The Non-Stop Talker With A Bite: The Follow Up
The CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer) at bencouraged.net offers thought provoking suggestions about how to manage the non-stop talkers in our lives.
I promised several months ago to talk about the Controller and this is the time and the season for that discussion. Thank you Bella, Glenmont and Chava for stirring the fire.
As I said in my first hub, there are two types of non-stop talkers. There are those who are audio learners and need to hear themselves speak to work out the problems in their lives. Then, there are those who seek to control or dominate the conversation just to be in control of SOMETHING, ANYTHING in their lives. They may have developed the habit of non-stop talking during a trying time in their lives and continue to do so often unconsciously. When the habit sets in that deep though, its like smoking, they don’t think about it, they just light up. If we are irritated by it, so be it. For the purpose of this discussion and because many of these non-stop talkers are people we care about and are related to, I will henceforth refer to them as CC short for Cousin Controller .
In a lot of ways CC is like a passenger who refuses to simply ride—CC has to drive and will do whatever it takes to get the wheel and keep it. It takes the Lord and some finesse mixed with loving kindness to deal with the relationship. The bottom line here is that we don’t have to crush CC because he or she annoys us. We certainly don’t want to reap that.
The other consideration is that CC may not want to change and in that case you will simply have to limit the time you spend with CC and pray that God opens CC’s eyes so he or she will see their need for help.
It takes the Lord to deal with CC
I am a firm believer that people who have control issues which manifest themselves in non-stop talking are really dealing with trust issues. Some if not all systems have failed and they have decided that no one is trustworthy. Let me reference Psalm 23:1a here and remind us that the only trustworthy guide for any of our lives is the Lord. “The Lord is my Shepherd...” Now that’s a biblical fact and if we skip over to Psalm 24:1 we will discover that the earth is the Lord’s and everything and everyone in it. Sounds to me like the Lord is in control. He doesn’t have to talk non-stop about it because it is a fact. It just makes sense to me to follow and trust the one who owns and controls everything. When I follow the Lord’s lead in my thinking, my talking and my doing, things work out well. When I don’t, things get pretty wacko.
Another important point is that the Lord commends us to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). When I don’t follow that wisdom all kinds of unnecessary troubles come my way. The Lord also warns us about the tongue and compares it to the bit in a horses mouth that can turn that horse’s whole body around. In verse eight of that same chapter, we read that no human can tame the tongue. Well now, it sounds to me like we need God to tame our tongues and if that is true for us then it is true for CC too.
I have learned to pray before, during and after an encounter with a non-stop talker. “Dear Lord, help CC to seek you to be their Shepherd so you can lead her in thought, word and deed. Then Lord, work out the kinks in me so I won’t be so bothered.”
It takes finesse and loving kindness to deal with CC
I would probably never go on a road trip with CC without having a heart to heart conversation and establishing some ground rules. I’d call a pre-road trip meeting and be upfront-- with finesse --about my expectations. I’d start with a question like What can I do to make the riding and the driving on this trip pleasant for you? I’d jot down whatever CC said, talk it through and agree to work with CC to make the trip pleasant. Then, I’d say I like to ride and appreciate the scenery listening to my own thoughts. Would you be willing to work with me on that? And since I don’t want you get offended I may have to ask you be quiet so I can have my silence or sleep time as needed. Will you work with me on that?
Did you notice that I didn’t drag up CC’s personal controlling history and use it as a weapon? I have learned that people, old and young, do better when they are involved in establishing the changes that will make for harmonious relationships. Change rarely takes place overnight but if you have decided that the relationship is worth investing in then please review the following steps:
Keep praying for your CC and for you—Seek God for the changes you need to make to bring harmony to the relationship
Keep loving your CC—remember that love looks for the best
Have an occasional heart to heart talk— be sure you obey the Word about being quick to listen and slow to speak (read the entire verse in James 1:19..there is a bonus at the end )
Show yourself to be trustworthy---Do what you say you are going to do consistently.
Finally, there’s a song that says ‘after you have done all you can, just stand’. The key here though is that if you keep hitting a brick wall, give yourself and CC some breathing room. Go stand somewhere else for a while!