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How To Tell Someone To Shut Up Without Telling Them To Shut Up

Updated on March 24, 2008

Would You Just SHUT UP?!

Okay, this is a bit of a difficult question to answer but I figured because I talk so much it would be a good opportunity to take up as I will be giving everybody else's ears a rest. So listen here!

Here's what not to do.

Don't seem uninterested because you'll hurt their feelings. Oh, and you may spark a different topic that could go on for twice as long.

Don't tell them to be quiet (it's hard to tell them that politely).

Don't tell them to be quiet using hand signals such as the 'shhh' motion (finger up to lip) or the 'stop' motion (hand in front of your chest, palm facing them). They'll take offence.

Don't (whatever you do) tell them that they talk too much (oh my goodness no). They may never talk to you again (unless of course, that is what you want. If so, go right ahead)!

I can only think of two things to do... the first, introduce them to He he! Then they may have so much to write about that they'll stop bugging you. Secondly, tell them (in the nicest way possible) they can save their breath and email it to you. That way, you can block them or just ignore the email (you're not obligated to answer the email). Okay, okay, I'm kidding. To be honest, I don't think there is such a thing as informing someone of a flaw they have 'nicely'. I mean, when you think about it, telling someone they talk too much is like telling them they're ugly (they can't help it - well, they won't let you know that they can if they can).

I use to be told a lot as a child that I talked too much. In fact, that flaw was belted into me time and time again. As I got older, I couldn't laugh it off any longer and by the time I was about 14, I stopped talking altogether because I couldn't stand the teasing anymore. But, that is an example of what can happen if you belt it into a child.

Instead of focusing on how to tell them they talk too much, how about you focus on why. There are a few reasons why somebody talks too much.

Are they nervous?

Do they lack confidence?

Do they have self-esteem issues?

Is talking the only thing they believe they're good at?

Are they lonely?

Are they trying to get you to like them?

Maybe they just like having you around... - a little too much perhaps.

Anyway, the way to tell them depends on the kind of person that they are. If you know they will take offence make sure you find the perfect time to tell them. But then again, sometimes you'd be better off not telling them at all. Think about how you would feel if someone said that to you.


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    • profile image

      Jenni 3 years ago

      Well maybe this girl I know talks nonstop fast n repetitive about same thing always drama drama- over n over n over to point I believe her brain may have lost oxygen! I think she's on something really I do! 90 miles an hr aghhhhh

    • profile image

      Carol 4 years ago

      They say shut up you say grow up!

    • profile image

      Arbiter 5 years ago

      I seriously need my classmate to SHUT THE @#! up. Every way you stated won't work.And I need to Do every Don't + some violence and a teacher to get that idiot classmate of mine to SHATTAP (That's what my science teacher likes to use Shattap)

    • profile image

      wat up 5 years ago

      wow i woulod just slap em and say shut up or else get a life lolz jk

    • profile image

      Amanda 6 years ago

      When someone starts talking my ear off... I cut them off politely and say with a smile "hey, it's really nice seeing you but I must be going" then before they can say another word I walk away. It works every time without hurting anyone's feeling:)

    • profile image

      Johnny M 6 years ago

      Great post, I am currently trying to write this simple reply while listening to my MIL's constant babbling. Is 5 min. of peace too much to ask for in the morning?

    • profile image

      blgaudett 6 years ago

      wow some people hv nice comments tat r really inspiring like the homeless person!!!!

    • profile image

      hrithik 6 years ago

      I cant make my rhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • profile image

      RON 6 years ago




    • profile image

      alexis jones 6 years ago

      ok all i have to say is that if yuu want some one to shut up tellem i mean if they have that much feelin 4 yuu and ur a girl and there a girl i wouldent wont to be that tight i mean im a mean person so i would tell them to shut the fuck up any way so there is no nice way t put it

    • profile image

      Homeslice 6 years ago

      I don't give a shit. I just tell the to F@#k up!!!!!

    • profile image

      Ghost 6 years ago

      Duck tape there mouths shut


    • profile image

      Timothy B Foley 6 years ago

      Why I see they dont' ever shut up they have problems everyone human does In my opinion Its a small community just about everyone knows you like family, or a family In a way so tell these people shut up with they think you need a friend or love when you ask them to leave you alone they don't not If people have families, teams, corporations, unions, social groups and social lives all I want Is to tell them Its 2011 life has been outdate since 1954, 1978 or 1986 take your pick also I'm not a role model like britney miley and sir charles so bother someone else In fact talk to someone besides you If you are too old which I'm 35 and I'm not old or feel It just wanna stay away from drunks, slobs and brats that's not me please get the fact striaght most people are starting to get the real me clean, neat skinny, responsible, peaceful, beautiful would like to just be quiet myself let them keep talking and wait for an attack I will go the police or someone I know and trust I short I want nothing to do with now be quiet or bother another person besides me.

