At first they seem nice and outgoing. They are sociable people and good conversationalists. But over time their conversation becomes exhausting. Each encounter leaves you without energy. The problem is that these are people who talk a lot, almost always about themselves, and don't listen. When you say goodbye, you feel that there has been no conversation, that you have been the listener of an endless monologue. What happens to people who talk too much? Why do they behave like this?
Logorrhea: The symptom of a mental disorder
In the field of psychology, there is a word to describe the tendency to talk a lot: logorrhea. In fact, it is a symptom of some underlying psychological problem, usually manic, agitated, and anxious states.
Logorrhea is the quantitative alteration of the flow of language, characterized by the acceleration and prolixity of speech and the difficulty of being interrupted. That is, people talk a lot and fast, at an unusual pace that is very difficult to interrupt.
In many cases, logorrhea is caused by an acceleration of thinking. In practice, thought goes very fast, so speech is an expression of that speed. But unlike people who talk a lot about themselves or their problems, in this case there is a mental disorder.
Indeed, sometimes this person's speech can become incongruous or we fail to follow the logical thread, which is due to the fact that his thinking is so fast that the person can experience a "flight of ideas". Lacking central ideas, his speech can be disconnected.
In these cases, the person needs to seek specialized psychological help to treat the underlying disorder.
People who talk a lot don't always suffer from a disorder, sometimes it is simply a matter of self-centeredness. When there is no accelerated speech, and yet the person talks a lot about himself, he is likely to have a personality with narcissistic characteristics that leads him to think that he is the center of the universe and that only his problems are important. For these people, it is normal for the conversation, or rather the monologue, to revolve around them.
In fact, it doesn't even occur to them that their monologue will bore others. These are people so absorbed in themselves that they assume that everything that happens to them is of general interest. They are people who talk a lot and do not listen, people for whom the problems of others are not worthy of being taken into consideration.
Behind those attempts to monopolize the conversation usually lurks a great insecurity. People who talk a lot about themselves feel good when they get attention and others listen to them, because they interpret it as a sign of their worth.
These people's favorite topics of conversation are usually their successes and life stories, anything that can make them look beautiful in the eyes of others. So, basically, that monologue is nothing more than a need for constant self-affirmation. In fact, often the monologue is a way to hide their inner dialogue. The person does not want to listen but wants to be heard. It observes itself through others. Nietzche summed it up perfectly: “talking a lot about yourself is also a way to hide”.
The rosary of complaints
The content of the monologue of people who talk a lot is also important to understand what happens to them. While the person with narcissistic and self-centered traits usually bases their speech on their successes, there are other people who only talk about their problems.
In these cases our problems do not go into the background but are literally erased from the conversation. These are people who interrupt you when you talk because your difficulties, conflicts and problems are not as big and important as theirs, so they believe they have the right to monopolize the conversation.
In the long run, ten minutes spent next to them end up absorbing our energies as their conversation boils down to a series of complaints. People who only talk about their problems always find a reason to complain, they are unable to see the bright side of life.
Basically, these people, like narcissists, are deeply embedded in their egos and lack empathy, which prevents them from realizing that others also have problems and need support, or at least deserve to be heard.
However, unlike narcissists, these people decide to become the center of attention by taking on the role of the victims. In a way, stimulating compassion becomes a manipulative strategy towards others. This is a rather perverse manipulation mechanism that uses words, because while with the narcissist we usually have no problem with interrupting the talk about their successes, with people who only talk about their problems we get into a weird game, we feel forced to listen to them. In a way, their problems trap us, so we feel compelled to listen to them and have pity on them.
How to limit people who talk a lot?
Every conversation, to be rewarding and enriching, must be two-way. But it is essential to differentiate people who speak a lot due to a mental or neurological disorder from those who monopolize speech due to an excess of ego. People with logorrhea cannot contain their speech, no matter how hard they try. Therefore, they need psychological help. In other cases, if the person makes an effort, they can develop a more empathic attitude and allow space for conversation with others.
When you meet people who talk a lot and don't listen, it is desirable that at some point you tell them directly, always politely and trying to be positive, that in a conversation it is important to speak and listen. If you feel this relationship is seriously affecting you, draining your emotional energy, you will need to set limits and walk away.