be sat with talks endlessly about herself, her family and her children. Last time, she didn't ask me a single question about myself.

thirtysomething Sun 25-Oct-09 22:41:43

monstrous I seem to know lots of people like that......they are totally self-absorbed but somehow have this air of friendliness because they are talking to or rather at you.....I always used to assume if people didn't ever ask anything about me it must be because I totally lack interest....but I have recently come to the conclusion that they are just rude and ill-mannered!

3littlefrogs Sun 25-Oct-09 22:43:20

I think it is symptomatic of the increasing lack of respect and good manners in society. [grumpy old woman emoticon]

BoneYard Sun 25-Oct-09 22:43:46

AND THEY ALL POST ON FACEBOOK...

BoneYard Sun 25-Oct-09 22:47:04

AND.....does anyone else have friends and relatives like this?

Me "I've just been / done to xxx"
Friend "my second cousin's best friend did that (and prob better)"
Me "Yes but this is me who you are standing in front of engaging in conversation with"
Friend "Yes, but they did it too"
Me "oh"

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 25-Oct-09 22:51:10

I have to say that I'm probably guilty of this, but only because I'm useless at asking social questions and am terrified of appearing nosey.
Having said that, I tend to keep things short to avoid sending anyone to sleep, mainly because my own life is so desperately dull that I bore even myself.
I'm just socially inept, I guess, so perhaps lots of other people are too?

MonstrousMerryHenry Sun 25-Oct-09 22:55:46

Boneyard, that is one of my BIGGEST bugbears! I really want to hit people when they did that - thank god I'm too well brought-up for actual violence!!!

Harriet - if you are guilty of it, all I can say is start asking! Has anyone ever told you it's nosey? I'm trying to imagine someone who converses as you've described, and I'm really sorry to say that I'd bid a hasty retreat - I'd think you were not in the slightest interested in me, and not in the slightest interested in conversing. I'm sure you're not actually as dull as you say; very few people are. Why don't you try engaging other people by asking them - then at least the pressure's off you, and you might find that you enjoy a new way of doing conversation.

Conundrumish Sun 25-Oct-09 23:00:32

I know a couple like this. More egocentric than spinning tops. Can't imagine how they got together - I imagine they sat having their own monologues.

When I said I had got engaged she said 'my husband's mother has died so I've got an engagement ring too'. When I said I was pregnant with DC3 she embarked on a long conversation about how her three fought. No congratulations/well done to either.

Oops, sorry, I have done it too. How are you Monstrous?

nevergoogledragonbutter Sun 25-Oct-09 23:02:09

My pet hate, is when DH's friends talk to me like I don't know anything about him. They like to educate me on the him. There was one woman who practically ordered my husbands meal for him based on what she knew he liked.

WTF?

Example:
"Oh he had this flat once, you wouldn't have believed it, the bathroom was across the hall!"

My inwardly..
"Yeah i fucked him in it, now shut up"

That's my bug bear.

Not that you asked wink

HarrietSchulenberg Sun 25-Oct-09 23:03:52

Actually, do you know what? I've just realised that I'm terrible for doing the same thing here. I have a horrible tendency to fire off a response to something and then just go away and not check back and reply to anyone else.
Right, I really will start to get over myself a bit and start asking questions.
Just got to think of some now ...

MonstrousMerryHenry Sun 25-Oct-09 23:06:10

grin no need to feel guilty about ranting, this is a ranty page!

I knew someone who was head of a department at a company I used to work at. You could hear her voice across the road (from inside the building). One time one of her team was talking about how she'd been off sick with a kidney infection, when said boss butted in: 'I've had a kidney infection before!'

Unbelievable. Why do these people think they're so interesting that the rest of us would choose to do nothing better than listen to them all day?

Actually, I used to listen politely for far too long; now I'm more likely to make an exit once I start to get bored. But I think I should graduate from that onto something less passive: I want these people to know that I don't share their self-absorption. Would that be unreasonable? How would you do it?

MonstrousMerryHenry Sun 25-Oct-09 23:07:53

Wow, Harriet! Go, girl! Do report back on how it's going!

DB - who was that weird woman - an ex? Did you slap her? Pleeeeease tell me you slapped her! grin <<breathing in love all the time>>

BrigitDeathEaters Sun 25-Oct-09 23:12:11

Oh you are so NBU. I have let good friendships go because of this.

