I have met lots of people in my young life; some I can recall their names; many, I can’t. There are a few whose names I never knew but their faces and actions, I cannot forget. Approximately ten years ago, I went for a job interview. As we waited to take the aptitude test, all the candidates sat in the conference room excitedly expecting the question papers. Most of us were engrossed in one or two quick revisions; not really knowing what the questions will be like. For a couple of years before then, I was drivingly enthusiastic to reposition myself, so I needed a career that was more challenging. As I sat down beside a group of networkers, one voice seemed to be dominant. He was loud and imposing; he talked endlessly. He got me distracted, and in my opinion, he won because I shifted my mental focus to him. In the group, he wouldn’t let any other person talk. He was the voice, so he spoke. In peculiarity with most talkative, he gave away his strategies to his competitors. How did he do that? He began by postulating interview questions, and at the same time proffering solutions to them. He virtually told those that got his attention how he was going to respond to questions that he will be asked. So, what I simply did was to add his knowledge to mine even if he didn’t know I was listening to him. Were his information relevant to me? Definitely yes! Some of the questions he gave answers to, were part of what I was asked during the oral interview. The end product was that I got the job, but he didn’t.
I have identified that there are three types of talkative people; intentional talkative, obsessive talkative, and ignorant talkative. The most dangerous of the three are intentional talkative. Intentional talkative want to prove a point; their intention is to show that they’re better than everyone. If they’re involved in a discussion, they simply take over. They never yield to anyone’s opinion since theirs is the best as far as they’re concerned. For intentional talkative, if another person’s opinion rules the day, they resort to blackmailing the victor. They can’t stand defeat; they can’t tolerate being second best.
Obsessive talkative people are aware that they talk too much but can’t help it because there’s always an inner urge and insatiable desire to just talk, whether it makes sense or not. Obsessive talkative are sometimes objects of ridicule, since many people hardly take them serious.
For ignorant talkative, they’re not aware that they talk too much. Is it possible to be unaware that you talk too much? YES! Some of these people are victims of abandonment, so, when they get the opportunity to talk, they talk endlessly. For example, there are certain elderly people that live alone; they hardly have anyone to talk to. When you engage such people in discussions, you will be sorry you did because the discussions never end.
Whether by intention, obsession or ignorance, there must be a boundary line of full stop in a chat. If there is no restraint, there will be strains. When people avoid you because your chats never end, you will become a psychological problem.
What are the factors that act as self help for talkative people?
1. Measure the value of your words: value is measured qualitatively and quantitatively. You need to determine if what you’re saying is adding qualitative value to you and your listeners. If it isn’t, simply keep quiet or change it to something better. I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t have fun in terms of communicating, but even in fun, make sense. Again, a valuable word does not need to be equivocal for it to hit its desired target. Let quality be commensurate with quantity. For the fact it is quality does not mean it should be too much. Quality food is good but if you eat too much of it, it boomerangs.
2. Determine the relevance of your words: this is what I call application. Medical knowledge is fantastic because it has great values, but it is irrelevant to a man who doesn’t have any idea of science or medicine. If it is irrelevant, it is not applicable, no matter its value. As a Biochemist turned success motivation and personal development blogger, it will be irrelevant for me to write on advanced intermediary metabolism when it is obvious that it is meaningless to those who follow my blogs. In addition to value, determine relevance when you talk.
3. Timing is an asset in talking: timing is a major determinant of relevance. Understanding updates will help you know what to say or what not to say. In festive seasons, you can raise a topic that is festivity related. In football seasons (if you’re among football fans), you can raise a topic on football. Let seasons sometimes determine what you say. When necessary, don’t speak out of season.
4. Time your talk: for the fact it has value, relevance and vogue doesn’t mean that you should talk non-stop. Know the entry and exit point when you talk. Don’t talk politics forever. Don’t talk fashion forever. Don’t talk football forever. Some people’s phone credits burn over too much talk. You see, it is expensive talking too much!
5. Assess your inner feeling after communicating: when I talk too much, my conscience tells me. Within, I feel uncomfortable and irritated. Alone, I will reprimand myself, and sometimes say to myself, ‘You made a fool of yourself today. You were a chatterbox’. Assess yourself; evaluate how you talked when you were with people. This will help you manage your communications.
In conclusion, I will say ‘Be in charge of your words; don’t let your words be in charge of you’. You are responsible for what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to. Talk is good but only when it is accountable. Balance your word, and you will balance your world!