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People who talk about themselves all the time

(153 Posts)
Beswitched Sat 11-Sep-21 21:16:01

I know one or two people like this. No matter what the topic of conversation they turn it back to themselves and their concerns the whole time. Do people who do this have some kind of compulsion or disorder or are the just hugely lacking in awareness.

In general, the people I know who do this are quite kind beneath it all but just frustrating in their determination to bring things back to themselves all the time.

3dognight Sat 11-Sep-21 21:22:32

I have had friends like this, and I try to be a good listener. It is lovely to meet someone who actually pauses to listen to you.

ninathenana Sat 11-Sep-21 21:22:51

I have a friend like this.
She will ask about you and when you answer she will state some platitude and turn it back to her.
DH and DD ask why I'm still friends with her. She has a heart of gold

GagaJo Sat 11-Sep-21 23:44:51

I know a few like this. They bore me rigid. And the bragging! I'm sure I'm not a good listener with them because I loath listening to it.

nanna8 Sun 12-Sep-21 03:46:19

Boring and I don’t count them as ‘friends’ more acquaintances. To be avoided. I guess it might be loneliness, looking at it charitably but a feeling of inadequacy is probably more like it.

Ailidh Sun 12-Sep-21 05:55:03

I'm like ninathenana- one of my closest friends is a drama queen, and very, very self-absorbed.

Several years ago, she had to take early retirement on health grounds, which involved having to find new accommodation. We'd go out for coffee and shed bring lists and lists of questions to go through. I was happy to help.

Some years later, I also had to retire from the same kind of job on health grounds. I turned up for coffee with my notepad and pen, and confidently expected her to help me. All she said was, "I have to think of questions for me too, you know".

I'm not generally an unforgiving person but I can't quite forget the sense of disappointment I felt. However, in other ways she is a kind friend, who would try hard to help, provided it wasn't in a area that she felt threatened Her experience in that area, so I haven't dropped her.

Hetty58 Sun 12-Sep-21 07:41:01

I have a friend who's completely self absorbed - and very unhappy too. She has no interest in the world - news, politics, hobbies etc.

Only topics directly related to her own health, fitness and looks spark an interest. She seems 'stuck' at a point where self-improvement is her only goal.

Beswitched Sun 12-Sep-21 08:46:33

4 of us met up yesterday for coffee. I hadn't seen 2 of them since my mother died a few weeks ago. One of the women was in full flow when I arrived. Eventually one of the others managed to ask me how I was doing and the conversation turned to me for a few seconds before the first woman literally shouted across us to bring the conversation back to herself.
She continued to do this for the entire time we were there. I've always found it annoying when she does this, but I found it upsetting yesterday.
I know she has a lot going on, but my two friends weren't even allo to sympathise with me properly. One of the women has retired from work since we last met and I was interested in hearing about how she was getting on. But again, after about two sentences we were just shouted over. Half the time she was talking about people we don't even know.

Hetty58 Sun 12-Sep-21 08:56:59

Beswitched, I think that people who do this are just 'broadcasting' their news to the audience. They're obviously not interested in others at all - probably think they are very interesting to us, though.

My friend (as above) is always 'very busy' and 'stressed out' too. Dealing with that 'stress' requires various yoga, mindfulness, swimming and healing classes - apparently. She doesn't work (never has) and has few responsibilities!

CafeAuLait Sun 12-Sep-21 09:00:39

Lack of social skills? Not sure how to hold a reciprocal conversation? They feel the need to fill silences with chatter? Social anxiety? Just not interested? Probably lots of reasons. Those people can be easy to talk to if you don't want to put much energy in. Just let them talk and nod away yourself.

LauraNorder Sun 12-Sep-21 09:03:12

Sorry to hear about your mother Beswitched flowers
Sad to say there are many insecure people out there who need constant attention and reassurance of their value.
It can often seem very one sided and certainly spoils a good chat amongst friends.
Perhaps leave her out next time while you all catch up and then include her again the next time. Perhaps she’s just very lonely.

sodapop Sun 12-Sep-21 09:07:43

I know two people at least like this, I have given up saying anything much to them when we meet. I just listen and nod in hopefully appropriate places.
I must admit I have cut down contact with them quite a bit.

Scones Sun 12-Sep-21 09:19:11

I was one of a group of four friends, one of whom fell into this category. Three of us were all very interested in each other's lives and supportive whenever needed. The forth woman was very self absorbed, kept bringing the conversation round to her and had strong prejudices opinions which she aired loudly. Her problems were always more important and worse than ours and were always of someone elses making. Her successes always more impressive and entirely deserved apparently.

