You know you talk too much when you repeatedly hear yourself say, “I’m sorry, I’ve been dominating the conversation.” The confession leads you to your duty of drawing out others’ views. Oh, that precious moment when you discover that you must stop talking to be able to hear!
Do people avoid conversations with you or begin a conversation by letting you know they only have a minute to talk? Or maybe you call someone and leave a voicemail requesting a call back, only to receive a text or email in return.
These are signs that you tend to dominate conversations or make them too lengthy.
Granted, talking too much is a relative term. For an introvert, even a quick exchange of pleasantries can feel like a lot. While others may enjoy taking the time to listen to lengthy stories and anecdotes.
As usual, mindfulness will be your friend in recognizing signs that you talk too much. Consider the following questions:
Honing in on the ways that speaking may hinder your ability to communicate will help you make corrections. It’s fair to conclude that when individuals talk too much, what they bring to the table will be undervalued.
Identifying what’s behind your talkativeness is helpful.
Many times, social anxiety causes individuals to talk excessively. What new habits do you need, starting now, to feel calmer and more confident?
A few “go to’s” for immediate calmness:
Remaining calm in social situations requires consistent practice. You might even enter a meeting or social event with the intention of listening and observing in order to curb your desire to speak.
Contributing to social or conversational anxiety is the dread of silence. Some people have the impression that a quiet moment or two indicates a lag in conversation or that something is wrong.
Consider silence as a simple pause between topics or an opportunity to gather one’s thoughts. Changing perspective on these uncomfortable moments will help you appreciate them and use them to make conversations more meaningful.
Before long, you’ll probably notice you don’t have the feeling that you need to fill every second by talking. Power comes in the awareness that others might experience the same habits of talking too much. The etiquette-ful actions in the moment of purposefully inviting in and welcoming the conversational contributions of others will reap much self-satisfaction. And the simple guideline of “Now you speak. Then I speak,” can be a useful “how to” in conversation.