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How do you cope with people you just won't stop talking?

(105 Posts)
neolara Mon 07-Mar-11 14:00:35

I've been wondering how others deal with people who talk non stop. I don't mean chatty people who talk a lot, but who have genuine conversations. I mean the kind of person who talks "at" you, instead of "with" you. The one who goes on and on without really seeming to notice that your eyes have glazed over. Often their non-stop talking dominates to such an extent, it is difficult for others a group situation to have conversations between themselves.

I know a few people like this, and I find them very difficult. Even if what they say is genuinely amusing and witty, I end up feeling frustrated and annoyed because it seems so one-sided. My current coping mechanism is to just let them get on with it and I fall silent. However, I think this is a pretty unproductive response. I just feel cross, they carry on blissfully unaware, the situation continues.

Now obviously I could just avoid these people, but sometimes this is not possible. Also I suspect other people have ways of communicating with "non-stop talkers" which make for more successful and interesting conversations. So that's what I'm looking for. Survival tips. So what do you do?

Anniegetyourgun Mon 07-Mar-11 14:01:53

Oh God, I'm one of those. I even bore myself sometimes.

<mooches off to slit wrists>

BlessedAssurance Mon 07-Mar-11 14:04:17

just nod and say really? A friend recently visited me and she ended up sleeping over, till saturday i had no idea that she talked that much, she is not bad, just will not shut up, i tried going on the net while she was reading a book, it didn't work, finally i just had to listen and all i did wa nod and say wow, fair enough she was talking about her DD and DH and she doesn't see them that often coz she lives in europe and they are in asia but still

MadreInglese Mon 07-Mar-11 14:04:46

exaggerated yawning

or get on a topic yourself and talk non-stop back at them

(two of my how-to-deal-with-my-mother coping tactics)

IQuiteLikeVodka Mon 07-Mar-11 14:08:15

you have met my ex haha, he rants on and on never letting you get a word in or participate at all!! It is very dull and now he often phones me to do it!I just do something else and say yeah every now and then

nickelprincess Mon 07-Mar-11 14:49:22

oh, i know peopel like this!
worse thing is, they're not even people I know! they're people who just randomly started talking to me once, and now they talk to me every time i see them.
can't stop it.

soooo annoying, but you can't do anything about it.
and it's true, you really can't

i think the best thing is what you're doing now - justletthem get on with it.

i even have one person who does it to me while i'm in the shop.
i've spent many hours just typing while they're talking.

Mymblesson Mon 07-Mar-11 15:14:12

My wife tends to be like this. She'll start telling a story and then go off on all sorts of tangents and threads, mentioning people no-one's ever heard of and only vaguely related to the story, so something that should take 5 minutes to tell will end up going on and on.

I'm used to it after all these years, but when we're with friends and she's going on, I can see their eyes start to glaze over. If someone interrupts out of desperation, she'll wait until they've finished and then continue from exactly where she left off.

I did try tapping her foot with mine under the table a couple of times on one occasion to get her to finish and give someone else a chance, but she just paused, said 'why did you keep kicking me?' and carried on, much to the amusement of everyone around the table.

I do love her to bits grin

My DM does this all the time, if I try to interrupt she just keeps talking. I have resigned myself to putting up with it as the only thing that works (start talking over her) gives me a headache!

textualhealing Mon 07-Mar-11 17:39:46

We have a way of dealing with people at work by using this technique:

W Why
A Am
T Talking?

It's quite OK for us to write "WAIT" on a pad in meetings and hold it up at the offender. I do find though, that they carry on, even if we have found a non confrontational way of dealing with the immediate issue. It's supposed to get them to question why they are holding the floor and not listening to others.

The thing I hate and have no tolerance for whatsoever is the one that talks over you and cuts across you when you have at least managed to get a foot into the conversation!

On a serious note, you have to find a way of stopping the cycle because this type tends to be thick skinned and lacking in self awareness and therefore body language (glazing over) is not effective in getting them to stop. Good luck!

HecateTheCrone Mon 07-Mar-11 17:43:23

I used to say "I don't care", but Himself told me to stop, because it's rude.

"But I don't care..." I wailed.

"I know, but you are not supposed to say so."

So sorry, can't help. Apparently you are not allowed to tell them. grin

ambarth Mon 07-Mar-11 18:50:18

I used to tell my XP to shut the fuck up.

Sorry, probably not helpful.

lemonstartree Mon 07-Mar-11 19:44:41

My ExH does this. Fuck its DULL. and so so bloody self centered

avoid such people if at all possible!

