I need help. There’s a problem I’ve been battling internally and I’m no longer willing to tolerate it – people who waste my time with their endless chatter. These verbose individuals show up in a number of ways:
- Those who talk too much about boring things and never stop to take a breath.
- Those whose problems are a broken record and feel the need to talk about the same issue without end.
- People who take far too long to say goodbye (let it go already).
- Random strangers who suck you into their vortex of need and you’re too polite to just walk away.
- People who hit you with invasive questions like a machine gun or those who won’t shut up about themselves. Opposite sides of the same coin.
Sometimes these offenders are your family members, sometimes they are strangers you meet at the dog park and hope to never see again. What I’m looking for is a way to escape from these time pigs. It’s not always possible to avoid them and sometimes they are people I enjoy talking to (briefly). The question is: How do I kindly tell someone to get to the point or end a conversation that’s going nowhere?
I know a big part of the issue stems from my past history of providing an outlet for ranters, complainers and treadmill types with blinders on. No amount of listening on my part will satiate their needs so the best thing I can do for both of us is take care of my own needs and raise the value of my time. Maybe I should carry one of those receipt books and as they ramble, write out an invoice for them. How much should I charge? $100/minute? And what about people on the phone? Should I use my best automated lady voice and inform them of my rates before they even open their mouth?
I’m putting this question out into the world with the hopes that our collective, creative brains can find a solution. Leave your comments, questions or ideas below and I’ll post an update as new info becomes available.