Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Help! My Partner Talks Too Much!

I am sure we have all met out fair share of loquacious people; there are those people that keep talking even when they see you falling asleep, there are those that keep talking even after you've walked out of the room. My cleaner is one of those; she actually follows me when I walk out of the room to continue her tales about what happened at the bus-stop the night before or who slapped who on the latest episode of generations. *sigh! I have a TV, I watch generations.... 
There are also people who are only talkative around certain people... whichever category your partner falls into, you have to admit, it takes a bit of skill to deal or should I rather say live with a talkative person.

Before you start complaining that your partner talks way too much, you have to first ask yourself what he or she is talking about. Discussing sports, politics, state of the nation issues and car problems with friends? That's fine. Everyone needs to have some time to share their thoughts and woes on certain subjects with their friends and acquaintances. Airing your private issues and laundry (dirty or clean) in public? That is so not right and needs to stop!

The thing with many talkative people is that they don't have harmful intentions; they just find that they can't stop talking, they can't keep secrets and they can't sieve what they say to other people. They really just can't stop! If you find yourself with a partner that exhibits any of these characteristics, here are a few tips you can try:

Speak about it: There's nothing better than a candid conversation to make someone realize that you are adversely affected by what they do. I don't mean a harsh conversation where the words 'why can't you just shut up?" make up the leading line. A critically constructive conversation is what I am referring to. It will definitely take a mature partner to comprehemnd what you are trying to say but it will also take a heartwarming strategy from you to get the point across without emotionally hurting your partner. Don't try to bottle it up; gosh! the day you erupt, it will be like a typhoon hit your partner in the face!

Work out a signal: If you grew up with parents that did not in anyway tolerate public displays of your rotten attitude as a child or a teenager, then you know what this is. As an african child, I got the long stare (it was a short meaningful stare but long enough to reset me to my polite state), sometimes I got the glare and sometimes a smile that meant "Girl, you are getting your ass whooped when we get home!" If you have a talkative partne, you can try this too! Well, not the whoop your ass smile but a look that makes him or her realize that they are about to cross the line. For a friend of mine and her boyfriend, an 'accidental' kick beneath the table works but sometimes I wonder what they'd do when there's no table.

Change the topic: Ever found yourself discussing something and suddenly, without you reaching the climax of your point, the topic changes and everyone sort of loses interest in what you were saying? Yeah...I like to call it the 'conversation bait and switch' technique... your partner may start off with airing a conversation that may expose something you'd rather keep private. E.g. "The other laura and I were driving down Crimson lane and....(the continuation is she started nagging me about my new secretary because she thinks I might cheat). Cut the sentence at 'crimson lane' with something like "Aww! We saw the most adorable little house. Have you guys taken a walk up there lately? We should all go sometime. I hear there's a lake on the other side of the lane." See what you've done there? You've interested everyone in something else. It may seem a bit harsh at first but if you've spoken about the talkativeness with your partner, he or she should understand and appreciate the effort you made to save both of you from being underjudgemental scrutiny.

Pray! This is not the last resort! I like to put prayer as my last point so it is the first thing you remember when you think about this post! Pray for a sieve between your partner's brain and mouth. It may sound like a trivial prayer but believe me it works!

Talking too much can affect your relationship adversely; sometimes we miss the surprise blessings God has in store for us because we just can't keep our mouths shut! We inform everyone of what's coming before it even arrives and when it doesn't, we become unhappy and despondent. If you are the talkative partner reading this, there's something else you can do while you pray to God to teach you how to curb your tongue. Think about what you want to say before you even utter a word, if it is something not worth saying, then zip your lips. It will save you from a lot of trouble in other areas of your life and will help keep your relationship between you, your partner and God!


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