Dear Loquacious One:
I realize you emphasize that being talkative is part of your personality; however, recently I have wondered if that tendency leads to interactions which keep the focus on you instead of allowing your presence to benefit others. Therefore, I would like you to consider some things to change. When we are together, it is difficult to get in a word-edgewise, so I will offer my suggestions in this letter.
Pre-plan questions concerning the interests of the person with whom you are talking. Listen to the answers and ask follow-up questions instead of anticipating what you will say next. If you notice you are monopolizing a conversation, stop and either remain silent until another person speaks or bring up one of these previously considered questions.
Count to 10 in your head before commenting. Some people weigh their responses more carefully and need a little more time before speaking.
Share the pizza. If you are having guests to your house for dinner, it would be rude if opened the box of pizza and ate it all before offering some to others. Do you remember the manners your mother taught you? Divide the portions equally. If there are 8 people in a discussion, respond only about 10-15% of the time.
Limit your answer to one topic speaking only for a minute or two instead of rambling. Don’t be like the dog that won’t give up its bone no matter how much someone tugs at it.
Don’t hijack the conversation. This occurs when you use someone else’s comment to segue into what happened to you or turn a conversation back to the subject you want to discuss.
Come with an attitude of “What can I learn from others in the group?” instead of, “How can I share my knowledge with them?” Just because you have a thought or opinion, you don’t have to speak it. Allow someone else to have the last word.
Perhaps you have been challenged to “Get out of your comfort zone” and believed that meant to be bold and speak up. Consider how my witty, introverted friend translates this for extroverts, “Sit down and listen.”
9 thoughts on “Help for the Loquacious”
Did you recently have an encounter with such a person? I’ve had an experience or two, and agree these pointers could be great for them to hear.
Well said, Lynn.
This is a composite based on my experiences with many people over the years.
Proud of you! ❤ you
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Wow Lynn, Risqué! How many of your loquacious friends read your blog? You make me nervous 😧🤐. Nonetheless, I have found that the exceedingly loquacious are often aware that they are and feel just as trapped in those word-cramm’d moments as the one(s) they are speaking ‘to’ or ‘at’. For such, in group discussions, being given guidelines by the facilitator helps everyone, even if it means using an actual 2 minute timer. Your approach is innovative and some aspects will no doubt be helpful to those seeking it. However knowing ones, personally, who wrestle with this brokenness made it seem, in parts, a mean cut. A quick thought for your wise introverted friend, I have heard that introversion is itself also a vice, one I was counseled to train my children out of by similar methods your post recommends. I’d love to talk (not too much!😄) about this some more, sometime. Denise
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I agree completely with your comment that we all wrestle with brokenness and my hesitation in sharing my writing is often that I don’t want someone to feel misunderstood or hurt. Both extroverts and introverts face tendencies toward self. I would enjoy more discussion on this subject with you 🙂
You are being bold with your words here as Denise shared & she has some equally valid suggestions. As one of your loquacious friends, I hope I have practiced some of your recommendations as we do often try to establish a topic when we get together, to keep me on target, especially with other less outspoken friends & in the group’s I have shared with you, you have guided conversations to give equal time. I have also often confessed when I feel as though I’ve hijacked a conversation. You know I’m not easily offended, but this post does cause me pause as one of your confessed loquacious friends you have gleaned your insights from. I’ve noticed in being married to an introvert before & having close friends who are introverted, they do not want to share & therefore often use the loquacious to speak for them or just prefer to be the listener often, so it can be difficult to judge for those like me. Denise’s point that we feel just as trapped is true. Talking makes the listener uncomfortable & not talking makes the talker uncomfortable, so, it is my understanding that long pauses are that awkward silence, that makes everyone uncomfortable. My kids often tell me I ask too many questions because I want to learn about thier world (both more introverted like thier father), though my daughter, as a young adult is finding her voice. In group discussions I have made the effort to fill that silence before, to keep the conversation moving. I am glad I am now married to another loquacious one, even though we both talk at each other often. I still like having different personality types as friends which helps me with practicing this skill of communication that is important for our relationships with personalities different than our own. I do question how much is nurture rather than nature. I really believe it is a bit of both, because some of my listening friends have said they are more quiet because of growing up with outspoken family. I’m just the opposite. More outspoken as a result of needing to be heard I guess.
You last point – the desire to be heard and known is common to so many of us no matter what our personality is. Since the first blog was very focused on one aspect – strategies for change, your response makes me want to write a follow up.
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