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Your_Majesty's avatar

How could you handle annoying talkative person?

Asked by Your_Majesty (8235points) August 26th, 2011

Suppose that someone you know is very very talkative, keep saying lots of stuff that don’t worth your while, repeating the topic again and again, keep saying stuff even though you’ve given the boring face, etc.

They’re your friends/family members, and you don’t want to hurt their feeling. You must also required to stay in the same room as them so running away isn’t a choice.

Any ideas other than punching their nose? (In your imagination).

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20 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Ask them something embarrassing that they WON’T want to talk about might work. If they change the subject, bring it back again. And again. And…

However, some people simply do not get gentle hints like the above (not that the above is a “gentle” hint)! It might be better- and less damaging- to simply tell the truth. Be blunt, but use “I” words such as “When you say…... I feel this.” Once you’ve said it, you can follow up with how much you do care about them.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@snowberry What a inspiring, yet beautiful idea! Actually, most of my older relatives are like that. I believe loneliness is the cause but it’s not fair to pick me as their target to satisfy their lust for talking!

snowberry's avatar

It’s not fair, but in a few decades you may very well find yourself in their shoes. Try to be kind.

I have run into a few people whose idea of a normal conversation bore me to tears. I remember a conversation I had with an old lady. I am new in town, and although I do not know the area in the slightest, neither do I enjoy the type of food she was pushing, she told me the type of food served and the location of about 4 restaurants in 5 minutes.

When I am confronted by such a person, I am learning to listen to their spirit instead of the inane conversation. The bottom line was that she had a beautiful loving heart, but was terribly lonely. She had so much to offer, but nobody to receive her love. I realized that I could give her a gift by listening, which I did.

Your_Majesty's avatar

@snowberry That makes sense. You have such beautiful heart!

snowberry's avatar

Instead of allowing them to drone on and on about a subject that’s boring to you, ask them what they love about their life. Draw them out (ask who, what, when, where, why, and how questions about the stuff/people they love), and you’d be surprised at what you learn. I doubt you’d get a conversation about the locations of restaurants! ; oD

pshizzle's avatar

Ask them nicely if you could talk about something else, and then change the topic yourself.

Kardamom's avatar

Change your attitude towards these people and it will do you a world of good.

I used to be very shy and didn’t really like having conversations with strangers, but then I noticed that one of my best friends was always chatting people up in the store, at the bus stop, anywhere really. She shows genuine interest (whether she’s faking it or not, I don’t know and it doesn’t matter) and it brightens the day of people who would otherwise find that lots of people will simply get angry, annoyed or bored and walk away or tell them to shut up. Older people tend to have a very different conversational style than younger people. They were born into a time when there wasn’t all of this instant gratification, like with cell phones and texting etc. So they learned to converse which seems to be something of a lost art.

Most older people that talk a lot and repeat themselves, also have some degree of memory loss and are not always aware of the fact that they’ve told the same story countless times. If you live long enough, you will find yourself in that same situation one day. So I have learned, by watching my friend’s example of how to engage a conversation rather than just listening to someone blather on. I ask questions, I ask follow up questions, I give examples from my own life, I ask the older folks to explain things to me, like how to make a bundt cake, or where did you meet your spouse, or how did you end up in the military (were you drafted or did you join?) how long have you lived her and where did you live before.

If you really do need to leave, because you have an appointment, say something like, “Marge, I’m really enjoying this conversation, but I have to go to my class right now, but I’d really love to continue this when I see you next time. In the meantime, try to remember that recipe for apple streudel and I’ll write it down when I see you the next time.” Then give her a little peck on the cheek or a squeeze of the hand and then just go. You don’t need to be rude or hurt their feelings. Leave them with a sense that you are truly interested, even if you aren’t. And leave them with a sense that you will definitely be coming back, even if you never do (like if you met them at a bus stop).

So again, I say, change your attitude, change lives for the better, yours and theirs : )

LuckyGuy's avatar

I was once on an overseas flight in business class had a seat next to an elderly woman who droned on and on about her family, her husband, her pets…it was endless. If she would be quiet I could have slept for a few hours. I wanted to scream. Much later she mentioned she was traveling with her husband. I quickly offered to give up my seat so he could sit next to her. She thanked me, but said “He will never sit next to me again He is down below. I am shipping his body back home for burial.”
She just needed to talk. That’s all… she just needed to talk. I felt so ashamed for thinking such selfish thoughts.
We hugged at the end of the flight.

She changed me. I am now a more tolerant person. (Thank you, wherever you are!)

Kardamom's avatar

@worriedguy You just made me cry.

Hibernate's avatar

I ask them nicely to stop. If they won’t I’ll just be rude and leave them. For instance if we were to be at a pub/cafe/restaurant/pizza place etc and they could not keep their mouth shut I’d just leave [or leave the whole group if they decide to stay with the annoying person]. Okay just for that time but if the situation is repeating itself a lot then I’d stop keeping company with those persons. I know sometimes I just talk random crap too but when someone asks me to shush it I keep quiet [at least the random craps].

King_Pariah's avatar

Start cleaning a gun in front of them. That’ll shut them up.

Blondesjon's avatar

Hey! I talk to much.

You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I’m an easy target. Yeah, you’re right, I talk too much. I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynic like you . . . but I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Well, you think what you want about me. I’m not changing. I like . . . I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. ‘Cause I’m the real article. What you see is what you get.

Blueroses's avatar

@worriedguy I couldn’t read the posts after yours for the tears in my eyes.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Kardamom, @Blueroses Ummm…. she and I were both crying when we hugged at the gate. It was quite emotional.

What will I be like when/if I lose a spouse of over 50 years? Will I be babbling to everyone?

Only138's avatar

Beat them about the ears and throat. :)

woodcutter's avatar

I dig out my phone and say excuse me and move away, talking to one of my imaginary friends who just called me, while I think of a way to politely get away.

blueberry_kid's avatar

Tell them “Yeah, look I’m going to go to the bathroom and when I come back, think of something better to talk about, mmkay?”

Actually, don’t tell them that. You be the bigger person and either change the subject, tell the person politely that they keep repeating the same thing, or leave. Simple!

Bellatrix's avatar

Well if you are @worriedguy, I hope you meet someone as polite and caring as you. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

And @Blondesjon, I talk too much too. :-)

Pele's avatar

Just tell them to chill. Use a soothing voice and ask them to come back to earth. Then it’s all good.

laurenkem's avatar

I have a friend who won’t talk about anything other than her cats. She’s not interested in world events, politics, etc… – just what the cats did that day. It’s annoying, but I love her so I just let her do it.

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