Monthly Archives: June 2010

What To Do About People Who Talk Too Much

There are plenty of people in the world who talk too much; either they don’t realize they’re talking up a storm, or they simply feel they have a lot to say. No matter what the cause, you often have to wonder what to do about people who talk too much.

Here are some ideas:

1. Talk to them

Sometimes, a person does not know that they are talking too much. Just a few gentle words can go a long way toward getting them to change their ways. Do not be confrontational or mean when you speak to them. Just point it out to them in a friendly way.

If they don’t think they’re talking too much, a simple way to make your point is to video them. Set up a video camera in a room – hidden – and then try to have a talk with them. Later, show the video to them, and see if that old saying, “Seeing is believing” rings true for them.

2. Get a third party to talk to them

In some cases, people who talk too much won’t listen to you, especially if they don’t think highly of you. It could be something as simple as a problem with your older sibling or a co-worker. By asking your parent or supervisor to speak to the person, you may be able to get them to listen.

3. Tune them out

With some people, you just can’t get them to shut up, and sometimes you just need to ignore them. If you’re able to simply tune them out and concentrate on what you need to do, more power to you.

If not, you can try turning up the TV or stereo, or slipping the earphones of your iPod into your ears and cranking up the volume. If the person gets the point that you’re not listening, it might lead them to change their ways.

On the other hand, some people might take offense, and lose their temper. As with the other methods listed, it is important that you pick the one best suited to the person.

4. Encourage them

Another means of dealing with people who just can’t stop talking is to keep them at it. For some people, being given free rein can eventually open their eyes as to what they’re doing, and they’ll stop. In other instances, the person will run out of things to say.

However, if the person is prone to repeat themselves, then this way of dealing with them will not be effective; they’ll just tell you the same thing over and over. So, be wary of using it.

5. Distract them

It is said that some people cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. Well, some people cannot talk and do something else. If the talkative person in your life is like that, look for a means of distracting them.

Do they have a hobby they like, a favorite sport, or maybe they enjoy movies. By finding something else for their mind to focus on, the person will stop talking.

6. Get them examined

In some cases, people who talk too much can have an underlying medical problem. So, when asked what to do about people who talk too much, in this case, a doctor can be the answer.

There are forms of autism that cause people to be real chatter-boxes, and they’re not even aware of it. Through medication or therapy, they can learn to curb their talkative nature.

However, this affects very few people, so do not expect a medical cure for many talkative people!

Given the options for dealing with talkative people, what to do about people who talk too much is an issue you can learn to deal with. Try some of these ideas, and you should meet with success.

Speaking Up for Yourself

There are all kinds of people in the world, and some will walk all over you, if you don’t learn about speaking up for yourself. Here are some steps to doing just that.

1. Develop a system of beliefs that give you the strength to assert yourself

If you don’t have an opinion, if you do not believe in anything, then how can you speak with any degree of conviction and confidence?

Read what’s being said about politics, the government, your local schools and business concerns, and ask yourself: how do I feel about these things, and why do I feel that way?

Once you develop a core set of beliefs and opinions, you’ll be better able to speak up for yourself.

2. Don’t allow people to interrupt you

Too often, people get interrupted while they’re speaking, and they don’t say anything. They don’t want to be seen as rude, despite the fact that someone else was just rude to them!

Do not stand for interruptions. Don’t become highly defensive or snippy; you can just say something like, “Excuse me, I was speaking. Do you mind if I finish my sentence?”

3. Cut down on behaviors which limit your ability to speak

There are some body language actions that people use naturally but which don’t help you to speak up for yourself. Often, a smile, a nod of the head, a dropping of the eyes, a tilt of the head are counter-productive to being more assertive.

Reduce those actions, and speak.

4. Speak clearly and to the point

When speaking up for yourself you need to speak clearly and not mumble or talk under your breath. Speaking clearly sends the message about how confident you are in getting what you want.

