At first, they may appear perfect — open, outgoing, and willing to share. Because they are so open to conversation, it’s easy to get to know and become close to them.
Their willingness to discuss their own life suggests that, hopefully, you will have someone to listen to and support you when you need it.
Besides, some may possess other positive qualities, such as being funny and enthusiastic.
Unfortunately, things don’t go as expected, and soon enough, you realize you befriended someone who isn’t particularly sensitive to your needs.
Some call this type of people narcissists; we call them people who talk too much about themselves or “human radios.”
The reason for that is that while narcissism has become a popular term, it may mean different things to different people.
It could be someone with a narcissistic personality disorder or only narcissistic tendencies.
Your talkative friends may or may not be narcissists. In fact, they could have very low self-esteem and still talk too much about themselves and their problems. Narcissism and excessive talking are not necessarily related.
The type of people we are talking about are only interested in a conversation if it’s about them or something related to them.
They are utterly uninterested in the listener, and even if they ask any questions, it comes across as superficial politeness, especially since they rarely wait for the answer or listen until the end.
If a conversation drifts toward a different topic, they will find a way to interrupt you and redirect the limelight onto themselves again.
There are three ways to take the stage:
- Keep talking about yourself so that others don’t have a chance to say a word.
- Constantly interrupt others and refocus the conversation on what you want to talk about.
- Avoid any supporting statements when somebody else is talking so that they naturally stop.
Supporting statements are the listener’s reactions, such as “Oh really,” “Oh, I see,” “I feel your pain,” “What are you going to do now?” and similar statements.
These statements are an essential part of being a good listener and a good friend. They are a way to show that you are present, available, and focused on the person you are with.
However, if the listener completely avoids these, most self-aware and socially sensitive people will stop talking because it feels awkward.
People who talk way too much often avoid showing reactions or asking questions so that you stop talking sooner, and they can take the stage again.
There are many reasons why people may behave this way, and narcissism is only one of them. Other possible causes include:
- need for attention,
- need to validate their feelings,
- desire to fill the silence,
- lack of social sensitivity,
- lack of social skills,
- and yes, sometimes it’s narcissism!
Sometimes they may realize something’s wrong, but talking feels so good they simply can’t stop.
Attempting to explain their mistake may or may not end your friendship, but it definitely won’t get them interested in listening more.
Being a friend of someone who talks excessively about themselves, you have two choices:
- Walk away, completely giving up on your friend and their opinion of you.
- Continue listening.
Because you really can’t change them, and the only control you have is over yourself, it’s good to ask yourself why you are in this relationship, to begin with.
Are you too lonely?
Are you in a situation where it’s hard to make new friends?
Are you passive about meeting new people and afraid to be alone?
These are good questions to ponder as they reveal important truths about you.
Usually, friends allow each other to talk about half of the time.
Showing genuine interest in your friends and being supportive involves asking questions and responding to what they share. It is also about being forgiving when your friend gets carried away and talks a little too much at times. As long as it isn’t a habit, it’s okay to be there for your friend and let them talk.
To ensure that both parties enjoy the conversation, it’s wise to choose topics of common interest, which usually excludes anything related to your daily affairs or anything personal.
When friendship is still in its early stages and you don’t know much about your new friend, it’s good to ask open-ended questions, such as “Do you like sports?”, “Do you like to read?”, “What is your favorite TV show?”, etc.
These questions help find common ground and figure out topics for future conversations.