We all have different personalities, and because of this, we interact with the world around us differently. For instance, people can be labeled as introverts or extroverts, which generally speaking means that some people love talking, socialising and telling others everything on everything. Introverts, on the other hand, might want to refrain from doing that and would rather be silent rather than expose their private lives.
Aside from people having different personalities, sometimes, we aren’t available to listen to someone talking endlessly for half an hour or more. It’s not that we don’t care, but we have better things to attend to, that are more urgent. However, we tend to keep these thoughts to ourselves out of fear to come across as rude. So we keep listening and might grow more impatient by the minute and getting more frustrated.
To avoid getting to that point, there are a few things you can try to tell someone that they talk too much in general or that they chose the wrong time to chat; nicely and politely. Here’s how:
How to let someone know that they talk too much, without offending them:
1- Mention that there’s only a period in which you’re available to listen:
When we are caught in an endless conversation that we are desperate to cut short, one of the options that we have is to simply lie. It’s true that lies made up in the heat of the moment are never good ones and you can be easily caught, which would only tense the relationship between you and the person you tried to cut off.
So to avoid this, the first thing you need to say is that you only have a certain amount of time to listen or chat before getting back to what you were supposed to be doing in that moment.
This could be a coworker who doesn’t have urgent tasks to finish or has already done their work of the day, or a friend or family member who called you at a time when you can’t afford to sit and chat for hours. When you find yourself in a situation like this, think of simply saying that you need to go abck to whatever it is you were doing rather then lying straight away.
So tell them immediately that you only have five or ten minutes to talk, because you need to get your work done or start making dinner, for example. Don’t forget to say you’ll call them back later or show interest in chatting about their topic of interest at another time.
All of this is perfectly understandable because, as much as the other person loves to chat, they too have a life so they will understand that you have tasks at hand that you can’t put off.
2- Use phrases that specifically help the person get faster to the point they are trying to make:
Sometimes, people who talk too much have important things to tell you because they need your advice or just someone to rent or to vent to. And it’s not that we don’t want to be there for them, it’s simply that sometimes it’s not the right time. However, even if it’s not the right time it’s understandable that you choose not to to turn your back on someone in need.
For instance, if your sibling that lives in another country calls you while they’re crying, you’d want to hear what they have to say regardless of how busy you are. In this case, you should try to help the person conclude as fast as possible.
If they are venting about a situation they went through you could try asking what happened next, so they jump ahead in their story and make their point faster. You should also try to make them think of practical actions they can take to get rid of the problem, and if nothing works ask them politely what you can do to help them.
Not only will they be saving time telling an excessively detailed story, but they will also find a solution faster.
3- Use their breaks as an opportunity to explain why you should go:
One of the reasons we can feel trapped when someone is talking too much is because we don’t want to be rude and interrupt that person mid-sentence or start talking when they’re still going. So, you should try to use the breaks they take in their speech to pitch in.
When the other person quiets down for a few seconds, don’t hesitate to say that you need to get back to what you were doing.
If you feel that the person has started to repeat themselves and isn’t saying anything new, you can consider that the subject they were discussing is over and you can use their pauses to explain why you’re tight on time.
4- Consider telling the truth politely:
It may sound harsh, but telling the truth can work too if done properly. Don’t let the situation drag for too long though. If you do this, you will only be more fed up with them talking incessantly, and when you decide to be honest, you may not use the right words and end up hurting the other person’s feelings.
Try to bring them to the realization that sometimes they talk about things longer than necessary and repeat themselves a lot. If the person in question is close or relatively close to you, this can work to your advantage. You already know how you can talk with them and approach the subject most adequately.
If it’s someone with whom you’re not very close, tell them that you don’t have bad intentions and just wanted to make a polite remark because you were busy.
If you’re an introvert and find it difficult to maintain a converstion or socialise, you may find it especially hard to date. In this case, check our guide on dating for introverts and see if it helps.