I like linking to these two videos every once in awhile:
It’s partly to remind myself of how many of us think.
The first video has 8x more views. And it’s been online three fewer years…
We’re very interested in getting people to listen to us, but we’re not interested in listening to others.
And that brings us to today’s focus: Talking Too Much.
Are you guilty of it?
Here are some common signs that you are…
1. You Don’t Remember What People Tell You
Why? Because you’re too busy talking. This one, and I suppose a few others on this list, may not even be on your radar. You may not realize that you don’t remember what others are saying because it’s not important to you.
But I’ll assume that because you’re reading this that you’re at least somewhat aware that you’re talking too much. And if a light bulb is going on that you have trouble remembering what others tell you (stories, facts, etc.) you’re probably talking to much. You may not let them talk. Or when they do you’re just waiting for your next interruption.
It’s not their fault for not speaking up.
2. People Don’t Listen To You
This is a spiral. You feel that people don’t listen to you so you talk even more. But a big reason they’re probably not paying attention is because you’re talking too much. You’re overwhelming them. Because you tell them every thought that comes into your head they can’t tell what information is important enough to remember.
3. You Don’t Really Have A Close Friend
It’s difficult to have close friendships if you’re the one always doing the talking. There is give and take in any relationship and perhaps the most important element of that give and take is communication. When you’re talking, you’re taking. It can seem like talking is giving, but it’s actually the opposite. Listening is the true gift.
4. You Have Trouble Around New People
You might feel like you’re the life of the party when you’re around new people. It can seem that way because to them you haven’t been over-talking. But the trouble comes in when they start looking down at their phones or looking to leave the conversation.
People that dominate conversation aren’t interesting. And new people don’t really care if they have to leave the conversation. They know that they’re likely never going to see you again. Why would they want to?
5. You Have Anxiety
Some experts view talking too much as a side effect of some kind of anxiety. If this is the case you’re using talking to avoid looking inside yourself to figure out what you’re afraid will happen in the future. You keep kicking the can down the road and never resolve the issue. And if you’re not careful it can become a bigger and bigger issue.
6. People Don’t React To Your Stories
This gets back to the thought that if you’re giving so much information that people don’t know what to react to because you’re making it seem like every single word out of your mouth should be amazing. The reality is that most people don’t care about your stories. They might feel a little bad about your second cousin that is going through cancer, but they don’t really want to hear about it. They have their own concerns. Don’t dump all of yours on them.
7. You’re Not Sure How Others Feel
If you’re doing all the talking there is no way for you to gain an understanding of how others feel. You’re only concerned about your own feelings. You’re not getting a sense for when family and friends are feeling sad or happy or any emotion. You just come into the engagement with your own feelings and you force those upon them.
8. You Always Want Something
Does it ever feel like you’re never getting enough? You never look at what you have and enjoy it? You’re always looking for the next thing. Whatever it might be. A car. A job. A house. Whatever. Always something new. Never anything that you already have.
This spills over into your conversations. You’re never interested in what others have to say. You’re always looking for how they can react to what you say. It’s back to the idea that talking is taking.
9. You Need The Last Word
This is an ego thing. Does it bother you when others get the last word? Maybe you don’t even realize when it happens because you’re always the one to make sure you get that last little jab in.
10. You Need The Solution/Answer
Let’s end with a big one. When you converse with others and they express concern do you immediately jump in with a solution or answer?
Guess what…that is not what they want. 99.9% of the time people don’t want to hear your proposed solution. It seems like you’re helping them, but what they really want is just someone to listen for a second.
You’re not interested in their feelings at all. You just want to feel good about yourself by talking.
It can be really challenging to have good conversations today. It can be a real struggle to have a good back and forth. Usually when there is back and forth it’s just two people fighting to get a word in on each other. If you’re struggling with conversations and if you notice any of the issues above it should be a big red flag that you’re doing too much of the talking.