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How do you deal with someone that only wants to talk about themselves?

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08-05-2012, 21:00   #1
Lynchee
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I work with a woman who constantly hijacks conversations by interrupting and turning it into being about her, even when she isn’t included in the original conversation!! For example, if someone is talking about their children, this woman interrupts and starts talking about her children, if someone is talking about an ailment, she interrupts and starts talking about a time she once had a similar ailment, and the original point (to which we were actually far more interested) gets lost. No matter what anyone has done, this woman has done it better. Every sentence starts with either “I” or “my” (and I’m not exaggerating). She may occasionally ask a question but then doesn’t pay the blindest bit of notice to the answer, because she’s simply not interested, it’s all just a clever way of steering the conversation back to something she can then dominate. If she was someone I only encountered in social circles I’d avoid her like the plague, but she’s a colleague so there’s no escaping her. Should I just shut up and put up, or should I grow a pair and tell her (as politely as possible of course)?
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08-05-2012, 21:08   #2
Isabelle
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Originally Posted by Lynchee View Post
I work with a woman who constantly hijacks conversations by interrupting and turning it into being about her, even when she isnt included in the original conversation!! For example, if someone is talking about their children, this woman interrupts and starts talking about her children, if someone is talking about an ailment, she interrupts and starts talking about a time she once had a similar ailment, and the original point (to which we were actually far more interested) gets lost. No matter what anyone has done, this woman has done it better. Every sentence starts with either I or my (and Im not exaggerating). She may occasionally ask a question but then doesnt pay the blindest bit of notice to the answer, because shes simply not interested, its all just a clever way of steering the conversation back to something she can then dominate. If she was someone I only encountered in social circles Id avoid her like the plague, but shes a colleague so theres no escaping her. Should I just shut up and put up, or should I grow a pair and tell her (as politely as possible of course)?
Someone should start a conversation about having some kind of unpleasant ailment e.g. headlice, warts etc. and see if she has had that too
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08-05-2012, 21:12   #3
Frank Sidney
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Had a good day today. No work. Went to pics with two of my sons. Film was okay. Then went and did a bit of shopping. Put some turf down and then went to the gym. Home now. Had a spot of fish pie, watching later with jules now, might have a bath in a bit, dunno though...
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08-05-2012, 21:15   #4
sawheating
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Originally Posted by Lynchee View Post
I work with a woman who constantly hijacks conversations by interrupting and turning it into being about her, even when she isn’t included in the original conversation!! For example, if someone is talking about their children, this woman interrupts and starts talking about her children, if someone is talking about an ailment, she interrupts and starts talking about a time she once had a similar ailment, and the original point (to which we were actually far more interested) gets lost. No matter what anyone has done, this woman has done it better. Every sentence starts with either “I” or “my” (and I’m not exaggerating). She may occasionally ask a question but then doesn’t pay the blindest bit of notice to the answer, because she’s simply not interested, it’s all just a clever way of steering the conversation back to something she can then dominate. If she was someone I only encountered in social circles I’d avoid her like the plague, but she’s a colleague so there’s no escaping her. Should I just shut up and put up, or should I grow a pair and tell her (as politely as possible of course)?
let out a big yawn followed by 'boring' then walk off. This always works on site and gets a good reaction
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08-05-2012, 21:16   #5
Lynchee
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Had a good day today. No work. Went to pics with two of my sons. Film was okay. Then went and did a bit of shopping. Put some turf down and then went to the gym. Home now. Had a spot of fish pie, watching later with jules now, might have a bath in a bit, dunno though...
Yep, pretty much just like that. I had a bath once...
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08-05-2012, 21:17   #6
NorthernStar
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You could use this as entertainment and have a right laugh at her expense until she gets the message if you and your other colleagues play it right.
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08-05-2012, 21:17   #7
rubydazzler
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Aren't most people like that? You make a call to a friend for the precise purpose of passing on some good news, or seeking advice or sympathy about a problem you have and within two minutes you're having to listen to their good news or sympathise with them, or even worse, having to listen to rambling story about a third party that you don't even know, and care even less about.
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Last edited by rubydazzler; 08-05-2012 at 21:49.
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08-05-2012, 21:19   #8
andygardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynchee View Post
I work with a woman who constantly hijacks conversations by interrupting and turning it into being about her, even when she isnt included in the original conversation!! For example, if someone is talking about their children, this woman interrupts and starts talking about her children, if someone is talking about an ailment, she interrupts and starts talking about a time she once had a similar ailment, and the original point (to which we were actually far more interested) gets lost. No matter what anyone has done, this woman has done it better. Every sentence starts with either I or my (and Im not exaggerating). She may occasionally ask a question but then doesnt pay the blindest bit of notice to the answer, because shes simply not interested, its all just a clever way of steering the conversation back to something she can then dominate. If she was someone I only encountered in social circles Id avoid her like the plague, but shes a colleague so theres no escaping her. Should I just shut up and put up, or should I grow a pair and tell her (as politely as possible of course)?
I worked with a guy like that years ago. After a few weeks I just asked him if he knew he was being eyewateringly tedious by turning every conversation round to himself. He looked a bit sheepish, said no, I then confirmed he was, he appologised and did actually improve. Not to someone you'd want to talk to but at least to someone you don't want to hide semtex in their lunchbox.
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08-05-2012, 21:20   #9
G51065
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Self worth and insecurity issues?
Promoting themselves to feel more involved (but overdoing it a bit) could be a reason. Trouble is it becomes a hard habit to break and ends up bieng counter productive.
Most people will have met someone a bit like this.
Its maybe best to try and work round it and remember...if you dont know everything about someone, you wont know why they behave as they do.
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08-05-2012, 21:26   #10
Lynchee
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Self worth and insecurity issues?
Promoting themselves to feel more involved (but overdoing it a bit) could be a reason. Trouble is it becomes a hard habit to break and ends up bieng counter productive.
Most people will have met someone a bit like this.
Its maybe best to try and work round it and remember...if you dont know everything about someone, you wont know why they behave as they do.
I think that's it, she's a divorced woman in her sixties who has little contact with her kids and is probably quite lonely, so despite being a massive pain in the ass, in some respects I do feel sorry for her. I bet if she read this thread she'd not recognise that it could be about her because she's really not self aware, she needs someone to spell it out to her (but preferably not me coz I'm a big wimp)
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08-05-2012, 21:46   #11
angel22
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I'd just tell her!! If I was having a conversation with someone, lets say 'Katy' and she interupted and started talking about herself, i'd just say 'sorry, we're talking about 'Katy', not you.' Turn away from her and continue your conversation with 'Katy'!
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08-05-2012, 21:46   #12
Bubble3082
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What about when she turns the topic round to herself, simply smiling then carrying on with the original conversation? If she does talk about other things, include her more? She might get the message that you're more interested in hearing about other things, and its more subtle and friendly than just telling her to stop, especially if she's lonely
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08-05-2012, 22:08   #13
Rand Hobart
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How do you deal with someone that only wants to talk about themselves?

