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People Who Talk Too Much: Why They Do It & 21 Ways to Handle Them

Have you ever been around someone who doesn’t know how to shut up? People who talk too much can be the worst. Here’s how to handle them. 

people who talk too much

Being a good listener is both a gift and a curse. You might find yourself listening to everyone talk about their problems, simply because you have the reputation of being the one who’s great at listening. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being an ear for those who need it, but when you come up against people who talk too much, it seems they’re jabbering on for the sake of it.

It’s true that there are some people out there who simply talk waaaaay too much. They give you an endless monologue about the weather, what they ate for breakfast, what they’re going to do later, their life’s problems, the list goes on.

At first, it’s nice to talk to someone new, but then you quickly realize that they might never shut up.

If you’re one who always seems to get stuck with someone who doesn’t know when to be quiet, you’ll no doubt want a little advice on how to handle these types of folk. After all, silence is golden sometimes, right? [Read: How to hold a conversation and make people love talking to you]

Blame the mirror neurons

Let’s delve into this a little deeper. Humans are unlike any other animal in how well we empathize with each other. We gain a strikingly accurate sense of how someone’s feeling, almost as if we were them. This seems to be due to the function of ‘mirror neurons’ in the brain.

The idea is, due to mirror neurons, you simply look at someone’s facial expression and body language and roughly gauge what you would likely experience if you were them. So this allows for very intricate connections between people during an interaction.

Sounds good in many ways, but when you come up against those people who like to use far too many words, it can become annoying instead. [Read: How to be more empathetic & 16 steps to make anyone feel more understood]

So, while there is a reason why we talk to people about what is bothering us, and general stuff too, we want to feel understood. When you find someone who’s good at listening and has a good amount of empathy, you might be tempted to talk to them more than anyone else.

You can blame those mirror neurons. [Read: 7 reasons why empathy is important in a relationship]

But, is being a chatterbox really such a bad thing?

Often you don’t miss what you had until it’s gone. Chances are if someone likes talking with you, they like and trust you. So, getting paranoid about them and making them into ‘the bad person’ might not be such a great thing.

You can’t really blame people who talk too much because anyone can develop the habit of talking a lot. It feels good to be listened to!

Say you had a friend who was really chatty. Way more chatty than you naturally are. If you just stopped replying to them or started being rude, they might straight up get offended and stop hanging out with you. Later, you might end up realizing that despite the extreme talking in your ear, you actually really enjoyed being around them.

But sometimes people talk in a way that feels overbearing, as if they try to dominate or control you in some way. The question is how do you deal with that person without it blowing up in your face? [Read: 13 creepy signs your friend is secretly an energy vampire]

People who talk too much – Why do they do it?

Well, first we need to dive into the reasons why someone might chat far too much. Then, you can work out what their motivation is and whether you want to attempt to deal with it.

1. They may be a raving extrovert

This just is what it is. Introversion and extroversion, in the clinical psychology world, are social science-based descriptions of personality. Some people like to talk. It amps them up, gets them excited about life, and gives them energy.

Meanwhile, for others, it becomes tiring if overdone. An extremely chatty person could be on the extreme end of extroversion. [Read: Introverts vs. extroverts – Which side are you on?]

2. They may be narcissistic

To be honest, everyone likes to talk about themselves but most have enough common sense to limit it. If a person seems to make themselves the subject of every conversation they may just be self-indulgent. [Read: Conversational narcissist – Do you love talking and hate listening?]

3. They may be very articulate

Being able to think and string accurate words quickly is a skill. It’s also a very powerful tool and potential weapon.

When you know you express yourself exceedingly well, the question becomes ‘why not do that a lot and influence circumstances?’ Some people have this skill down-pat.

4. They may be insecure

Stillness, quiet, solitude, meditation, silence, arghhhh!! When you’re not talking or being exposed to stimulus, your thoughts and feelings quickly flood you. We often suppress negative feelings with food, entertainment, and other distractions.

Very talkative people tends to use talking as a way of pushing away their own thoughts and feelings. If the top issue for focus is always out there, then you don’t have to deal with the inside. [Read: How to stop being insecure – 15 steps to transform your life]

5. They may have underdeveloped listening skills

A lot of people who talk overbearingly don’t like to listen. This isn’t to say that they aren’t astute observers of the world. They may just gain their information through gauging reactions and having verbal combat.

6. They may be under stress

We live in an unprecedentedly busy world. There is so much noise and stimulus that we don’t always get time to even think and decompress our reality.

To top that, when you’re dealing with a lot of chaos and different challenges, it can be a ton of mental data to break down and make sense of. Maybe your way of doing that is to talk it through. [Read: 14 really quick stress busters to recharge your mind]

7. They may be nervous around you

Say you’ve got a crush on someone, admire them highly, or you’re still developing your social skills. In these cases, you’re more likely to make a social faux pas.