    • profile image

      TaraCornCob 6 years ago

      I hate to say it there is this girl I know and she thinks I'm a really good friend, but I really don't like her. She talks all the time and everyone thinks she's a total weirdo. I try to be nice to her but my patience is really wearing thin. When I'm in her company and she's talking to me, everyone thinks I'm really weird too. I really don't want to hurt her feelings but I just want her to leave me alone..... Any ideas?

    • profile image

      emily 7 years ago

      that waz really good advice!!!! on ths page...well the first one iread waz!!!! if someone tells me to shutup i tell thm "shut dnt go up prices do take my advice n shut up 2!!!! thts my thang to say:)) dnt no bout u

    • profile image

      cherries 7 years ago

      hey look this is wat i would do i would just walk up to them and give them a happy slap and then i would say shut the f#@$ up.

    • profile image

      TheSilentOne 7 years ago

      I have a coworker with the talking disease. I am always afraid to initiate any attention towards him as it seems to open the door for..."hey, got a minute?" (which ends up being 20). I had even went to the extent of going to my supervisor, who chose not to do anything about it. Most of his talk deals with boasting about "how much he knows." Very annoying to my other coworker and me to say the least. Finally he asked if something was wrong, and I just had to open up the floodgates and let him know. All my knowledge of interpersonal communication seemed to go right out the door, and I became rather blunt. I finally felt relieved that I got it out in the open with him, but wish I had been a bit more tactful. Haven't heard a peep out of him since. Sorry dud!

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      celion 7 years ago

      Sorry, but what about the noisy rude irritating attention seakers who just get worse if you tell them, because they love it, how do you handle that in the workplace then? You can't exactly slap them duh. Earplugs work . . .

    • profile image

      Dee 7 years ago

      how on Gods Green Earth do you get your Mother to quit bringing up the subject of your personal buisness when you are an adult that can handle your own problems? you cant tell her to shut up it is just disrespectful.

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      Tink 7 years ago

      If u have to tell them to be quiet more then 3 times and they r really bothoring u u should bring out your mean side and say SHUT THE F**CK UP OR I WILL SLAP THE SH**T OUT OF U. DON'T BE SCARED TO GET IN TROUBLE AND IF THEY KEEP TALKING JUST slap the f**ckin napp's out of them ok .THX FOR LISTENING AND YES I HAVE DONE IT BEFORE AT SCHOOL.

    • profile image

      April 8 years ago

      Iwouls just slap the **** out of them because i hate them so much

    • profile image

      Jan 8 years ago do talk a lot...

    • profile image

      daisy 8 years ago

      duh im hot and i wish that people would just stop being annoying!

    • profile image

      rose meyrs 8 years ago

      shhh still works

    • Nancy B. profile image

      Nancy B. 9 years ago from Kansas City, MO

      Very insightful and thought provoking. All the reasons you listed as to why someone would talk too much are valid and worth considering the next time I'm cornered and wildly looking for an escape route. Thanks for the new view.

    • Woody Marx profile image

      Woody Marx 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I agree with have lots of common sense. I like the way you think things out on paper, so to speak. It makes a good hub.

    • LatestDud profile image

      LatestDud 9 years ago from Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia)

      Why, thank you. :-) 1. I don't live with my family anymore. It was mainly my step father that said that kind of thing to me. He did and said a lot of things to me that I will never forgive him for (especially because they weren't all mental and emotional). I became anti-social at home, but I would say that now I am back to my old self some-what. 2. That's exactly right! Past events affect people differently. You may have two people with a similar past but one talks a lot more than the other. Depending on the person, being nervous etc can either make them talk more, or not talk at all. I think anything can find healing if you let, whatever it is, go. The people who don't heal are the people who don't allow themselves to move on. I know, because I've been one of them.

    • WeddingConsultant profile image

      WeddingConsultant 9 years ago from DC Metro Area

      Latest dud, you have had more insight in this hub than most other hubs, combined. I mean that...great thoughts here, esp. for being a younger hubber! Thank you for your response to my request.

      A couple comments-

      1. I hope you find it in you to continue talking with others! Hopefully you won't give up because people are teasing you.

      2. You had a great point about why people talk too much, which I think is clutch. If people talk way too much, it's often an indicator of something that happened in the past that caused that reaction. Likewise, someone who talks very little does that as a reaction to things that have happened in the past!

      Hopefully both can find healing, right?