Are you a talkaholic? Social scientists have found that people who talk for more kêu ca 30 to tướng 40 seconds are perceived as boring or overly talkative.
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People who talk too much are known to:
- overtake conversations
- interrupt or talk over others
- ramble about irrelevant topics
- forget to tướng listen to tướng other people
Whether you’ve been told you talk too much or you notice that people try to tướng escape conversations with you, overcommunication may be harming your relationships.
Yes, overcommunication is real!
Fortunately, you can conquer overtalking with the art of listening. This is a social skill that anyone can master. With these science-backed tips, you can stop overtalking and become a better conversationalist.
Why Do People Talk So Much?
Some people are naturally just chatty, while others don’t realize they overtalk because they are nervous.
At best, people who talk a lot may appear passionate and excited. But in the worst cases, people perceive overtalkers as annoying, self-absorbed, unprofessional, or socially unskilled. Researchers have even found that compulsive talkers can reduce their co-workers’ productivity.
If you are an overtalker, don’t worry: It’s not entirely your fault—the human brain tends to tướng get a big dopamine rush when talking about yourself. Harvard neuroscientists looked at the brains of people talking about themselves and found that it triggered the same pleasure areas as food, drugs, and sex.
Excessive talking can come from:
- Cultural or familial upbringing: Depending on someone’s family history and childhood, they may be more prone to tướng overtalking. For example, an only child with loquacious parents is likelier to tướng become a talkative adult kêu ca someone with many siblings.
- Insecurity: When someone lacks confidence, they may seek validation or approval by talking about themselves more often.
- Overexcitement: Sometimes people are just passionate and we need these exuberant personalities in the world! But someone who is overexcited about a project or a conversation topic may not notice themselves going over the top with their rambling.
- Social awkwardness or nervousness: Socially inept people may not understand the basic social skills and cues that are common in their culture. As a result, they can’t pick up on the subtle signs that they are talking excessively.
- Self-absorption or narcissism: These people love themselves sánh much that they don’t care to tướng hear what others say. Self-absorbed individuals often lack empathy or interest in others.
- Lack of awareness: Some people genuinely don’t know they are talking too much. In their heads, it may seem lượt thích they are speaking a normal amount because nobody has ever told them otherwise.
- Missing social cues: When someone doesn’t pick up on social cues that they’re talking too much (for example, when conversation partners are checking their watch or unable to tướng get a word in) they may keep going because they are oblivious to tướng the body toàn thân language of others.
Quiz: How to tướng Know If You Talk Too Much
Social scientists have found that people who talk for more kêu ca 30 to tướng 40 seconds are perceived as boring or overly talkative. However, due to tướng different cultural and social contexts, a time frame isn’t always the best way to tướng gauge if you talk too much. After all, everyone has a different perception of what is “too chatty.”
The key signs of a talkaholic include:
- Talking for more kêu ca 60-70% of a conversation
- Rambling with unnecessary information
- Repeating the same things over and over again
- Not thinking before you talk
- Excessive focus on your opinions and ideas (never asking about other people)
- Interrupting others while they’re speaking
- Raising your voice to tướng talk over people
- Thinking about what you’ll say next instead of listening to tướng others
- Noticing others glance at their watch or have a bored glazed look
Take this quiz to tướng weigh out some nuances and analyze if you might be talking too much during conversations. Answer as truthfully as you can and remember that there is no shame in overtalking—most of us have been guilty of it at some time or another!
- Which of these is most true about you in social situations?
- A. I listen and talk in roughly equal amounts.
- B. I have a hard time staying silent and listening.
- C. I accidentally interrupt people.
- D. Both A and B
- Which of these social cues tự you often notice while you’re talking to tướng someone?
- A. They maintain eye liên hệ throughout the conversation.
- B. They cross their arms or fidget.
- C. They smile and nod as you talk, but you don’t tự the same when they talk.
- D. They look around and kiểm tra their phone or watch while you’re talking. They try to tướng escape the conversation.
- Has anyone close to tướng you ever called you…?
- A. A great conversationalist
- B. Chatterbox
- C. Self-absorbed
- D. A “know-it-all”
- E. None of the above
- Are most of your conversations centered around…?
- A. Mutual interests with other people, including questions about their lives.
- B. Mostly things about bầm, but a little bit about them.
