wikiHow to Be Friends With Someone Who Talks Too Much

We love our friends. But occasionally, a friend who has the gift of the gab can seem a little tiresome if our friends don't know when to stop. You respect your friend but you'd like her or him to learn a little self-restraint when it comes to talking, so that you can get a word in edgewise! Here are some suggestions to politely and tactfully maintain your friendship with a talkative friend.


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    Ground yourself first. Before assuming that this is all about your friend, consider your own behavior first. We all have flaws if yours is impatience or a dislike of listening, then your friend may not be talking too much objectively, but is doing so by your standards. On the other hand, if you are patient and respect your friend enough to listen carefully, and yet you can't seem to get many of your own words into the conversation, then it's probable that she or he is talking a lot more than usual.
    • If your friend insists that you are "such a good listener", this can be a warning sign!
    • Ask mutual friends tactfully if they have any experiences of this friend talking too much. They may be able to confirm your experience, making it more certain that you're being objective. You may not even need to ask––if everyone refers to this mutual friend as a "talker", then your own impressions are right.
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    Drop hints. If your friend has particular axes to grind or topics to chew on, you might be able to use a parallel experience to highlight what your friend is doing. For example, if your friend insists on constantly talking about the latest gadget releases in fine detail, pick a character off a TV show who does the same and make a pointed comment, such as "I find how X always talks about early releases of software like they're more important than anything else happening that day to be a bit overwhelming. Doesn't he have anything else to talk about?" The trouble with dropping hints is that they're not always noticed and even if they are, they're easily forgotten because they're a tad passive aggressive.
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    Change the topic. It is possible that your friend only gushes on and on when it comes to certain topics, like the person she or he is dating, fashion, politics, beliefs, whatever. And you might find that if you get your friend off that topic, that she or he is actually very reasonable and listens well, converses well and knows when to keep quiet. If this is the case, you might need to come to a mutually agreed arrangement whereby the two of you have a signal when either of you has strayed into talking too much about "that topic". If you make this a case of both of you having to curtail talking too much on a particular topic, your friend won't feel so singled out.
    • Have a list of alternative topics ready to spring on your friend whenever she or he ratchets up on the pet discussion.
    • Don't worry about making a change of topic obvious. It's a small price to pay for alerting your friend to "too much talk".
    • Sometimes, no matter what you do, changing the topic will have a link that gets your friend back to the original topic and the incessant chatter starts up again! If this happens and you haven't mutually agreed to can the topic when it gets out of hand, it's time to tackle the problem head on.
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    Be a bit more assertive. When your friend gets into full swing, don't be afraid to interrupt at opportune moments. While this goes against the usual etiquette advice of being a good listener, sometimes it's the only tool you have left after politely listening for ages to someone who doesn't show the same respect back.[1] Perhaps try to change the topic or give an example of what they're discussing but from your perspective and experience.
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    Be honest. Sometimes it's best to be forthright and to simply tell your friend that you feel she or he has said so much that you haven't had a chance yet to explain your impressions or to reveal your news. Ask your friend to slow down for a bit to give you a chance to add something too.
    • Try telling your friend that she or he has talked about so many things that you've started to forget what she or he said in the first place!
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    Be respectful and genuine when raising the matter of chatter with your friend. At some stage, you may feel that it's necessary to raise the issue of her or his talkativeness. In doing so, here are some important points to take note of:
    • Avoid telling your friend that she or he is selfish, narcissistic or thoughtless. Perhaps your friend is these things but if you want to stay friends, this isn't a good way to improve your relationship. Instead, couch the problem in terms of what you don't feel you're getting when the two of you converse, such as a good connection and a feeling that you're both sharing information; and feel free to explain that you feel a bit left out.
    • Remember to use "I feel" statements and not make any pointed comments about her or his personal traits.
    • Explain that you know how excited your friend gets about certain topics and how much you love learning about their perspectives; then make it clear that you'd love the chance to share your perspectives with your friend too, as you value their input and ideas about your thoughts.
    • Be aware that some people talk too much when they're experiencing challenges in their life, such as stress and anxiety, while someone suffering from bipolar disorder who is experiencing a manic phase might lean toward incessant chatter. While this doesn't excuse being selfish or even offensive, it does call for some understanding on your behalf.
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    Feign weariness. Tell your friend that you need a rest from chatting so much. Say something like: "Hey, let's just sit here quietly for a little while, I didn't get a lot of sleep last night." Or perhaps open your smartphone to Facebook and say, "I need to check my updates because I didn't get a chance yesterday––do you mind if I just do this for a few minutes". Or perhaps, "I can't digest too much today, I can't think clearly because I have a headache––do you mind if we just stay quiet for a moment and watch the world go by?". Use whatever fits your personality style and doesn't seem rude in the context––just enough of a break to give over your message that the conversation has been all one-sided.
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    Avoid using distractions to cope that will simply egg on your friend. There are schools of thought that suggest that you can cope by focusing somewhere else or going into your own mind, using such techniques as nodding absent-mindedly or routinely agreeing even though you haven't listened. The problem with this is that you will look glazed over, you will miss an important point in the discussion and your friend will likely consider this far ruder than interrupting.
    • One constructive gesture that may help to speed up your friend, is checking your watch, diary or calendar and perhaps even making moves to leave, such as stacking your items up or putting them in your bag.
    • Try not to look around you, or stare off into the distance. Your friend might think that you're ignoring her or him and might be insulted. Stay engaged briefly but then try one of the suggested methods rather than letting your friend think you're interested in the non-stop chatter.
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    Consider toning down the amount of time you spend with this friend if nothing you've tried has worked. If you're certain you want to remain friends but you're equally certain that you can't bear too many of the talkative meet-ups with her or him, minimize the amount of time you can spend together. Some options include:
    • Only meeting up once in a while, when the news actually is interesting to you.
    • Making sure that you have an appointment to get away in exactly half an hour after meeting up––keep it short and sweet.
    • Keep a healthy friendship by offering other things to do. If he/she is a gossiper, maybe offer to read some magazines or watch MTV. If they're an outgoing person, try visiting another friend or going to a place with lots of people. If they like or talk about a lot of sports, go to a school football game one night or challenge your friend to a game of soccer or better yet, round ho the neighborhood fir a game or two. The possibilities are endless. Just tailor a distracting your friend according to their likes.
    • Text, email or instant message more often than you meet in person.


  • Distract them by going to a place with lots of people. The you don't have to listen to all of it.
  • Do something you want to do for a change. If they always want to hang on the sofa all day, suggest something you like, maybe popping in a movie, baking brownies or playing one on one in the front driveway.
  • Wear earplugs. Play the music low but loud enough to be heard. When your friend asks you something, wait, don't reply, and don't look at her or him. Wait until your friend asks the question again. This might make your friend realize that you're not focused on her or him, perhaps causing your friend to talk less.
  • Above all, be honest. Commonly, the person will not realise they are talking too much. If this person is truly your friend, you should be capable of telling the person bluntly, but respectfully.


  • If you know all of your friend's opinions but she or he knows few of yours, reconsider this friendship. It might not be one for the long haul.

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