There’s nothing worse than chatting it up with someone only to feel like the conversation has taken a complete turn for the unenjoyable. While I gave you some tips earlier this week on how to communicate better, some people have the opposite problem: They talk just a little too much. Sometimes, there are signs people want you to stop talking, but you don’t pick up on them. Listen, we all have our flaws. I, for example, can’t open water bottles in the morning because my “morning hands” are too weak to get a grip. Life is so hard.
Here’s the thing about people who talk too much, though… They usually have no idea that’s the case. They’ll be chit-chatting away in a conversation, thinking it’s going great, while the person they’re speaking to is dozing off or looking for the next best reason to escape across the room. Talking too much isn’t the be-all, end-all of communication etiquette, but it definitely hurts your chances of being invited back.
If you’re not sure if you dominate conversations, keep a look out for these tell-tale clues that the other person in the conversation wants you to stop talking but is too polite to interrupt:
Their eyes are jolting past yours
A key to communication is looking someone in the eye. If a person is engaged in the conversation, he or she will probably be looking at you directly, nodding his or her head in agreement. However, when someone disconnects from the conversation, the body language will tell you everything. If someone’s eyes are scanning the room, looking beyond you, and never connecting with yours… Here’s your sign.
They keep trying to end the conversation
Sometimes it’s hard for people to notice when someone is trying to end the conversation. They just don’t get the hint. What’s the hint, you ask? Well, if someone doesn’t want to talk to you anymore, they’ll say things like, “Wow, yeah. Well, it’s been great chatting,” or “Hey, don’t let me hold you up anymore!” or “Excuse me, I’ve got to run to the restroom.” In case you didn’t realize, the restroom excuse is almost as bad as, “Oh, what’s that? I think I hear my date calling my name! What’s that? He fell and can’t get up?! Sorry, I have to go save him!!!” See what I’m getting at here? Just be a little more mindful of social cues, like some of the excuses outlined here. It’s not a stab at you, it’s just how things are.
They don’t ask any questions
If a conversation is going well, there should be a back-and-forth discussion where both parties are asking pointed questions followed by natural responses. However, if you take too much airtime and never really get around to asking the other person about how they feel or what they think about a subject, it’s likely that they won’t try to keep the dialogue going. They won’t ask how you feel about something because chances are you’ve already told them your life story. Instead, they’ll just reply with dead-end, one-word answers.