I used to work at a grocery store once upon a time. Those were dark times, but I suppose you're not surprised. It was a pretty run of the mill place, the management wasn't particularly great, and the people ran the gamut from indifferent to annoying. I had really lovely coworkers, though. I think of them now and again. But then I'm reminded of that one guy who wouldn't stop talking and who had a talent for speaking in non-sequiturs. He handled the till right next to mine so...
After Redditor EntrepeNetherlands asked the online community, "How do you politely tell someone they are talking too much?" people offered their best advice.
"If you're in a group..."
If you're in a group, encourage others to say something. Either specify someone or be like "what do you guys think?"
"If I want to get out of a conversation..."
If I want to get out of a conversation I let them to continue to talk while nodding accordingly.. I let my eyes focus on something off to the side and behind them with a mild look of concern on my face, then slowly let my eyes open wider and wider. When they turn to look at what I was looking at I walk away
"As a white person..."
As a white person, I do the pained hallway smile hoping they get the point. If they don't, I await death.
"In the Netherlands..."
If you are friends with the person just tell them. If you are not friends with them just tell them. In the Netherlands it is polite to do that and nobody cares.
Just do. I like being shut up with humor, but also seriously and honestly. last time it worked i got: "Sorry, i can't listen anymore, I'm sensitive to sounds and I'm about to have an input overload."
My experience has been that the type of people who will over-talk without picking up your subtle body language cues that you're not interested in listening anymore, are generally totally fine with being interrupted and hearing directly that you can't or don't want to talk anymore.
"And if they keep talking..."
Say, "I've gotta go. Talk later." And if they keep talking, leave them in a dumpster and burn the evidence.
I don't know how polite it is, but I often feel like saying to Mr./Ms. JabberJaws, "Do you want to be almost immediately twice as happy?", and if they answer "Yes", then I would say "Then only speak half as often as think you should".
Because man oh man the people I see yammering away almost always end-up screwing themselves with the things the say.
Sometimes just listening to what they have to say helps, they could just have a lot to talk about and no one else to talk to.
"I generally say something..."
I generally say something along the lines of, "I hate to cut off your train of thought, but I just had the thought of [relevant point that moves the convo in a new direction or to a topic I can talk more about]" or "So sorry to cut this conversation short, but I need to be going to [appointment] so we'll have to pick this up another time!" Or if I'm at a gathering I'll say "I've just seen someone I need to catch up with, may I excuse myself?"
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