Signs You Talk Too Much
Do you have a problem where you talk too much when you are nervous? While your nervous chatter is probably annoying to you, it can have even worse outcomes for your listeners. If you talk about yourself too much, speak quickly, or ramble, you can appear not to be interested in other people. It might come across as lacking curiosity, lacking self-awareness, seeming like your self absorbed—or the worst (that you’re probably trying to avoid) that you are anxious or nervous.
Talking too much when nervous is usually an anxiety coping mechanism. While some people feel safer speaking less when they feel socially anxious, others relieve their anxiety by talking more.
Does this sound like you? While talking too much while nervous isn’t a common problem, it can be hard to deal with. Keep reading for more ideas about what to do if you struggle with this issue.
Why Do I Talk So Much When I’m Nervous?
There are multiple potential underlying reasons why you talk so much when you get nervous. The first step to understanding why you do it is to consider the situations when it tends to happen. Have a look at the list below and see if any of these situations resonate with you.
You talk too much when…
- Meeting new people
- Asked a question that makes you uncomfortable
- Talking to people in authority or those who intimidate you (or who you think don’t like you)
- Feeling the need to impress people or put on a show
- Feeling as though an awkward silence is something you can’t handle
- You’re afraid of what someone will say next (e.g., if you think they are mad at you or won’t like what you have to say)
There can also be a number of internal reasons why you might talk too much when you are nervous. Below are some to consider:
- You have social anxiety and talking is a “masking” or coping strategy to deal with it
- You have social anxiety and constantly feel as though others are judging you (which makes you talk more, ironically)
- You come from a family or culture that talks a lot or talks quickly
- You don’t get to express your opinions often, and so rush to get them out when you get the chance
- You have been the outsider in the past and don’t want others to feel that way (so you talk a lot to make them feel less awkward)
Am I Actually Talking Too Much?
What if you don’t have a lot of self-awareness about your talking? There are a few strategies that you can employ if this is the case.
- Watch to see the nonverbal behavior of the person you are talking to. Have they gone silent or are they fidgeting? That could mean that they’ve lost interest in what you are saying.
- If you’re still not sure, you can even ask or say something like, “I’ve really been hogging the conversation. What about you, what do you think about…”
What to Do If You Feel Bad When You Talk Too Much
If you feel that you talk too much when you are nervous, you might wonder what you can do to fix the situation. Below are some ideas to help you get past the nervous chatter when you feel anxious, and actually start connecting with people.
Try asking questions and practicing being a better listener. When you do speak, try to be concise and make sure you are asking for other people’s opinions in addition to sharing your own.
Examine your thinking patterns. What are you telling yourself that makes you talk more? Some examples might be “People will only like me if I share impressive stories,” or “People will think I’m awkward if there are silences or breaks in the conversation.” Sometimes this can also take the form of “People can see I’m anxious, so I’ll just say this as quickly as I can to get the spotlight off of me.” You might even unconsciously talk as a way of soothing your anxiety. Instead, try developing good conversation skills so that you can feel the flow of a more natural conversation without rambling so much all the time.
If one of your problems is speaking too quickly, try practicing slow talk for social anxiety. When you practice speaking more slowly on your own, you’ll naturally start to do it with other people.
Is Compulsive Talking a Personality Disorder?
Nervous chatter, hyperverbal speech, talking too much… whatever you want to call it, it can be a symptom of some mental health issues, but it’s not a personality disorder itself.
If you talk so much that you repeat yourself and start to irritate yourself, it could be a sign of a larger mental health problem. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be one cause of talking too much. Manic episodes as part of a bipolar disorder can be another cause. Finally, if you drink too much alcohol or caffeine, these could also be related to talking too much.
If you’re concerned that your over-talking is related to a mental health issue or other problem, it’s best to speak to your doctor to rule out potential causes.
How to Stop Someone Else From Talking Too Much
Okay, so we’ve talked about what to do if you talk too much when you are nervous. But what do you do if you’re actually on the receiving end of someone else who is talking too much? If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few different things that you can do.
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First, you can try to change the subject if they’ve gone off on a tangent monologue and you haven’t gotten a word in edgewise for a while. You can also try to jump in and say something about what they are talking about, to turn it into a conversation rather than a monologue. It’s entirely possible that the other person (just like you , if you are the over-talker), either doesn’t realize what they are doing or doesn’t know how to stop. They might feel quite relieved if you try to help them out of this predicament.
Finally, if you tend to beat yourself up after talking too much, or obsess over the things that you over-shared, examining your thought patterns will be helpful. My CBT workbook can help you to get a handle on your anxious thoughts related to social anxiety. If you sign up for my email list, you’ll be directed to a special offer just for my new subscribers where you can grab both my CBT workbook and Mindfulness workbook for special price (digital downloads, that you can start using right away).
Related Posts About Conversation Anxiety
- 6 Ways to Keep a Conversation Going (Even If You Have Social Anxiety)
- How to End a Conversation (in 6 Easy Steps)
- How to Manage Conversation Anxiety
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Why Do I Talk So Much When I’m Nervous?
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