Learn to recognize when you are talking too much
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
We all know someone who is an avid talker. Someone with whom—no matter what you do—you can’t seem to get a word in edgewise. They usually occupy the higher ground the conversation and if you weren’t talking with them you could swear they were talking to themselves. This is known as being talked at—and it’s the worst.
There is a difference between talking to someone and talking at someone. Unfortunately, some people don’t seem to understand this fundamental contrast. When you are talking to someone, you are both equally engaged in the conversation. Being talked at, however, is when someone does not pause to give you a chance to add to the dialogue. They go on and on and on about something you’ve already lost track of, and you’re exhausted just listening to them.
What’s even more frustrating than people who talk at you is when they don’t realize that they’re doing it. It feels like they’re unloading all their burdens onto you and all you can do is take it. It’s like getting beaten up, but with words.
You try to get a word in multiple times, or you try to steer the dialogue in a way that you lets you talk for a bit, but they always turn it back to talking about themselves. You try to tell them with your body language that you’re getting annoyed with their endless soliloquy, that this isn’t a Shakespearean play, and they aren’t the main character. It’s almost impossible to even find a way out of the chat because they won’t shut the hell up.
However, I can’t talk too much smack. I am sympathetic to the talk-aters. I have been both sides of the discussion. I certainly can talk people’s ears off or take the conversational beating. Often, you don’t realize you’re dominating the discussion. The key is to recognize when you’re talking at someone and learn how to rectify it.
If your conversational partner seems uninterested in what you are saying, or if you realize they haven’t said anything in a while, take a breather and ask them about their day so they have a chance to talk. If you’re in a situation where you want to say something, but your partner won’t let you get a word in, make it known that you have something to add. Usually talking over someone is rude, but in cases like these it can be the only way to get a word in. Finally, don’t be afraid to tell the other person that they’re talking too much. Sometimes being honest and upfront is the best way to deal with it.