Have you ever been around people who talk too much? They always seem to dominate the conversation and interrupt others when they speak. But socializing with an overly chatty person makes for an unpleasant experience. Even introverts like to talk at some point during a conversation. But with someone who speaks too much, getting a word in edgewise becomes difficult.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that extroverts and others who enjoy talking have insidious motives. They may not even realize how their behavior impacts others. Gabby people sometimes have lower emotional intelligence, making reading social cues challenging. A low EQ doesn’t make them a terrible person by any means, but it can hamper social skills.
For instance, if someone turns away from them or pulls out their phone during a conversation, they may not even notice. However, this behavior means the person feels annoyed or interrupted by the speaker.
Below, we’ll delve deeper into why some people talk too much and how to address this behavior.
Psychology Reveals Why Some People Talk Too Much
1. They might have ADHD or ADD.
Someone who talks too much might have a mental health condition like ADHD. Characterized by hyperactivity and restlessness, the disorder may also cause overtalking to release excess energy.
Many people with ADD don’t mean to interrupt others; they might feel excited or nervous. Also, people with ADHD have a million thoughts at once, so talking can be a distraction.
Studies show a clear link between hyperactivity and excessive talking. One study of 99 children with and without ADHD discovered that these behaviors might start early in life. The research showed that the inattentive, hyperactive children talked excessively compared to the other group. Overtalking caused problems with their classmates and learning difficulties in some cases.
Adults with ADHD may show similar signs in social settings. Feeling overly anxious or excited may cause them to talk too much. Or, they might want to feel included in the conversation and make sure their voice gets heard. People with ADHD usually don’t like silence and avoid discomfort by overtalking.
2. Having Asperger’s or autism could make them talk too much.
While many people on the autism spectrum are on the quieter side, they can talk for hours about a subject that interests them. Since they struggle with nonverbal cues, they may not realize when someone doesn’t share that interest. Reading body language and understanding when to end a conversation is difficult.
According to the Autism Research Institute, common social symptoms of adult autism include:
- Unintentional social blunders
- Difficulty keeping up in conversations
- Lack of emotional expression
- Awkwardness in social situations
- Difficulty detecting sarcasm or figurative language – takes things literally
- Remembers small details such as facts or names
3. They feel insecure.
Sometimes, people talk too much to compensate for feeling inadequate or insecure. They want to impress others somehow, and overtalking can help increase confidence. For instance, they might embellish stories to make themselves seem more attractive. Or, they may tell jokes to gain popularity and ensure no one forgets about them.
If someone feels uncomfortable or lacking, they may seek external validation. When socializing, it becomes more about proving themselves than having a good time. However, people with low self-esteem sometimes avoid social situations entirely, especially if they’ve had negative experiences.
4. Silence makes them uncomfortable.
Sometimes, people talk too much to fill gaps in conversation. They may not like silence because it makes them feel awkward or nervous. Or, they might think the other person will lose interest if they don’t always have something to say. Of course, silence inevitably occurs during conversations as people need time to process what the speaker says. However, these lulls in conversation could make someone who talks too much feel insecure.
5. They have narcissistic personality traits.
They may not have a full-blown personality disorder, but talking too much could point to some degree of narcissism. Narcissistic types secretly have a fragile self-esteem, so they compensate by acting more confident than they feel. They may also crave attention and control conversations by constantly shifting the focus back on them. While most people enjoy talking about themselves, narcissists take this extreme.
6. People who talk too much may feel lonely.
Someone who talks too much may not have many opportunities to socialize. Because they feel lonely, they might appear clingy or overshare to force a connection. While they deserve friends like everyone else, they may not realize their behavior pushes people away. Getting to know someone usually happens gradually so that desperation can send a potential friend running in the opposite direction.
Tips on Socializing With Someone Who Talks Too Much
Having an overly talkative friend or family member can become frustrating. However, these tips can make conversations more enjoyable:
- Practice patience. You should remain compassionate, especially when it comes to someone with a mental disorder. Try to see things from their perspective and remember they are not intentionally over-talking.
- Let them know how you feel. Perhaps you should be direct if your friend talks too much regularly. They may not realize how it affects you, so making them aware could encourage them to change.
- Distance yourself from them. Sometimes, it’s best to let the connection fade than try to force friendship. If the conversations always seem one-sided, you probably don’t get much out of the connection.
Final Thoughts on Why Some People Talk Too Much
Everyone socializes differently depending on their personality, friend circles, and interests. However, when someone talks too much, it can make socializing or a conversation much less enjoyable. Most talkative people don’t realize that their behavior bothers others and may have an extroverted personality.
Perhaps they have a mental disorder that affects their social skills or feel uncomfortable with silence. They could also suffer low self-esteem and talk too much to feel important. Whatever the reason, overly chatty people still deserve compassion and understanding. With patience and honesty, it’s possible to have a fulfilling relationship with someone who talks too much.