Roommates are people who at first seem friendly and outgoing. They are sociable people and good conversationalists.
However, some roommates talk so much that, over time, their conversation becomes exhausting. Each encounter leaves you without energy. So, what should you do to deal with your talkative roommate?
You can listen to your roommate and give him the necessary attention. But it’s also okay to:
- Tell him that you are busy at that moment.
- Listen to him without giving much attention.
- Spend little time in the same room.
- Trying to root him back with some polite questions.
Why roommates behave like this
Do you know someone who talks through the elbows, has verbal incontinence, does not listen to others, and does not let people talk?
You will have already verified that it can be quite annoying and tiring, as well as not very adaptive. They don’t have to be bad people, far from it, but they certainly don’t feel like spending time with them and you wish you would have never accepted them as roommates.
The problem is that it is a person who talks a lot and does not listen, almost always to himself.
When you say goodbye or go to sleep, you feel that there has been no conversation, that you have been a listener to an infinite monologue.
Likely, they cannot avoid it or do not know or understand what is happening (that they are being a real headache for others).
In any case, I want you to know that verbal incontinence is often associated with psychological disturbances. These disturbances can range from depressed moods to bipolar disorders or more serious psychiatric disorders.
Does this mean that tireless charlatans have psychological problems? No. That your roommate on duty does not let you speak does not mean that he necessarily suffers from a psychological disorder.
However, you must bear in mind that it may be an indication or symptom of illness.
Some people simply develop this type of behavior by trying to hide their shyness. They talk a lot, trying to be in control of a situation that scares them, but their nerves prevent them from breaking.
Other people who spend a lot of time alone take the opportunity to let go of everything they had inside at the moment they have the opportunity and thus alleviate their anguish, and that is why they vent to the first one who arrives.
On the other hand, others talk non-stop and without listening to others because they believe that they are the center of the universe.
This type of person does not even suspect that they are boring or pestering others. They think that if they bother you, it is because you are the weird one. After all, in their view, their stories are exciting.
At other times, some speak simply to distract or ignore their thoughts or the outside world.
And some speak simply because they have a lot to say and think they have little time to do so.
The truth is that each one has their reasons to explode verbally, although sometimes they do not know them.
The difficult thing now is knowing what kind of charlatan you have in front of you, what is it that leads him to not stop talking and not listening.
What is verbal incontinence or “verbiage”?
In the field of Psychology, there is a word to describe the tendency to talk a lot: Verbiage.
This symptom is characterized because the person says more words than necessary, his communicative speech is accelerated and he has difficulty being interrupted.
Sometimes his speech can become incongruous or it is difficult for us to follow the thread of his logic, which is because he’s thinking goes so fast that he can experience “brain drain”.
Tricks to handle non-stop talking people
Keep in mind that people who talk non-stop do so because they have a great need to feel heard. As we have already mentioned, the verbiage is not a disease, but it can hide one and be patient.
Those who talk non-stop and don’t even listen probably just want to be heard and download what they have inside. But luckily, there are some powerful tactics to slow them down.
Bring out your empathetic side
Something that usually works very well to bring them back to reality is to ask a question that makes them reflect.
What to say:
“It seems that this topic is very important to you, why do you think it has so much value?”
“I get the impression that you talk more than usual today. Has something happened?”
This will help you stop for a moment and verify the real importance of the talking points you are bringing up and how appropriate they are for that particular occasion.
Sometimes, when they explain the link that has led them from one idea to another without stopping, the story becomes more consistent and coherent and makes it easier to connect emotionally and, therefore, reach a dialogue.
They are hardly going to listen to you if they have their heads elsewhere, for example, if something worries them.
This first step will help you understand if it is the right time for dialogue to be heard.
If not, it is better to leave it for another time. If necessary, you can even reserve a moment for it.
Prepare the ground
If you already know the person you want to listen to, but you know that it will be very difficult for him to do so since he always takes the initiative and then has no end, you will have to prepare the ground in advance.
Send him an email, a WhatsApp, or simply announce in advance that you want to talk to him/her at a specific time.
This way, you will know that he must address you in an attitude of listening.
Note that your intentions are good and that you worry about his possible reaction, but that it is important for you that he leaves you a few minutes to talk about the “X” topic without being interrupted.
This will help the other person feel predisposed and curious to know what is so important that you want to communicate.
What to say:
“I need to tell you something that happened to me today at work, but I need you to give me your opinion at the end.”
“I would like you to listen to what I am going to say, but please do not interrupt me so as not to lose the thread of the matter, in the end we can speak calmly.”
Use communication tools
Suppose despite the measures taken, your interlocutor interrupts you, does not let you speak, or takes over the conversation. In that case, there are many ways to redirect a conversation, although of course, some are more polite and assertive than others.
Before getting on edge or aggressive, I recommend that you use two classics: the fog bank and redirect.
Knowing these tools will help you resume the dialogue path and get away from your interlocutor’s monologue.
Fog bank or compliment him first.
One way to start taking turns speaking is to “compliment” your interlocutor so that they pay attention to you.
Once you have gained their attention, you can, little by little, redirect the conversation to the area you want to cover.
What to say:
“I love how well you explain yourself, that’s why I would like us to talk about something that I consider very important…”
“What you are saying seems very interesting to me, you made me remember that time when…”
“How good it was for you today, I’m glad! Today something similar happened to me…”
These types of expressions will help your interlocutor become aware of what is important to you to deal with.
What to say:
“As I was saying…”
“Excuse me for interrupting you, I want to comment…”
“Back to the topic…”
In any case, if you find it difficult to make yourself heard too often, it may be time to work on your assertiveness.
What if I am already tired?
It is not bad to pass on that roommate who talks non-stop and does not let you comment or be calm.
You can avoid it, it is your right, but he tries to be as polite as possible and not offend him with your attitudes.
It’s not something you have to do every day, but you can skip it one day or another, just make it clear that you don’t want to talk at that time.
What to say:
“I’m a little tired to talk today. Do you think we can talk tomorrow?”
“I have some homework to do, when I’m done, we can talk.”
“I would like to stay talking to you for a while, but I have to go out.”
“I don’t mean to be rude, but I would like to listen to music with my headphones for a bit, we’ll talk later.”
“I value your company, but I just want to spent some time alone now in the common area.”
Sophie Hammond is a journalist, psychologist, and freelance speechwriter for people in politics and business. She lives on the edge of the Rocky Mountains with her dog and a lifetime supply of books. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through nature or journaling at a coffee shop.