You also need to get to the point as quickly as possible when you are speaking up for yourself. Getting to the point sends the message that you are serious about what you want and not to be easily deterred from getting it.

5. Slow the pace down

Some people talk rapidly when they are speaking up for themselves. This sends the message that you are nervous and not confident about what you are speaking up for. When speaking up for yourself you should speak at a moderate pace, much like you would when you are having a conversation with your family members or friends.

6. Eye contact

It’s said that the eyes are the window to the soul, and that the way to assert domination in the animal world is through the use of the eyes.

When you are trying to stand up for yourself, the eyes are vital. Learn to maintain good eye contact, but don’t stare at a person. Maintaining soft and easy eye contact and breaking it off every few minutes for a few seconds will help you in getting your point across.

If you stand there, eyes cast down to the floor and try to (as an example) get a raise, you’ll fail.

7. Learn to listen

Part of speaking up for yourself is not speaking at all.

First, listen and learn all that you can about the people you’re trying to stand up for yourself with. By learning what they believe in, what their views are, and what’s important in their lives, you can get clues to being more assertive.

As you can see, speaking up for yourself is not only very important, but you can learn how to do it, if you follow a few simple steps. Select the technique or techniques above best suited to your lifestyle, and learn them.

Speaking Up for Yourself at Work

It’s said that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Along those same lines is speaking up for yourself at work. Too often, people are afraid to do that, and they can end up shouldering the blame for something they didn’t do, and not getting credit for something they did.

However, if you learn an effective way to speak up for yourself at work, you can achieve a lot and get a lot of problems solved.

1. Document the facts

In the business world, it’s all about what you can prove. Very often, the truth is a matter of opinion; it doesn’t matter what you know to be true, it is what you can prove.

So, when given instructions by a boss, simply write up a short memo or even an email and send it to him/her, and put a copy in your project file. In many companies, a project can take weeks if not months to complete.

If something goes wrong with a project you are working on, it may not be discovered until much later. Will you be able to remember all the details at that later date? If you have everything documented, it will not be an issue.

2. Limit your focus

When speaking up for yourself at work, it is important to be precise on what you’re talking about. Do not ramble on and on and talk about a wide range of issues; focus on one (or a very few) subjects, and stick to them.

Very often, a boss or co-worker will try to change the subject on you, especially if you’re winning an argument. Don’t let them; keep the discussion focused on the point you are trying to make.

3. Be prepared

Yes, it’s the motto of the Boy Scouts, and it also applies to the business world. It doesn’t matter if you’re going in to ask your boss for a raise, a vacation or to defend yourself against charges of improper behavior; pull any notes you need, review them, and try to think of the kinds of questions and/or arguments you are going to be hit with.

If there are similar situations that other people have had to deal with, find out all you can about them, get as many notes as possible, talk to people, and write up all the information they give you verbally.

4. Do a trial run

To avoid getting nervous during a big business meeting, try practicing with a friend or family member. Get together in a place where you feel comfortable, so you’ll feel at ease, and then run through the meeting that you are going to attend.

After going over everything in your outline of information, ask your friend to assess how you did and insist that they be brutally honest. After all, the people in your company are more likely to be harsh than gentle.

5. Develop a thick skin

While it’s important that you stand up for yourself, it is equally important that you do not become too emotional or fly off the handle at the drop of a hat.

If a boss or co-worker criticises the way you do something, do not take it personally and promptly insult them; you will accomplish nothing. If something they say is valid, then ask them to define exactly what they think you are doing wrong, and what you can do to improve yourself.

6. Learn to speak

Some people see this as silly; of course they know how to speak. Just speaking isn’t enough; you have to be able to speak with authority. So, a speech class can help you learn to do that.

Speaking up for yourself at work is key to keeping your record clean and clear, and making sure you don’t pushed out over something that isn’t your fault. In the business world, it truly can be a dog eat dog situation; if you don’t stand up for yourself, no-one else will.