Tanya is a writer for a digital marketing company, lives with Miss Cathy, and watches a lot of TV and movies for inspiration.
The World Health Organization, the United Nations agency that promotes health, names anxiety one of the top mental health concerns. And unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a 25% increase in cases of anxiety.
Now, you must wonder: What does that have to do with people who talk too much?
Well, anxiety is one of the top causes of excessive talking.
First, be honest.
Why is talking too much a problem?
Talking too much, or excessive and compulsive talking is a problem because it negatively affects the talker and the listener. It strains the relationship between the two parties and can result in long-term adverse effects.
How it affects the talker
It depletes their energy levels. As a result, it reduces their productivity, threatens their sense of focus, and sidetracks their ability to listen.
Besides, the thing is, the talker may not even be "talking". They're doing it involuntarily. And whether they're doing it subconsciously, they're striving to be the center of attention.
They talk about things that contain:
- Factually incorrect data
- Misleading information
- Controversial news from the internet
- Insubstantial evidence
How it affects the listener
There's no sugarcoating it: hearing someone talk too much is a colossal waste of time. If the listener has things to check off on their to-do list, they're likely to get frustrated to be across someone who won't stop talking.
Imagine someone being busy with work, then an excessive talker swoops in to talk about senseless things.
Causes of excessive talking
If someone talks too much, they may have a form of anxiety.
You may assume someone with anxiety avoids social situations. Well, it's not often the case.
Sometimes, a person talks too much to enter social situations and blend in.
A typical scenario is when they talk excessively (and ramble about anything and everything under the sun) to keep up with the crowd in social situations.
They could also be suffering from other issues like:
- Bipolar disorder - Their brain is in a frenzy. And the way it works is to get them to express and vocalize their thoughts.
- Narcissism (and other personality disorders) - They like--nay, love--talking about themselves. They'll talk about their accomplishments, abilities, and more.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - Excessive talking is prevalent in hyperactive individuals. People with ADHD have no filter. And they blurt out the first thing that comes to their minds, regardless of its inappropriate nature.
- Schizophrenia - It's a psychiatric disorder. It results in rapid and disorganized speech.
How to respond to a talker
I think it was Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet and Google, who said something about responsiveness being one of his tools to reaching success. According to him, the fact that he's responsive, and not reactive, is why he achieved success.
And according to him, it's important to take the time to step back, tame your emotions, and re-assess a situation before you jump in.
Where a reactive person would immediately tell an excessive talker to shut up, a responsive person would re-assess a situation and weigh in their options beforehand:
- They will ignore the talker (and keep minding their own business)
- They will entertain the talker for a good few seconds
So, why not take a page from Sundar Pichai's playbook and be responsive, too? While an excessively talkative person can get on your nerves, do your best to be responsive.
Respond and not react. Preferably, respond with empathy.
Some people talk too much because it's an inherent behavior, or they may have a mental health problem.
And the way I see it, the situation is beyond your control. Let them talk.
What you can do is accept it, respond appropriately, and carry on.
© 2022 Tanya