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Friend who overwhelms me with talking so much

(96 Posts)
BrandyGran Sat 25-Jun-22 20:28:02

I have been good friends with this lady for a life time. She always was a terrific talker but has got worse to the point that she totally exhausts me! Please tell me how I tone down this friendship without hurting her. We meet once a week. I have suggested in the past that we don't interrupt each other but that never lasts long on her part!

Chewbacca Sat 25-Jun-22 20:49:55

When she's rattled on for too long, close your eyes and feign sleep.

Georgesgran Sat 25-Jun-22 21:01:35

Nice one Chewbacca Of course the OP’s friend could be lonely, has no-one to talk to and saves it all up for their meeting.
Perhaps say you have a busy week ahead and stretch the gap out to 10 days and send a friendly text in between?

lemsip Sat 25-Jun-22 21:12:48

I agree with stretching the gap gradually into longer lengths..... I'm sure she has other 'friends' in her life as well as you so don't feel beholden'.

StarDreamer Sat 25-Jun-22 21:23:24

Raise with her a problem that you are trying to think out what to do about.

You may find that she instantly stops talking and becomes focused on listening to what you are saying as she wants to help her friend.

BrandyGran Sat 25-Jun-22 21:24:16

No she is not lonely . She has a lot of friends. It's difficult as we know each other so well. I just don't want to hurt her.

Elizabeth27 Sat 25-Jun-22 21:47:54

I have a relative like that and like you do not want to hurt her feelings. I find it easier to meet outside, shopping, visiting somewhere, or just walking, rather than just sitting where all she can do is talk.

Allsorts Sat 25-Jun-22 21:52:13

I have one like that but it’s become a catalogue of illness’s , if not hers then people I don’t know, I think sometimes my eyes glaze over and she sharply says “you’re not really listening”.

HowVeryDareYou Sat 25-Jun-22 21:53:23

She may be very lonely. Could you perhaps ring each other in between meeting up?

HowVeryDareYou Sat 25-Jun-22 21:54:45

Sorry, just saw your post where you said she isn't lonely. One of my friends is like that, and she has lots of friends, too. Most of our "chats" are by texts.

Chestnut Sat 25-Jun-22 23:57:05

I had a friend (gone back to America now thank goodness) who used to talk endlessly about her family in America who I obviously don't know. She could keep going the whole evening non-stop. I tried to change the subject but just couldn't get a word in. It gets so damn boring.

Carenza123 Sun 26-Jun-22 07:23:36

I have a slightly different problem in that when visiting my sister in law with my husband (her brother), I am in the middle of conversation when she is either stroking our dog or looking out her window - obviously not taking in a word I say. This is so rude or I am pretty boring. So now, either way, I just stop mid sentence and will not talk further. My husband usually nods off when we are there which doesn’t help.

DillytheGardener Sun 26-Jun-22 07:34:43

My mother in law does this with a catalogue of moans. She prefaces her conversations with ‘I don’t like to moan but’……..
similar to other posters you have to act enthralled otherwise she gets into a huff.
No advice really, but have you ever thought about being honest? Saying could she try to listen a bit so you can have a back and forth conversation?

H1954 Sun 26-Jun-22 07:45:42

A sudden need to take a comfort break (go to the loo) is a game changer in breaking into an overbearing conversation I reckon. Simply say 'sorry to interrupt but I must pop to the bathroom' , disappear for a few minutes and come back with an opening line, something like 'oh, **, did I tell you about the trouble in town?'

There's someone in our extended family who has always monopolised the conversation and spoken over people.

M0nica Sun 26-Jun-22 07:55:50

She could have ADHD or ADD.

BigBertha1 Sun 26-Jun-22 08:22:15

I meet golf ladies like that who chat like mad all the way round- dives me mad and the golf is terrible. I try to avoid playing with them but i guess that doesnt help. I think I wo9uld find ways to space out the meetings to fortnightly at the most.

Grandmabatty Sun 26-Jun-22 08:43:17

I have just such a friend. She will talk over people and interrupt folk when they're talking and goes on for ages. She's told us recently that she's been told she is very deaf and that makes sense. We don't see her too often so put up with it as her particular foible.

nandad Sun 26-Jun-22 09:07:02

We have three friends like that, 2 female 1 male. The male goes into in-depth descriptions of car engines or plumbing systems, if you try to change the subject he will just ignore you and continue. One of the female friends does not draw breath. After an entire evening with her we realise that we know everything that she has done and everything she is going to do for the next 6 months but she doesn’t know anything more about us than when she arrived. If you try to interrupt her she stops short and then just goes on. She does ask questions but then talks over you when you try and answer. We need headache pills when she goes. The third friend is a real moaner and does have problems (with everything). She talks over everyone, tells everyone, including people she doesn’t know, all of her problems. If I go out to make tea she will follow me and continue.
All three of them do my head in, DH just switches off. They don’t know each other so we wondered what would happen if we put all three of them in a room and left them to it!

dragonfly46 Sun 26-Jun-22 09:14:13

I have a friend like that. She talks over people, interrupts and is incredibly opinionated. I come away exhausted. Fortunately I only see her in a group and there try to avoid her.
We have in the past hinted at her behaviour but then she dissolves in a heap and we feel bad. It doesn’t make any difference either.

TerriBull Sun 26-Jun-22 09:16:54

I think it's possible that both are a sign of getting older, firstly being over whelmed by people who just don't pause for breath, depending on how tired I am, I can sympathise with that. Conversely there are those where age has exacerbated their talking to such an extent that I can quite see how exhausting that can be on the poor listener.

I have a childhood friend who is a bit similar, overly focused on her own life, we all are to a certain extent, but I try not to bore others with mundane goings on. She often gives chapter and verse on people who aren't mutual acquaintances, how interested can you be? I think it's simply a lack of awareness.

MawtheMerrier Sun 26-Jun-22 09:30:05

Can I put in a plea for the “friend”.
I wonder if she lives alone?
Since being widowed I have had a suspicion that when I am out with friends, especially couples, ( E.g, for a meal) , that I “talk for two” in the sense that I would have sat back while DH contributed to the general conversation, but now find myself as I said “talking for two”
It is only afterwards I cringe and wish I had shut up - but when you live alone there is nobody at home to share opinions or to discuss things with.
This may not be your situation so if so, I apologise, but your OP has given me food for thought and I will try harder to keep my opinions to myself- unless asked!

lixy Sun 26-Jun-22 09:41:37

Could you introduce another friend into the mix?

timetogo2016 Sun 26-Jun-22 09:47:18

Give her a brown paper bag and a glass f water,she may need to come up for air.
She may even get the message.

MawtheMerrier Sun 26-Jun-22 09:49:16


Give her a brown paper bag and a glass f water,she may need to come up for air.
She may even get the message.

That’s really unkind

Aveline Sun 26-Jun-22 09:50:08

I'm sure you're not like that MawTheMerrier.
Recently an old friend came for coffee. We hadn't seen each other for years and she talked and talked and talked. All the minutiae of her own, her children's and her friends or even acquaintance's lives. It was a stunning performance and even while smiling and nodding I had time to analyse her communication style. It was sooooo boring I found myself just willing her to go. It was awful. I felt sort of trapped. I was wondering why she was doing this. Was she sort of showing off about her not very interesting life and huge number of friends or was there something about me? Was I maybe making her nervous and triggering the endless barrage of talk? I just don't know. I'll be avoiding her in future though!