How do you deal with people who talk a lot but don't listen?
By The Horse
Walnut Creek, California
April 2, 2018 5:11pm CST
I have a vague feeling that I've written about this before, but it became salient to me this past weekend when I was hiking with a friend. We hiked. He talked. I listened. I tried to share my views. He interrupted me and talked. I listened. I then asked him if I could make a point. He paused and listened for about 30 seconds. Then he went on a tangent, and I listened. After two hours of this, I was glad to get into my car and head home. I called a friend, who turned out to be on the road at the time. He had had a similar experience recently. We both talked. We both listened. What a relief. How do you deal with people who talk and don't listen? What if you're stuck with them for two hours?
20 people like this
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
@TheHorse I am that too, mostly because I'm alone all the time. Though get me started talking and you can't shut me up. I worked in a bakery at one time with the deli right next to it. For my birthday one year, one of the deli gals gave me this and one other can holder with a similar message on it.
@TheHorse it actually varies from person to person. If it is a close friend I can abuse for not allowing me to speak and ask him to let me speak. But when it comes to elders or workplace managers you won't be able to tell thwm anything
• Walnut Creek, California
@JudyEv Heh heh. Fact is, we used to work together, so we could share stories about our kid clients. Right now, he's between jobs (he's also a movie set designer), and probably just needs someone to talk to. If I go hiking with him again, I'll just have to get myself in the mindset and focus on the beauty of our surroundings.
• United States
I have a SIL kind of like that. She will go off on a tangent and it's hard to get a word in edgewise. And if I ask her about a certain thing, she'll start to tell me but veer off course telling a story about one of the participants then maybe someone that person knew and I have to get her back on the subject only to have her go off again. If you ask her how her friend got into a car wreck you might get an answer in about 30 minutes but you'll have to re-ask your question repeatedly! Talking to her is not hard, you just have to listen and insert some monosyllables every so often. But she has a heart of gold and will do her best to listen if I have a real issue I need to talk about! When we get together we do so at her house--then I'm not trapped and can leave whenever I want. I think we learn to be better conversationalists from people like this because they teach us how it feels when someone doesn't value your ideas or feelings. It makes us more sensitive to the needs of others when our own needs are ignored. Did you know this guy was like this? Now you know not to isolate yourself with him again!
• Walnut Creek, California
Well said. Isolate myself with him again. It's interesting how you can feel more lonely WITH someone than when you're alone. But your friend's heart is good, and she listens when you have a real issue? I wonder if this hiking friend would do the same.
• Corsham, England
I'm afraid I'm one of these people. I talk a lot and I interrupt people .. I don't mean to, I just have all these ideas buzzing around in my head which pour out of the hole in the front of my head. It's very annoying apparently
My mom always talked and never listened, I did what my father used to do. Nodded time by time without listening at all what she said. Time by time I was caught by surprise when she asked something and I had no idea what she was talking about.
• Paso Robles, California
This discussion hits me hard. Someone I love is like this. I don't think he knows he does it, though I've tried to tell him he needs to let others talk, too. I'm not sure how to help him. I think he can't always remember what stories he's told to people before.
• Anniston, Alabama
HA! I have one in the house, I sometimes only respond to the serious in pain moaning since he talks all the time. I have learned to space them out, auto yeah, yeah, yeah. If I get that quiet, you`re boring to me and I won`t come back for seconds.
• United States
That would be annoying, but it is worse to be stuck with someone who asks the same questions over and over. I know someone who does that..I don't think he has Alzheimers but some degree of brain damage must exist. It is a question like How are you coping?? I mean huh? I should say, I would be coping alot better if I didn't have to keep answering that question every time I see you...lol.