You feel a need to cover awkward silences with mindless chatter. In many ways, this is a sign of empathy. So, when somebody talks a lot, take a step back and think about the effect you might have on them. [Read: How to tell if someone likes you – 15 weird and unlikely signs]

8. They may be jealous of you

It’s like the envious father who bears down on the unusual child: ‘no, this is the way you’re supposed to look at things…’ That kind of assertion of the status quo can be an effort to minimize you as a threat or competition—to not change things. [Read: How to tell if someone is jealous of you]

9. They may just not like you

Sometimes, you just can’t bear to hear someone speak to you because you know you… won’t… like… what… they… say. One way of stopping this is to just speak first and forcefully, so the other person doesn’t get a chance to find their rhythm.

10. They may want to hold power and control

When you speak, the most it gives you is more opportunity to influence a situation or person. This is especially true when people actively listen to you and respond affirmatively. [Read: Power struggles in a relationship – 19 signs and ways to overcome it]

11. They may have no respect for your opinions

If a person doesn’t respect you as a person they probably don’t care about what you’re up to or your personal development.

You just become an object they talk at, not to. Perhaps to satisfy their own ego. Or to use as a listening machine while they develop and sharpen their thoughts.

12. They’re simply chatty

Sometimes there’s no specific deep reason behind why someone talks a bit too much. Maybe they’re just chatty. They might be feeling nervous or simply having a day when they want to talk.

It could simply be that this person likes the sound of their own voice or they don’t even realize what they’re doing. [Read: Tongue-tied? Here are 35 brilliant conversation questions]

How to deal with people who talk too much

Now that we have understood why people talk too much, let’s look at the different approaches to dealing with the overbearing chatterbox.

1. By being disagreeable

If somebody values your thoughts, they want to hear your responses. When you’re repeatedly given no space to speak, you may assume that person doesn’t value you enough for you to tolerate their company. Or that they dislike or feel threatened by you.

Depending on the context, you’re more likely to look away, show them you’ve lost interest, or just end the conversation abruptly. People encroach on your personal sense of boundaries bit by bit. It’s better to set boundaries early. [Read:  How to say no – Stop pleasing people and feel awesome instead]

2. Being distractingly non-serious

Don’t engage overbearing talkers in serious conversation. They only make you invest more of your own energy into their frame. Example:

Them – ‘I wanted to talk to you about this thing.’
You – ‘Did you just call me a thing?’
Them – ‘No, what?’
You – ‘How dare you’ *leaves*?

Distraction technique complete. [Read: Things people hate about other people – 15 annoying truths we know]

3. Assessing whether they talk a lot with everyone else, or if it’s just you

This gives you an enormous amount of information. Usually, they have a reputation for being a force of nature.

People often make jokes about them such as ‘oh wait, I have to prepare myself.’ Then you know it’s not you targeted specifically. Though you may still want to establish fine boundaries.

4. Interrupting them

Even if someone has a reputation for being a talker, it doesn’t mean the person isn’t aware that they’re overbearing. This is the old ‘give them an inch and they’ll take a mile’ principle.

If you let them establish a relationship where they’re talking at you, it only grows into a habit. Don’t be afraid to interrupt. [Read: How to set boundaries – 10 crucial steps to feel more in control]

5. Stop them by paraphrasing

What happens is that they get into a stream of thought and the energy of what they’re saying makes them feel like they’re making all kinds of clever, rational, and important points.

But then they’re suddenly interrupted with a dissection of their last two sentences and their errors reveal themselves. You can do that by paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing or interpreting frequently makes the conversation clearer and more involving. It might also make them shut up. [Read: 15 calm and firm ways to be the real alpha]

6. Frequently asking what the focal point is

If there’s no problem or aim, then they just talk for talking’s sake. Remind them of this by bringing the conversation back to a focal point. Then hone in on it ruthlessly, cutting off tangents. You’re not a wall. They need to learn respect for your time.

But on the flipside…

7. Gaining information

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk noted how conversations between him and Facebook founder Mark Zuckenberg are mostly himself talking and ‘Zuks’ listening.

Gary mused that this could be why Mark’s made so much more money. Listening’s an overrated skill. It teaches you what makes people tick and how to read what people want/will do in the future. Practice by enduring this person’s chatter and you never know where your newfound skills will take you.

8. Decide if you’re compatible

Do you feel better or worse after interacting with this person?

If it’s a constant negative, then perhaps find ways to distance yourself from them. There are cooler people to be around and life is way too short. [Read: Stop the craziness in life – How to deal with rude people]

9. Showing empathy

Sometimes we just want to be understood. Most people don’t spill their life history to anyone who listens. They tend to choose people they like and trust.

One of the five ‘love languages’ is ‘words of affirmation.’ If this is that person’s primary love language, then they may be just looking for some empathy. This can be particularly important after a traumatic or stressful experience.

For the most part, people who talk too much aren’t usually doing it out of spite or for a negative reason. But, you need to decide whether you’re wasting your time and damaging your ears by constantly listening to this person!

Set boundaries early on and stick to them. As we said earlier, if you give them an inch, they’ll literally take a mile. When you need to walk away, make your excuses and leave.

[Read: How to ignore someone you don’t like without the stressful drama]

It can be tricky to work out why someone chats so damn much. But your time and emotional health are important. So seek to understand and establish boundaries with people who talk too much.

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Anonymous Fella
Anonymous Fella
An unnamed guy with a great story and an idea to share, the Anonymous Fella is the secret voice that wants to be heard, but prefers to be masked under anonymity...