We dropped her. The peace, companionship and support we three share now is wonderful.

People like this have many reasons for being like it and only get away with it because we are too polite to hold a mirror up to them.

MerylStreep Sun 12-Sep-21 09:21:51

I did have one. But fortunately she has verbal diarrhoea and let slip something that gave me the perfect opportunity to tell her to never contact me again.

Aveline Sun 12-Sep-21 09:34:24

Oh gosh yes! I know one person like this. There are seven of us in our group but nobody gets a word in edgeways. I reckon it's because we're all too polite to talk over her or try to interrupt. Last time I tried she waved me away rudely and droned on. She's the centre of attention in her home life and expects to be the same elsewhere.
I've resolved to just avoid her in future.

Grandmajean Sun 12-Sep-21 09:39:25

I have an acquaintance who used to be a neighbour. A lovely , caring lady who would do anything for anyone in trouble. If we meet I always ask about her family - children , grandchildren etc. She tells me at great length but never asks about mine ! I just have to accept that she probably doesn't realise she's doing this and thinks we have had a conversation whereas I have actually listened to a monologue ! She knows my family at the same level as I know her relatives as we were neighbours for years. It does irritate a bit but we only ever meet in the village street and "chat" . I think it would be annoying if we were close friends.

Grandmabatty Sun 12-Sep-21 09:41:11

I have a group of friends and one of us is definitely like this. She will talk over you and interrupt when you're speaking with someone else. She has got worse as the years have rolled on. We put up with it because she's generally a kind person and she is lonely. I also wondered about her hearing and at our last meeting she told us that she had been diagnosed with severe hearing loss in one ear and moderate loss in the other. It came as a huge shock to her but not me. I suspect that sometimes when she interrupted, she genuinely didn't hear a conversation was still going on. One of our mutual friends is very softly spoken. It does explain a lot.

Josianne Sun 12-Sep-21 10:01:34

In a group situation I have a friend who is very good at guiding conversation away from the person who hogs the stage. She turns to others and says, "I didn't realise you enjoyed music," or something similar.
We have never been a family to chat continuously about ourselves and our children are also quiet in that respect.

Kate1949 Sun 12-Sep-21 10:07:46

Practically everyone I know is like this. I am quite quiet and they must see that as an excuse. My next door neighbour is unbelievable for this. We call her Princess Me Me.

Hetty58 Sun 12-Sep-21 10:24:53

I'm quiet - especially with strangers - and was (thoroughly) taught, by a domineering mother, never to interrupt. So, when starting a new teaching course, I remained in the background, carefully listening.

On our second day, at coffee break time, I spoke up, to voice my opinion on something. They all looked surprised.

'Oh' said one 'You're British! - We thought you must be Swedish with poor English!'

So, I must look Swedish (somehow), be mysterious - as it's unusual to be so quiet - and they'd all been talking about me!

MissAdventure Sun 12-Sep-21 10:28:29

I have 2 neighbours like it.
One has come in to mine every day, several times a day for years now, and I find it terribly stressful.
She peers through my back door and shouts, saying "Oh, there you are!" then launched into the most incredibly boring monologue about her awful family.

I do think she seems to have an almost obsessive need to get things off her chest, so I try to tell myself there is no harm in it. sad

Grandmajean Sun 12-Sep-21 10:34:57

Funnily enough Grandmabatty the neighbour I wrote about has been quite deaf all her life so maybe that's why she talks rather than ask any questions ! She probably knows she won't hear the answers and maybe say the wrong thing.

H1954 Sun 12-Sep-21 10:37:49

There's loads like this where I live. All to happy to accept help, assistance with shopping, welfare checks, garden jobs done, lifts to the GP etc etc...........I had a serious fall and am now in a difficult situation. Do I see the neighbours? Do I hell.

DiscoDancer1975 Sun 12-Sep-21 10:39:42

I don’t understand why people put up with this. I’ve been known to say, “ This started off being quite interesting, now I’m just bored”, and walking off. I’ll admit...I don’t have loads of friends, just a few carefully chosen. If the way to get more friends is to listen to constant drivel, then I’m off!

MissAdventure Sun 12-Sep-21 10:42:50

Funny you should say that, because I have been really unwell, and came back to my flat after being in hospital to find my washing all tangled up, rained on, and blown about the ground, and my plants all dead outside my flat.
Strange how it never occurred to anyone to do just a couple of things to help me.