Having an overtalkative co-worker coming walking towards you can be a headache. Often, when faced with this issue, you can feel worn down, exhausted, and act as if you did not hear anything at all. That is not a healthy situation to maintain long term.
So, how do you tackle such people?
First of all, don’t get too worked up about this. The odds are that the co-worker who talks too much already knows they do that. You will not be giving them breaking news. They are not likely to be depressed or angry about what you tell them.
However, in informing someone that they talk too much, you must be careful and be conscious of potentially hurting the other individual’s feelings. Honesty is usually the most beneficial approach. If you don’t have time to talk at the moment, then say so. You can modify this by saying you would like to speak with them later at a more convenient time if that is honestly the case. However, if you don’t want to talk to this person, don’t make the offer as you will offend the person by refusing them later.
There is a big difference between being kind and being a walkover that you need to learn to effectively to understand what to do about individuals who talk too much. If you can keep your comments on how the constant talk affects you and not blame the other person, you are less likely to offend them.
For example, if you find it challenging to work while people are talking to you, but you have an important deadline looming, tell the person. That should give them a hint without upsetting them.
If you can’t get a word in edgeways:
Employ body language. Hold up your hand, palm facing the other person, to check the flow of talk. That often works well enough to make them halt, so you can say what you need to say, such as making it clear that you don’t have time to talk at the moment.
However, one issue with talkative people is that they do not pick up well on nonverbal signals. Or they neglect them. They may not even make eye contact, to be able to respond to these cues. In these cases, only saying the person’s name firmly but not aggressively should halt their flow and alert their attention to you.
Once you have their attention:
It would help if you had enough self-respect to understand the personal boundaries you need to create. If you have other stuff to do, then sometimes you don’t have time to talk. Stick to that, or otherwise, you are storing up stress and trouble for yourself. Try to see the situation from the person’s perspective that talks too much when you have the time. Are they afraid? Often, people talk too much whenever they are anxious.
In this case, you should try to put them at ease. Compliment them where fitting. If you want to, call them to talk to you later. Please give them a comfort zone and help them ease out their anxieties. However, there are other kinds of people who may speak too much as well.
If empty gossip is not your thing, you may have to be determined to cure them of talking to you. Make sure you always appear to have something to do when they come around. They will ultimately get the message that you are not interested in their chatter.
Some points to remember:
- Talkative people are extra sensitive. You can avoid being rude to them if they’re speaking too much.
- Always start with body language (non-verbal communication) to respond to their approach.
- If they don’t understand body language, tell them you are busy with work (politely) and that you will speak to them later.
- If things are repeating, try and understand if ‘depression’ if the reason for the person’s talkative behavior. If it is depression, talk about it and give them a helping hand whenever you find the time.
- If it is gossip, and you are not a ‘gossip type,’ be blunt about it. Losing our self-respect and turning submissive with talkative people is not the right thing to do.
So, as you might suspect, handling such talkative chatterboxes depends on why they talk too much and whether you wish to speak to them another time or not. It’s vital to respect yourself and your needs, and also to stay polite. However, you may want to tackle the problem head-on or dodge the issue by making yourself busy whenever the loudmouth is around.