Stop talking! Quality over quantity

We have a joke in our family about the characteristics of a politician who talks two hours without actually saying anything. It’s not like we don’t know how to talk without saying a thing, but more of a need or want to be associated with the person who’s just talking.

I’ve grown to love my own time during these last few months. That means, even with a new habit of meditating, that clearly reduces stress and keeps me calmer, I have almost no tolerance over the non-quality discussion.

I have started thinking, have I changed as a communicator during isolation? Has communications quality been overwritten by quantity?

I need my portion of communication every day.

“The man does not stop talking.”

I guess we all know someone who just won’t stop talking. I’m not sure what bothers me more; that they talk without listening, or that they seem to think that what they have to say is as important to everyone else as it is to them.

How do you know what makes these people tick? What can you do about them? And what can you do if you happen to be one of them?

Why do you talk so much?

People who talk too much don’t seem to get the balance of listening and talking. Why? “Listening requires complex auditory processing,” according to Daniel P. Ellis of Columbia University. Article in Psychology Today reveals we develop the capacity to listen automatically, according to Ellis, which is one of the reasons that even a very young child will react differently to the sounds of a robin’s song and a police siren. This is not to say that all people who talk incessantly are not deeply connected to others. But it does seem to make it difficult for them to recognize different moods and responses in their listeners.

Some people who talk a lot are not able to engage in this interactive rhythm, not because they do not care, but because they cannot tolerate the emotions that might emerge as they listen to another person. Some people talk about themselves because they genuinely think they’re more interesting than anyone else they know. 

5 tips to stop someone talking more

So what can you do if you appreciate your time and find yourself in a situation where someone just talks too much? Here are five simple suggestions that might help:

  • First, listen—but not for too long. You can decide how long. They won’t pause 🙂 As you are listening, try to formulate for yourself what this person is trying to communicate
  • Yes, you can, and you should ask directly them if they would mind if you interrupt them. 
  • Start with something they told you, so they know you listened. Tell about the story of your own instead of ending the comment with something to do with them.
  •  You can stop the conversation when it prolongs. They are allowed to hear that you don’t have more time to spare to this subject, and you have to get back to doing what you were doing.

And btw, I hope you tell me if I talk too much!

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