The crucial talkative people etiquette rules. The appropriate behavior for dealing with a talkative person and politely excuse yourself.
What talkative people etiquette is
A talkative person is someone who excessively talks. They tend to make monologues instead of conversations and they often do not respect any time limit. Talkative people etiquette is the set of rules to properly deal with a talkative person. Such rules include:
- How to limit the negative traits of a talkative person.
- How to excuse yourself from a talkative person.
- The mistakes to avoid.
Follow talkative people etiquette to excuse yourself from talkative people while avoiding offending them.
General talkative people etiquette principles
Talkative people etiquette is based on two main principles.
- Protect our time, personal space, and boundaries.
- Avoid offending others.
Talkative people etiquette rules
1) Identify the issue and give feedback
Some people may be excessive talkers because of personal issues, such as loneliness, or because no one has given them feedback.
If you meet an excessive talker casually or for the first time, it may be best to overlook the issue and move on. Instead, when the talkative person is someone you need to deal with on a continuative basis, such as a coworker or a relative, it may be worth making the effort of giving feedback.
Sometimes, it is sufficient to show negative body language. Such as turning your torso or your feet away from the person, or looking over their shoulders. If it does not work, try giving feedback.
Keep the feedback quick and light. Do not venture into a full analysis of the issue. Use humor or simply smile and make a light observation “you are a talker, aren’t you?” A considerate person will take the feedback and appreciate it.
If the feedback does not work, the person is likely talkative due to personality traits. Thus, it is best to adopt a few precautions to limit the negative effects of such traits.
2) Set a time limit
It is perfect etiquette to set a time limit for your meetings or calls. When dealing with an excessive talker, time limits can be necessary. At the beginning of a phone call, state that you have a hard cut in 15 or 20 minutes. When you schedule a meeting, set the end time.
It is crucial that you respect such limits. Otherwise, the talkative person may think that they can disregard any time limit that you set. A couple of minutes before the time limit, interrupt the person and say that you have to leave. Spend the next minute saying farewell. Then, end the call or leave.
3) Schedule calls or meetings before another engagement
If you have trouble setting and reinforcing time limits, schedule phone calls or meetings with talkative persons right before another engagement. Such as another meeting, call, or visit. This way, you will have a hard cut that you must respect and an excuse to leave.
4) Introduce someone to the talkative person
On a social occasion, you can excuse yourself from a talkative person by introducing someone else. “John, have you met Jane? Let me introduce you to her”. After the introduction, as the two persons make the ritual small talk, you can excuse yourself and leave.
5) Drive the attention somewhere else
Another way to excuse yourself from an endless conversation is to drive the attention to something else. Such as a group of people or a feature of the venue. This allows you to interrupt the conversation, move, and join someone else or a group of people.
6) Excuse yourself by going somewhere
Another appropriate way to excuse yourself from a talkative person is to go somewhere else. Such as the restroom, buffet table, bar to get another drink, or in another room to look for someone. Say a compliment, such as “nice talking with you” or “I’ll see you later”, then leave.
Talkative people etiquette at work
Talkative people at work can be a plague on your productivity.
If you sit near a talkative person, you can isolate yourself by wearing headphones. It may be polite to say that the headphones help you concentrate.
When you schedule a meeting with talkative coworkers, managers, vendors, or customers, set a clear agenda and time limit. When the conversation strays, politely steer it back to the agenda. Stick to the time limit.
Talkative people etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst talkative people etiquette mistakes.
- 7/10. Making monologues.
- 7/10. Talking too much too often.
- 6/10. Leaving a conversation without a proper excuse.
- 5/10. Disrespecting time limits.
- An exploratory investigation of characteristics of compulsive talkers: tandfonline.com