- C. Their interests and ideas but I tend to tướng relate back to tướng bầm.
- D. Me bầm me! Your passions, opinions, and life experiences.
- Do you find yourself regularly interrupting people or speaking over them?
- A. No, I don’t interrupt others.
- B. Sometimes, if I get too excited about what I’m going to tướng say next.
- C. Yes, I forget to tướng listen to tướng other people and respond very quickly.
- D. Yes, my voice can be loud and dominating in a conversation.
If all A= “You may be talking just the right amount.”
If all B= “You might talk too much in some situations.”
If all C= “You may need to tướng work on your listening skills.”
If all D= “You’re probably a talkaholic.”
If you still don’t feel clear on whether or not you’re talking too much, it might help to tướng ask a trusted friend or family thành viên for their honest opinion. You can say, “I’m trying to tướng improve my social skills, and I’d love your opinion on something. Do you think I talk too much during conversations?”
15 Actionable Tips to tướng Stop Overtalking & Listen More
A lot of people are oblivious to tướng the imbalance in their conversations. If you think you might be a talkaholic, your self-acknowledgment of the problem is a huge stride forward! There is no reason to tướng feel embarrassed about past conversations (you can’t go back in time). Instead, learn to tướng override this bad habit and become a better communicator with these tips.
#1 Notice the signs that you’re talking too much
Often, the most common reason behind overtalking is simply misreading the signs. Some people don’t pick up on the social cues and body toàn thân language of others that indicate they’re overstaying their verbal welcome.
Not everyone is blunt enough to tướng tell you, “You’re talking too much” or, “I have to tướng leave.” Instead, they typically use these body toàn thân language cues to tướng subliminally tell you that they’re trying to tướng escape the conversation.
When you’re talking too much, people tend to:
- Check their phone or watch
- Avoid eye contact
- Dart their gaze
- Lean away or back up
- Look bored
- Turn their feet away from you
- Turn their torso towards the door
- Mention that they have to tướng leave soon
- Grab their belongings
- Stop responding or asking questions
If you’ve felt trapped in a conversation with someone who won’t stop talking, you can relate to tướng the feeling people might get when they’re talking to tướng you. Study these 62 Ways to tướng Politely End a Conversation in Any Situation to tướng understand more nonverbal and verbal cues people use to tướng communicate that you’re overtalking.
#2 Add a roadblock
It can be hard to tướng stop talking when you get “on a roll” with a thought or idea. Like a xế hộp accelerating onto the highway, once you gain momentum, it becomes harder to tướng put on the brakes.
If you accidentally get lost in your conversations, try one of these self-imposed “roadblocks” to tướng slow down your momentum:
- Interrupt yourself: As soon as you notice you’re rambling or blabbing, interject your solo speech with a transitionary phrase lượt thích “anyways” or “enough about that.”
- Take a deep breath: It’s easy to tướng get out of breath when you’re talking very quickly. A slow, deep breath can quickly recalibrate your social compass, sánh you don’t accidentally go off on a 10-minute monologue. It also gives the other person time to tướng chime in.
- Ask a question: When your conversation partner begins showing the above cues that you may be overtalking, it’s time to tướng ask something about them. If you’ve been talking too much about yourself, you can pass the mic to tướng them by asking, “What are your thoughts?” or, “So, how have you been?”
- Make a joke: Humor can take the edge off of awkward situations. You can always chuckle and say, “Oops, didn’t mean to tướng be a blabbermouth,” or “Enough about bầm, how’s your life?”
#3 Avoid uptalking
People who talk a lot in conversations can often be heard turning statements into questions. This raised voice at the kết thúc of a sentence is a way for the speaker to tướng discourage other people from asking questions or interrupting their train of thought.
Here is a quick đoạn phim demonstrating normal speaking versus uptalk:
Linguistically, this is called uptalk, upspeak, or High Rising Terminal (HRT). It is a quirk that makes the kết thúc of your sentence sound lượt thích a question. This rising inflection at the kết thúc of a sentence makes a declarative statement such as “I would love for you to tướng review my work.” sound lượt thích “I would love for you to tướng review my work?”
This speaking pattern can make you sound:
- Less confident
While these outcomes can be OK in certain scenarios, uptalk can also reinforce you to tướng keep talking for longer kêu ca necessary. Avoid upspeak by imagining that your statements kết thúc with a period. Keep your voice in the same ending tone as when you began speaking.
