We all know someone who just loves to talk.
They speak so much that you can’t do anything but listen.
Everyone around them sees how much they ramble.
Yet for some reason the person seems so unaware how much they talk.
IT IS EASY FOR US TO CRITICIZE THEM FOR TALKING SO MUCH.
Many people will just get impatient with them and stop listening.
How often do we take the time to ask why they talk so much?
Is it that they have so much more to say than everyone else?
Are they just addicted to sound of their own voice?
Or do they just have no clue how inappropriate it is for them to just keep speaking all the time?
PERHAPS THERE IS SOMETHING DEEPER GOING ON.
Maybe the person has some deep need that just never gets fulfilled?
Or could there be some trauma in their past that keeps them expressing without a pause.
MANY TIMES, THE PERSON WHO IS CONSTANTLY TALKING HAS A STRONG DESIRE TO JUST BE HEARD.
For whatever reason, they feel that if they are not constantly expressing themselves that they will not be seen or heard.
This may come from a deep fear or lack.
A fear of being alone.
FOR THIS PERSON, BEING ALONE IS A VERY SCARY THING.
It may be that they were left alone as a baby when they needed food or to be changed.
Or it just could be that their parents were so caught up in their own challenges that they had no time for them.
IT MAY ALSO COME DOWN TO A DEEP SENSE OF LACK OF SELF WORTH.
A deep seated fear that they actually have nothing to contribute to life so they must keep talking to prove to themselves that they do have something to contribute.
Regardless of the actual reason, it all comes down to trauma in one respect or another.
So knowing all of this, what do we do?
How do we deal with the person who just can’t shut up?
THE FIRST THING TO APPROACH THE SITUATION WITH COMPASSION.
Almost certainly the person has no idea that they take up as much space as they do.
To attack them or make fun of them will not help the situation.
That may only make things worse.
We can start with reflecting back to them what we hear them saying so they can know that they are heard.
Yet without professional help that may only work a little.
Ultimately, we have to decide what is appropriate for us.
TO HAVE OUR OWN BOUNDARIES AND DECIDE FOR OURSELVES HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH FOR US TO HANDLE.
We then hold those boundaries firmly, but compassionately.
Do not make the other person wrong for being the way they are.
That helps no one.
HEAR THEM WHEN YOU ARE TOGETHER, AND DECIDE HOW MUCH YOU CAN LISTEN.
Then wish them well and move on with your day.
For certain, they will try to find someone else to listen to them.
And if the opportunity arises that you might suggest they seek professional counseling, take it.
They may hear or they may not.
That is not up to you.
PERHAPS ONE DAY THEY WILL FIND THAT THEY DO FEEL HEARD.
And then they just might stop talking so much.
Do you know someone like that?
Can you be compassionately firm with your boundaries with them?
~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant
Host of The Conscious Consultant Hour