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How To Lose A Long Talker

Updated on May 11, 2012
"And then after all that, we went to Walmart and THEN..."
"And then after all that, we went to Walmart and THEN..." | Source

We've all been there. At work, a social function, or it could be the grocery store, you turn the corner and Well Heyyyy!! How are youuuu??? Crap! These long talkers are everywhere.

Sometimes I wonder how they ever get anything done. At work they're talking, leaving work, talking, on the way home, bluetooth talking. How many words does it take to say nothing? A lot. I've already written about how I have trouble paying attention, but with a long talker it's nearly impossible to stay on track.

Let me say this, I like talking to people and catching up, this article is about those people you see and know you've lost an hour of the day the second you say hello.

Anyway, to deal with these fanatics of the spoken word it takes a certain skill. A skill I believe I possess. My wife gets on me because I want to just turn around and walk away mid dreadful conversation.(Yes, I am aware that I behave like a ten year old) This is frowned upon in today's society. So I've listed a few subtle and a few not so subtle ways to get out of a talk fest...

The old cell phone trick - Cell phones can come in handy. You can just pull it out and look at it. Rude? Yes, but effective. You can pretend it was on vibrate I have to take this, sorry! You may just get lucky and your Mother will call.

Pretend that you didn't see them- This can only work if the talker hasn't already sucked you in. This is your only chance. Look down or away, maybe even run. You have something of extreme importance pending. Don't acknowledge them, keep going!

Fake a coughing fit - I've done this one, and it can work if performed correctly. While the talker is yapping on and on about Dancing With The Stars, just start coughing wildly, hunch over and go all out. Nobody wants to catch that. Who's to say you're not deathly ill?

Fake a rash - If the coughing doesn't work, and there's a chance it won't, time for plan B. Start scratching incessantly at your neck. Then you can move to your stomach...or even other places. I must warn you this could backfire. The long talker could get worried about you. This could lead into another painful conversation about their doctor or family members with scabies. Tread lightly.

Grab someone, anyone. - If you're out in public and run into a long talker, just act like the next person that walks by is a dear old friend. Oh My Gosh, It's been years!!! Hopefully the LT will get the hint and move on.

Stare over their shoulder - Another one I've tried, just stare over the long talker's shoulder, kind of off in the distance. You can even try the advance method which involves looking everywhere but the speaker. Wow, just look at that wall, sure needs paint. In most cases the talker will realize they are boring you to death. Sure it's rude, but you've got things to do, right?

Yell Fire - A drastic move, yet highly effective. Start screaming fire, this commotion is sure to get you off the hook. There may be consequences involved, but at least you're not standing there listening to the talker go on and on about low fat coffee creamer!

These methods may not be the best way to handle adult situations, but they will work. Some are bold, others childish, but measures have to be taken. You have work to do, or people to see. It's your time and it's important.

No matter which route you decide on, do not go head to head with a long talker. You may be feeling a little spunky that day, and think you can out talk this talker. Not going to happen, an hour later you are disoriented and the rest of your day is shot. Good luck!


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    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 4 years ago from Virginia

      It is an aquired talent indeed, thanks for reading and the chuckle!

    • profile image

      Primobabe 4 years ago

      My husband's mother is the longest talker I've ever met. Why use ten words when there are so many millions of words in the dictionary? I dread asking her the simplest yes-or-no question, because I know that she'll give me a 20-minute monologue.

      There's no question about the narcissism element. Her husband, brother, and sons often tell her that she's boring and needs to get to the point. Instead of heeding that advice, she argues that she's a great conversationalist who breathes life into every story.

      Years ago, I grew a "mute button" inside my brain. I can't stop her from talking on-and-on, but I don't need to listen. I simply tune-out her voice and don't hear a word. This acquired talent helps me keep things peaceful and harmonious. I know that MIL won't change, so I've changed how I respond to her.

    • gryphin423 profile image

      gryphin423 6 years ago from Florida

      I completely agree with Gerg, they are narcissists. Nothing makes me more mad than an LT. Minutes of my life I can never get back. I usually do the no eye contact and try to scurry away before the diatribe begins. And they think we're the weird ones!

    • Gerg profile image

      Gerg 6 years ago from California

      Funny! You know, just to alleviate any guilt, I've found that most long-talkers are simply narcissists and unaware of that fact. Mature conversation requires give and take. When someone keeps talking without your involvement, they are really just verbal takeovers of your time and attention and they very likely have absolutely no interest in you or what you have to say. Just turn around and walk away. One's attention has to be earned! Ahem. At least this is what I want to be able to do ... ;-)

    • akune profile image

      akune 6 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

      O come on. Do you know how much writers talk in their minds? And 'cos they're thinking, it's so fast. They talk. We write.

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      extremely useful for anyone and everyone. thank you for sharing tips and techniques to get rid of the long talker.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Yawning, good one! Thanks!

    • Stacie L profile image

      Stacie L 6 years ago

      yeah, those long talkers always think they have something to say...start yawning or ...I like the "fire!" technique too! LOL

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Sorry for your LT coworker Ardie, you may have to opt for the fire! Glad you liked it.

      Thanks Victoria, I appreciate it, I'll try not to disapoint!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Awesome--I gave you lots of votes on this one! Why are there so many LTs, as you call them. haha...very funny stuff here. But effective. I look forward to reading more of your stuff. You say you right mostly about the lighter side. That sounds refreshing! Great hub.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Funny I found this today. Im at work right now and I'm tethered to my desk. "My" long talker at work knows this. I'm stuck...and she talks about her sister's period, her dog's itchy butt and other inappropriate stuff LOUDLY. I've tried the phone thing before only to have the blasted thing start ringing! Great work :)

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      You do what you gotta do Deborah! Thanks for reading!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 6 years ago from Iowa

      Fake a rash? Hilarious! Thanks for the chuckles.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Sorry to hear that Xenon, fire is the last resort!! thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Xenonlit profile image

      Xenonlit 6 years ago

      I have to deal with two of them. I could be dying and they would keep talking. I will be using your tactics, that is for sure.

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 6 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks for reading and commenting jenu and husky, use them wisely!!

    • profile image

      Husky1970 6 years ago

      Voted up, funny, and very, very, very useful!

    • profile image

      jenubouka 6 years ago

      Awesome and very comical, will be utilizing these ingenious tactics