#4 Embrace the sound of silence
People who are very passionate about a conversation may talk for long amounts of time because they are eager to tướng share their ideas. However, the lack of silence between your thoughts can make others feel lượt thích they can’t get a word in.
Brief moments of silence in conversation don’t have to tướng be awkward. While awkward silences may extend for more kêu ca 4 seconds in English speakers, a brief 1-3 second pause can positively impact the rhythm of dialogue between two people.
Strategic silence serves a few very important roles in conversation:
- Silence gives you more time to tướng think before you speak, sánh you don’t blurt out something you don’t mean.
- Silence makes it seem lượt thích you are “taking in” what the other person said.
- A short silence can indicate that you are comfortable with your conversation partner and don’t feel rushed to tướng fill the lull immediately.
- Silence makes you seem calmer and more confident in your social skills.
Many overtalkers jump in to tướng share their viewpoint immediately after another person finishes talking. Or worse—they interrupt them before they’ve completed their thought. Both of these can be avoided with strategic silence.
Rather kêu ca rushing into your response, wait a few seconds after someone talks to tướng let their words linger in the air. Take a deep inhale and exhale, or try slowly counting “one Mississippi—two Mississippi—three Mississippi” in your head before you open your mouth again.
#5 Ask more questions
Asking questions about others is scientifically proven to tướng make you more likable, yet most people spend 60% of their conversations talking about themselves. While talking about yourself isn’t inherently wrong, it can turn people off in social situations. Talkaholics are prone to tướng forgetting that they should ask about the other person.
For example, in a basic workplace conversation, you may seem to tướng talk too much based on how you answer this question:
Coworker: “Hey! How was your weekend?”
You: “It was great! I took my dog to tướng the beach and met up with an old friend for lunch.”
At this point, an overtalker might go into the details of how they felt over the weekend, how much sleep they got, or other irrelevant information their coworker may not care about. However, since you are becoming an expert conversationalist, you know it is a great opportunity to tướng “toss the ball” back into their court with a question.
At the kết thúc of your answer, you may continue with, “We went to tướng a delicious new Thai restaurant called Lotus Flower. Have you tried it yet?” Or simply flip the question back to tướng them, “What did you tự this weekend?”
Questions can also be used to tướng extend comfort and offer validation for someone’s feelings:
Friend: “I’ve been feeling pretty lost ever since the breakup. It’s lượt thích my whole life has been uprooted, and I don’t know exactly what to tướng tự next.”
Someone who talks a lot might take this opportunity to tướng shift the spotlight back to tướng themselves and discuss their experience with a breakup. An overtalker may even give unsolicited advice. Instead, asking a question can make you seem more empathetic and caring about your friend’s feelings.
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You: “I can see how that would be difficult. Are you still doing any of your favorite hobbies to tướng help de-stress?”
Regardless of the scenario, questions are one of the best ways to tướng express interest in other people and stop yourself from talking too much. Here are 257 Juicy Questions to tướng Ask your Friends.
#6 Be an active listener
Listening is the simplest antidote to tướng overtalking because someone truly listening cannot be talking simultaneously. Many talkaholics mistakenly spend their “listening” time just thinking about what they will say next.
Instead, you should try to tướng listen to tướng understand rather kêu ca respond. Practice these active listening skills as often as possible:
Active Listener Unengaged Listener Focused eye contact Darting gaze Ignoring distractions to tướng focus on the speaker Checking phone, TV, or the surroundings Subtle listening sounds lượt thích “oh,” “mhm,” or “wow.” Complete silence or no responsiveness Nonverbal cues lượt thích nodding or leaning in Arms crossed, no movements or facing away Remembering details about their thoughts Forgetting what they just said Asking great questions Bringing up unrelated topics that show you weren’t listening
#7 Think of conversations lượt thích a tennis match
The average person spends more kêu ca half of a discussion talking about themselves, but an overtalker could spend upwards of 70 to tướng 80% of the conversation listening to tướng the sound of their own voice. If you want to tướng stop talking sánh much, you must learn how to tướng balance your conversations.
Try using “tennis match dialogue” to tướng maintain an even flow of dialogue. In this analogy, the ball is lượt thích the conversation microphone; it gets passed evenly between people. The court represents the person who is talking at a given point. An even tennis match conversation sounds like:
- Serve the ball: You ask a question and pass the conversation into their court.