FranSanDisco Mon 07-Mar-11 19:51:13

This is why I never answer the phone if it displays MIL's number. She asks a question and answers it herself for fear of having to SHUT THE FUCK UP FOR A MINUTE. The dcs can't get a word in either - they sit there silently with the phone to their ear. She won't change now I guess!

neolara Mon 07-Mar-11 20:08:42

Right, so you're all telling me that there is pretty much nothing I can do that will make any difference. Oh God, how depressing.

(I'm not sure I can use a WAIT card with my MIL over the dinner table, tempting as it is.)

Someone must have a magic wand. Please???? Has anyone tried broaching the subject with the non-stop-talker?

And to those of you who are married to people like this, how do you put up with it? That is a genuine question.

HecateTheCrone Mon 07-Mar-11 20:23:39

I tell him that he is driving me crazy.

He says <sad little voice> "I know"


I cope by removing myself.

That's why I am here, in the back room, on the pc, with the door shut. grin

BibiBlocksberg Mon 07-Mar-11 20:38:45

Dang, I was hoping for some tips on how to deal with the self obsessed.

Ive got 3 friends coming to see me at the end of this month and one of them is like that me. It's all about her and what a nightmare her husband is <sigh>

Best get plenty of wine in I guess

BibiBlocksberg Mon 07-Mar-11 20:40:22

Mmmh there should NOT be a me after one of them is like that.

Classic Freudian slip perhaps grin

RandyRussian Mon 07-Mar-11 21:10:45

1. Start a different conversation with someone else present and let the nuisance just ramble on to themselves.

2. Leave them to it and go and do something else in another room.

3. Go to the loo for 10-15 minutes.

Mrsfluff Mon 07-Mar-11 21:17:14

Mmm, I think my husband may have joined Mumsnet hmm

I'm very a little bit talkative, sometimes even I'm aware that I need to shut up, but the more I think about it, the more I keep talking confused

Mymblesson Tue 08-Mar-11 09:57:07

Who me? smile

Je&#347;li nie mo&#380;esz zrozumie&#263;, to chyba nie ;-)

RoundOrangeHead Tue 08-Mar-11 10:04:54

I used to work with someone who would just walk away mid-sentence if cornered by Mr Garrulous, wouldn't even say 'oh, excuse me I have to go and do something over there'

rude but very, very amusing

Dumbledoresgirl Tue 08-Mar-11 10:06:18

Oh God, I have anxiously read this thread trying to recognise if any of you are talking about me, as I know that I am extremely garrulous and will happily hold forth for^ever^. blush

The only thing I can say in my defence is that I rarely get the chance to talk to people so perhaps I am simply letting the flood gates open when I can. Maybe your friend is very lonely or unable to talk to other people?

Also, from the pov of a talker, I feel a good response from others would be to interrupt and talk back at length. I had a friend to stay with me over half term and I was very conscious that I was doing all the talking and boring her silly. Yet when I tried to get her to talk about herself, she didn't give me much back. You need to be rude, interrupt, and be forthcoming about yourself, to shut a talker up.

dickiedavisthunderthighs Tue 08-Mar-11 10:10:57

My mum refuses to spend more than 10 minutes with one of my friends because she's like that. She's my friend so I love her but she's definitely one talking/tangets/going round houses/end of story is 20 minutes later and you're still none the wiser as to who she's talking about. But she's lovely and well meaning so I put up with it.
But it is very wearing - for those of you who know you do it - please try and stop. What you have to say isn't any more important than anyone else; have a bit of courtesy

EldritchCleavage Tue 08-Mar-11 11:46:11

If it is a work setting you can be more direct, e.g. 'Just a moment, I want to say/hear from/...etc'

Personal settings are harder. I find that the people who do it (sometimes, that's me) are anxious, so some form of indirect reassurance helps, e.g. taking an interest, contributing to say something kind. That works a marvel with DH.

But on occasion I have directly said I don't want to talk about a topic if it is veering into territory I don't want to go into(friends who start giving you distressing details of illness, relationship breakdown, sex lives and so on).

MrsBloomingTroll Tue 08-Mar-11 13:09:45

I know someone like this.

When she phones, I try not to answer the phone to her if I'm in the middle of something else or about to start something, because I know it'll be 15 minutes before I can get a word in edgeways or get asked "anyway, how are you?".

Face-to-face I either find a way to exit the conversation (kids are great for interrupting), ignore or (as I've got more confident) interrupt persistently as she does to me.

The problem is that I fear I may now be carrying over these habits into conversations with others. blush

Do you think your MIL might have a hearing problem? I suspect that might be a factor in my friend's case, so she compensates by talking. Also alcohol makes it worse, so if I can control it I try to remove alcohol from the situation.

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