One friend I had for many years who I met through antenatal. We used to get on great kids played together all the time, went out regularly to lunch etc.

Then she split with her husband. OK fair enough- I did the good friend thing, offered a shoulder to cry on, listened in a non jugemental way while she told me about his many infidelities and celebrated when she got back together and then remarried him came and oohed and ahed over her new house which they bought together.

I have congratulated her on her two DSs achievements and their success at their private school (not jealousy I might add, one of my DDs is at private school.)

My DDs are equally as successful as her sons, but she never gives me the chance to say anything- she never asks, and the odd occasions when she does she interrupts with more tales of her halo wearing sons or texts her friends on her mobile while I am talking.

Haven't seen her for a while now... Just can't be bothered any more.

nevergoogledragonbutter Sun 25-Oct-09 23:12:43

a work colleague. hmm

no i didn't slap her, instead i was engaging and hilarious and superior in every way.

OurLadyOfPerpetualBloodSucker Sun 25-Oct-09 23:21:40

Monstrous, I used to think the reason this happened to me was because I was so dull and boring - but I now realise so many people are just rude.

And, yes, they always do seem to have loads of 'friends:' 'my friend this, my friend that, I did this with some friends' - and you think, well, how does that happen?

It seems there's some kind of code about which I'm ignorant, and if you're not in on the secret you're persona non grata.

People I've known for years hardly know a single thing about me, not because I wouldn't happily tell them but they just don't seem to have one iota of curiosity.

But am I doing it now?

JustAnotherManicMummy Sun 25-Oct-09 23:22:25

Yes it is a pet hate of mine too. Although I quite like to watch two self absorbed people having two different conversations at the same time.

Something like this:

Person A: You'll never believe the terrible journey we had getting here

Person B: Ah, we got a cab so it was quite easy for us.

Person A: There were roadworks and then we got stuck at a level crossing for forever

Person B: We were on a bus in Greece and he shot across a level crossing just as the barriers went down.

Person A: So Martin turned to me and said he'd never known a level crossing take so long.

Person B: Any way Cindy threw up in my lap about 20 minutes into the journey and I just had to sit there for another 20 minutes until we got to the hotel!

Person A: Yes, it was right by the hotel. On the ring road.

beaniesinthepumpkinagain Sun 25-Oct-09 23:25:44

just another,

I think you MUST know my friend!!!

thats exactly how her and everyone she knows seem to speak!

She will ask me a question but i feel i have a time slot to reply before she slips into a coma

OP YANBU people are twats!

OurLadyOfPerpetualBloodSucker Sun 25-Oct-09 23:35:07

A friend of mine (well, someone I see quite regularly) is so full of verbal diaorrhea that the only way I can get a word in edgeways is to interrupt her - then I always feel she's hmm - but she'll quite happily talk over me with some drivel she just has to get off her chest.

I always feel exhausted after being in her company.

thelunar66 Sun 25-Oct-09 23:36:57

Oh God. I work with one of these. It is so wearing.

picmaestress Sun 25-Oct-09 23:53:37

I find it frankly delightful, because compared to the boring twats, it's so easy to come across as charming if you put an ounce of effort into thinking about what to ask people.

It's the first social trick I learnt as a slightly shy teenager, my mum taught me: if tongue-tied or paralysed with fear, just ask questions. I guess people aren't taught this stuff.

anonymous85 Sun 25-Oct-09 23:58:50

Lol at Manicmums post - so true.

MonstrousMerryHenry Mon 26-Oct-09 00:07:58

ROFL at manicmummy! It is a phenomenon which has been frequently observed in tots; I think it's called simultaneous monologue. But surely by the time you reach adulthood one ought to have grown out of it?

picma - I wasn't taught to ask questions: I taught myself <<polishes badge>>. But I'd much rather come across as engaging than charming; however, you can't be engaging if the other person is only interested in engaging themselves.

OurLady - the exhaustion thing! Ohhh I feel for you!

db - I can just picture you ROFLing smugly to yourself whilst doing your superior act!

ROFL at beanie's coma! Maybe that's the trick - we who spend our lives listening should do the coma thing back to them and see what happens! <<rubs hands gleefully>>

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