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Dealing with an Overly Talkative Friend

OltethOlteth Registered User regular
edited November 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a friend who I hang out with on a one-on-one basis. We met through work though we no longer work together, and while seeing him in those short doses at work was okay, hanging out with him outside of work now is a complete pain. Conversations with him are completely one-sided. He gets started on a subject and when I try to get a word in or he finally stops after ten minutes to ask me a question, I get a few sentences before he interrupts me and continues on. He's not negative or condescending, he just never stops talking. We became friends because we have some interests in common, though lately I see his interests are a little more highbrow than mine and when I talk about videogames or music that's not classical we can't have a conversation.

I haven't talked to him in about two months since the last time we hung out. After the last few times I found myself thinking I'd rather not hang out with him than spend half an hour talking and the next two hours listening to him go on and on.

He contacted me to hang out and I'm not sure what to do. I don't know if I should just move on, or if I'm being too judgemental and I should try to talk to him about it. What would you do, H/A?

Olteth on

Posts

  • BeastehBeasteh THAT WOULD NOT KILL DRACULARegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    or if I'm being too judgemental and I should try to talk to him about it.

    and how do you think that would work out.

    If I were in your position I would make it (politely) clear to him that he talks too much and it would be nice if he could just chill and let me have my say every so often

    Beasteh on
  • OltethOlteth Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    To be honest I'm not quite sure how he would respond. English is his second language (it could be the way he's gotten used to speaking English) so I don't know whether based on his culture he would respond well or not.

    Olteth on
  • MoSiAcMoSiAc Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I think I'm an overly talkative friend, and I'll tell you why. I don't know about his job, but at mine I don't get many people to talk to throughout the day so when I do see my friends I want to talk about everything that's going on and get as much interaction as possible.

    My friends like to drop hints like "man you sure do have a lot to say" or "slow down!"
    You could maybe try this if you feel you guys are that comfortable as friends.

    MoSiAc on
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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Just tell him you're busy. It doesn't really sound like you like this guy very much, or that you are particularly close. You're not under any obligation to hang out with people you don't like. Just stop hanging out with him and he'll get the hint.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Olteth wrote: »
    To be honest I'm not quite sure how he would respond. English is his second language (it could be the way he's gotten used to speaking English) so I don't know whether based on his culture he would respond well or not.

    It could be a nervousness thing. Lots of people get chatty when they are nervous, usually when they are nervous because they like someone and have difficulty expressing it. In a relationship standpoint, this happens a lot where one partner gets chatty because they don't know what the other person wants to hear or don't know how to respond to the other person's topics but dosen't want to alienate them, so instead they steer the conversation to avoid that situation.

    If you like hanging out with the person, on whatever level it is, I'd just be friendly and do slight corrections every now and then when things go a bit overboard. Something like "Slow Down," "May I" and the like. Non-confrontational reminders about how you want to contribute to the conversation as well. Many cultures speak significantly faster than we do, and in translation this can lead to what can appear to be domineering conversation. He might think you are quiet or shy, in this case, and is trying to help you talk more. Most folk would be willing to tone down if you ask it in a genuine and friendly manner.

    It could also be that they want someone to listen to them, as few people do. This generally causes a chain of amplification, for the less people they talk to, the more they talk per conversation to make up for it. This then causes people to stop hanging out with them, and then causes them to talk more. I knew a guy like this. He got better, but not until we started threatening to tape his mouth closed every so often (sounds pretty bad, but in the context of the group it was a pretty benign thing to say).

    Enc on
  • GanluanGanluan Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    If a friend gives an incredibly long response to a question I've asked, I usually make a joke about the fact it wasn't an essay question. I don't know if this will work for you :P

    Ganluan on
  • OltethOlteth Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Alright, thanks for the advice

    Olteth on
  • HoovesHooves Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I have known alot of people like this. I end up avoiding them because that is a trait that is beyond annoying.

    actually most people have this problem to some extent. people need to realize its possible to be engaging without dominating the conversation.

    Hooves on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    The fact that he's ESL actually makes me think that you're on safer ground to just tell him frankly that he talks a little too much. If he's foreign, it might just be that his habits are outside (U.S.?) social norms.

    On the other hand if you don't enjoy his company anymore anyway, just politely decline and move on.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • Psychotic OnePsychotic One The Lord of No Pants Parts UnknownRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Ganluan wrote: »
    If a friend gives an incredibly long response to a question I've asked, I usually make a joke about the fact it wasn't an essay question. I don't know if this will work for you :P

    You'll take my essay answers and like it buck-o!

    Psychotic One on
  • SnakeDoctorSnakeDoctor Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    What's his cultural background?

    I would do some research on it as these sorts of issues are pretty common. I used to work for a Dutch company that paid loads of money for its employees to learn how to be "less Dutch" when dealing with their American colleagues.

    SnakeDoctor on
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  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Hooves wrote: »
    I have known alot of people like this. I end up avoiding them because that is a trait that is beyond annoying.

    actually most people have this problem to some extent. people need to realize its possible to be engaging without dominating the conversation.

    Shoot, I think it's worse when people never stop asking questions. I can't do or say anything without getting asked something. "What's that? Who's that guy? What's going on?" Half the time I don't have the answer, or I don't feel like explaining the whole thing. Shut up and watch

    Zombiemambo on
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  • ChalkbotChalkbot Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Shoot, I think it's worse when people never stop asking questions. I can't do or say anything without getting asked something. "What's that? Who's that guy? What's going on?" Half the time I don't have the answer, or I don't feel like explaining the whole thing. Shut up and watch


    That's actually a pet peeve of mine. It drives me crazy when people ask me questions that could be answered if they just spent the two seconds it would require to actually analyze the situation.

    As for the OP, I have several friends like that. Usually it is genuinely an effort to win your affection, just like ENC said. They will usually settle down a bit if you frequently drop obvious hints that you like them as well, but sometimes (understandably) you just don't, so that's hard to do. In that case my solution is to hang out with them two at a time and they can blab each other into submission. This works for me, because I personally don't need to be deeply involved in conversation to feel like I'm spending quality time with somebody, but I realize that I'm different than most folk in that respect, so YMMV.

    Chalkbot on
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