- They answer and send the ball back into your court.
- You talk about their answer or express a related point.
- You ask another related question to tướng deepen the discussion and send the ball back into their court.
Next time you catch yourself hogging the spotlight, remember to tướng keep the ball moving between both courts. A 50/50 or 60/40 balance of speaking time helps ensure you don’t accidentally dominate the conversation. When in doubt, try to tướng focus on the other person as much as possible. This can make you seem more interesting and polite.
“To be interesting, be interested.”
#8 Check your ego
People who talk over others or continuously talk about themselves may be genuinely uninterested in other people. Self-absorbed people tend to tướng dominate conversations due to tướng confidence issues, narcissism, or old-fashioned arrogance.
But what does “check your ego” really mean? It means moving your focus away from yourself and looking at the bigger picture of interaction. Try to:
- Think about how your core values or personal mission relate to tướng the conversation.
- Remind yourself that you are not the center of the universe. While you are probably very interesting and fun to tướng talk to tướng, other people also want to tướng feel lượt thích you care about them.
- Don’t try to tướng impress other people. Work to tướng base your self-esteem on your passions, beliefs, and accomplishments rather kêu ca the opinions of others.
#9 Speak more concisely
Overtalkers are prone to tướng adding unnecessary or unrelated information to tướng their speech. They may add filler words, side stories, and repetitive statements to tướng overcomplicate a simple message. This can waste time and confuse people about what you’re trying to tướng communicate.
The best communicators are concise and direct. They don’t fill their sentences with unnecessary “fluff” that detracts from the key message. Think about how you can use the fewest words to tướng go straight to tướng the point without over-explaining the situation.
Concise: “The project will be done by Monday.”
Too much fluff: “I’m sorry, I can’t have the project done until early next week because I’ve got sánh much on my plate right now.”
Concise: “I am running late.”
Too much fluff: “I’m going to tướng be late to tướng work because I stayed up too late and slept past my alarm.”
Concise: “I accidentally locked the key in the xế hộp. Do you have a spare?”
Too much fluff: “I locked the keys in the xế hộp because I was in a huge rush and I got really stressed about everything going on at work. I’m sorry, please don’t be upset with bầm. Our xế hộp should beep or something to tướng let us know the keys are left in there.”
#10 Avoid filler words and phrases
Focus on the quality of your words rather kêu ca the quantity. Filler phrases often add complexity to tướng a sentence that isn’t necessary. They can make you seem hesitant or less articulate. They also detract from your credibility and confidence.
Avoid filler words and meaningless or redundant phrases like:
- “In order to”
- “With regard to…”
- “As a matter of fact”
- At the present time”
- “In the sự kiện that”
- “For the most part”
- “As I said before…”
- “I just wanted to tướng tell you…”
- “The fact that”
- “Needless to tướng say”
Action Step: Make a 2-minute đoạn phim of yourself as you talk about a childhood memory. Then, count how many fillers you use and try to tướng re-tell the story with more straightforward language.
#11 Use a timer to tướng excuse yourself
Networking events and parties can be problematic for overtalkers because there is no clear time constraint for your conversations. It’s easy to tướng go off on tangents and lose track of time. Set a timer on your phone as an excuse to tướng leave before engaging in a conversation. The beeper will remind you to tướng pause, analyze the conversation, and decide whether or not it’s time to tướng kết thúc it. Two to tướng five minutes can be nice for tốc độ networking, while five to tướng ten minutes may be better for buổi tiệc ngọt settings. When the timer goes off, say, “Excuse bầm, I have to tướng go.”
#12 Overcome social awkwardness
Feeling socially awkward can lead to tướng talking too much because you may not know how to tướng behave in social settings. You may feel nervous or embarrassed about their social skills, which can lead to tướng rambling or oversharing unimportant information.
Here are 8 Signs You’re Socially Inept & How to tướng Overcome Awkwardness. The quickest changes you can make include:
- Changing your internal talk: Stop telling yourself you’re “the awkward one.”
- Laughing at your blunders: Humor takes the edge off in uncomfortable moments.
- Staying in your personal bubble: If the person you’re talking to tướng takes a step back, you may be too close. If they keep stepping forward, you may be too far away.
