One of the most annoying set of people to me happens to be people that cannot stop talking. People that just go on and on even when it is obvious you don’t want to talk. People like this are almost unavoidable and they usually come around when they are not welcome.
I am currently handling a person that does not know when to stop talking. I am trying a couple of things that seem to be working right now that I would love to share:
- Give one word answers as often as you can. If you can say it with a sentence, don’t say anything at all. It is okay to be silent and to smile or keep a straight face.
- Make the conversation as awkward as possible with extended pauses, annoying habits like tapping a foot or humming.
- Changing topics out of nowhere is a very useful tool. Switching from the weather to politics to sweat stains to colours to bite marks and anything else. This will be almost impossible to keep up with but if you’re dealing with a pro (like I am), this will take more effort. It could work eventually though.
- Do not hide the boredom and annoyance from your face (even if it will be ignored sometimes) at all times. You need to make it clear that all the talking is turning to droning and it is rather annoying.
- There is hardly a right time to tell this person to shut up but it is never wrong to announce from the beginning that you are not in the mood to talk.
- Try to not be alone with this person. Have someone else around or a group of other people around that will take some of the attention off you.
- When the talking gets too much, talk back. Bring up your own topics and say as much as you can but end it as quickly as possible.
- Distract yourself whenever this person is talking because as soon as this person understands that the talking is too much, they will probably talk less. Keep yourself busy with your phone, music, nail biting or even tears.
- It would be helpful to tell this person about their talkative habit. Make this as clear as possible without starting a fight or being rude. A simple “You always have something to say on every single topic and that is not always cool. Know when somebody feels like talking” as opposed to “please shut up, you talk too much”will probably work best in some situations but option two will definitely work with some people that have a chronic case of verbal diarrhea.
- Put your headphones on and stay strong.