Do you know what to do when you are with an over-talker? Or how to heal your own over-talking?
What do you do when you are with a person who goes on and on with a monologue, barely taking a breath between sentences?
Are you more concerned with not hurting their feelings, or with taking loving care of yourself?
- Do you smile and nod, pretending to listen while seeking a way out?
- When there is a breath between sentences, do you continue to engage in the conversation, only to have them continue to go on and on?
- Do you look around, acting restless or impatient, but continue to listen?
- Do you tune them out, thinking of other things, yet stay in their presence?
How do you feel when you do any of these things? Trapped? Irritated? Bored? Pulled on? Angry? Invisible? You might want to explore why caretaking the talking addict is more important to you than taking care of your own feelings. What is the fear behind the caretaking? Why would you ignore responsibility for your own feelings?
What Else You Can Do…
Perhaps you just don’t know what else to do. If this is the case, here are some suggestions, which you can apply to any situation when you feel trapped, bored or pulled on.
- If the person is someone you are not connected with—like someone you just met at a party who cornered you—interrupt them, smiling compassionately, perhaps tapping them gently on the arm, saying, “Excuse me,” and walk away. You don’t owe them an explanation.
- If it is someone you are in a relationship with, or someone you want to stay connected with, you can say things like:
- “I would really love to connect with you but I can’t when we are having a one-way conversation. Can we have a dialogue instead of a monologue?”
- “There must be a good reason that you keep talking instead of us talking back and forth. I’d like to understand that.”
- “I have things I’d like to share with you. Are you interested in listening?”
If you don’t want to say anything, you can interrupt and change the topic of conversation, talking about something that interests you.
If it’s someone you know well and the two of you have spoken about this issue previously, you can say in a light tone of voice something like, “Now it’s my turn to talk!” or “Time’s up! My turn!”
If You Are The Over-Talker…
If you find yourself talking on and on and others drifting away or looking bored, you might want to explore why you have a need to go on and on. What are you trying to control or avoid when you are operating from a talking addiction?
- Do you need others to listen to you because you are not listening to yourself?
- Do you feel empty inside due to self-abandonment and are trying to get others’ energy to fill you up?
- Do you believe that your worth is in getting others’ attention and approval, so you are pulling on them instead of valuing yourself?
- Do you feel alone and lonely and are trying to get others to connect with you to take away your loneliness?
- Do you believe you are entitled to monopolize others’ attention?
- Are you coming from a self-absorbed place and you don’t care whether or not others are interested in what you are saying?
- Do you believe that only you have important things to say and you don’t care about what others have to say?
There may be much for you to learn about yourself if you are an over-talker, or if you allow yourself to be monopolized by an over-talker. In either case, doing an Inner Bonding process may be a big help to you.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: “Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships.”