- Filtering your speech: Avoid blurting out cringey, inappropriate, or taboo comments by thinking before you speak.
#13 Interrupt your impulses with this trick
Compulsive talking can become a bad habit you repeat without thinking about it. To make matters worse, overtalkers also tend to tướng be impulsive interrupters. When you interrupt people, you are clearly sending the message that you don’t care what they have to tướng say.
According to tướng James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, the best way to tướng get rid of a bad habit is not to tướng “break” it but to tướng create a system that replaces the habit with a better one.
Next time you feel the impulse to tướng interrupt or talk over someone, replace the compulsion with:
- Counting: Outsmart your compulsions by silently counting to tướng yourself before you speak. tác giả of the 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins, advises counting backward from 5-4-3-2-1 to tướng interrupt your brain’s hard-wired patterns.
- A deep breath: It’s impossible to tướng talk during a deep breath. When you feel you’re about to tướng blurt something out, take a deep inhale, count to tướng 3, then exhale and let the other person continue thinking.
- An apology: If you’ve already said something to tướng interrupt someone, notice it as quickly as possible and say, “I apologize for interrupting. It’s a bad habit I’m trying to tướng stop. Please continue what you were saying.” Eventually, you’ll get tired of apologizing and catch yourself before you have to tướng.
See Vanessa Van Edwards’s interview with James Clear here:
#14 Don’t overshare
While vulnerability is important for forming relationships, oversharing can negatively affect your social experience. People who talk excessively in social settings often reveal intimate details about themselves that they regret later. For example, if an acquaintance says, “Hey, I noticed you’ve been MIA on social truyền thông lately. Are you doing OK?”
Oversharing Response: “Oh yeah, I’ve been extremely depressed after my dog died and I lost my job. Now I’m having a bunch of mental health and hormonal problems, and my therapist said I might need to tướng take medication….”
This is also known as emotional dumping. When you’re lonely or going through a hard time, it is natural and healthy to tướng share deep feelings with people you are close to tướng, but it’s best to tướng keep things more private when talking with coworkers or strangers. A less revealing response would be:
Boundaries Response: “Thanks for noticing. I just needed to tướng take a break from social for a bit. Anything I’m missing out on?”
Use this complete guide on How to tướng Set Boundaries: 5 Ways to tướng Draw the Line Politely. Our top tips are:
- Visualize and name the limits of what you will share with people.
- Don’t be afraid to tướng say “no” when others ask invasive questions.
- Take time for yourself to tướng reflect on your boundaries.
#15 Ask yourself this crucial question
Businesses always ask, “how does this product/service better serve our customers?” You can use the same mindset in your daily interactions. After all, communication is a transaction of information and time. You don’t want to tướng waste your time or anybody else’s. Before you start talking, ask yourself:
How is this conversation benefiting the other person?
Some conversation benefits include:
- Learning about a new topic
- Showing your genuine interest or tư vấn in a friend
- Being emotionally available for a family member
- Building rapport for a future business deal
- Explaining how you can help someone achieve their goal
- Discussing how to tướng solve a problem
Key Takeaways: Stop Talking Too Much by Replacing Your Conversation Habits
Ultimately, excessive talking and interrupting people in the conversation are simply bad habits. You can replace these habits with more socially acceptable practices, such as:
- Deep breaths: Stop your impulsive interrupting in its tracks by taking a few deep breaths in between your speech. Try a 3-second inhale, 3-second hold, and 3-second exhale (quietly sánh it doesn’t disturb the flow of conversation).
- Active listening: Use eye liên hệ, nodding, or verbal affirmations that you’re listening to tướng what someone has to tướng say. Hold off on formulating your thoughts until you have fully processed what they’re communicating.
- Non-verbal cues: Notice when people are checking their phone, darting their gaze, or facing their torso away from you as you talk. These are key signs that you may be talking too much, and they are getting bored or antsy to tướng leave.
- Timer reminders: Set a 5-10 minute timer on your phone before approaching someone at a networking sự kiện or buổi tiệc ngọt. When it goes off, you have a quick excuse to tướng leave the conversation by looking at your watch or phone and saying, “pardon bầm.”
- Counting: After someone finishes talking, count backward from 5-4-3-2-1 before you start speaking.
Next time you’re having trouble stopping yourself from talking, try one of these 62 Ways to tướng Politely End a Conversation in ANY Situation.
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