Next time she interrupts and starts talking about herself just stand up and walk away.

You will only have to do this a couple of times and she will get the message.
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08-05-2012, 22:24   #14
x-GiGgLeS-x
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stop being selfish and try and include her in the general conversation instead of talking and not involving her! that way she wont need to feel that she needs to interupt to have a conversation. also have you thought she might be talking about her self just to get a response and to tell people about her life because no1 bothers to ask
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09-05-2012, 00:29   #15
jibbs1977
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just tell her she is boring that should work
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09-05-2012, 00:39   #16
Bloomdido
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Point out to her what she is doing and ask her to reflect on why she is doing it. Johari Window.
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09-05-2012, 04:56   #17
johncocker
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I find most people I meet like that ,especially young people I 've met on my travels in asia

you've only got to ask them where they've been and away they go

never think of asking you where you've been

if it gets really bad and they've been rabbiting to long I ask them if they'd like me to do a sound track for them to go a long with it.
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09-05-2012, 06:24   #18
Tess
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Eugh. I know somebody like this, it gets very tedious doesn't it. If you find something that works without being rude do share the secret!
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09-05-2012, 07:29   #19
Kerrangaroo
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Originally Posted by johncocker View Post
I find most people I meet like that ,especially young people I 've met on my travels in asia

you've only got to ask them where they've been and away they go

never think of asking you where you've been

if it gets really bad and they've been rabbiting to long I ask them if they'd like me to do a sound track for them to go a long with it.
So basically when you ask them a question they have the nerve to answer it, kids uh!
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09-05-2012, 07:35   #20
smithy266
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Originally Posted by rubydazzler View Post
Aren't most people like that? You make a call to a friend for the precise purpose of passing on some good news, or seeking advice or sympathy about a problem you have and within two minutes you're having to listen to their good news or sympathise with them, or even worse, having to listen to rambling story about a third party that you don't even know, and care even less about.
Yes! I think you are right there. I often say Excuse me, I am trying to tell you my story. They let you carry on for a short while, then take over again!
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