Sun 2 Aug, 2009 08:30 am
Whether it is a spouse, significant other, relative, friend, or colleague, most of us have at least one. What I am referring to is a person who constantly harps on one subject, be it politics, health, money, the boss, the state of his lawn, etc.
The subjects may be global, or mundane, but there is one commonality. The person involved will use any excuse to bring the subject up. We attempt to be polite, attempt to change the subject, but to no avail.
How many of us have one of these people in our lives, and what is the subject of this person's tirades? How do you deal with it? Please share.
yeah, that describes me to a T, my favorite and only subject is ME. I can talk about ME endlessly and to anyone whether they listen or not.
Aw, shaddup, dys!
I hear that all the time, I hear it so often I have learned to ignore it and just keep on talking.
I don't have to listen to this person more than a few times a week. But I would have to tell her that if we lived together. She has a two track mind. Every maintenance problem is linked, even if the first in the string occurred five years ago. And you get questioned and called back over it several times each work request. Secondly, she presses on you her beliefs about Armageddon and Obama's allowing the Muslims to to infiltrate and destroy America. Common denominator: The sky is falling. I walk around the building to avoid her apartment if at all possible.
I can talk about ME endlessly and to anyone whether they listen or not.
And most of the time we dont...LOL
Wow. A topic close to my heart, unfortunately.
My brother has a tendency to do this. He'll fixate on a subject, whether it's his job or his son, and will talk about that thing incessantly. For years and years he talked about his son the athlete (before the kid got busted for selling drugs) nonstop, to anyone and everyone who found themselves unlucky enough to be in his presence. It was driving the entire family insane. I finally asked him if he was aware of doing this and he told me yes so, what could you say after that, huh? Now, for the last five years or so, it's been his job. Every phone conversation we have begins with the blow-by-blow on whatever is going on there and I let him have the floor for awhile, unless he's repeating himself, which he does often. (I always make a point of letting him know that because it reeeeeally annoys me.) After awhile I eventually shut him down, politely change the subject and he's very good about it. He won't work his job back into the conversation. At least, not with me. My aunt claims that he does and it drives her crazy but that's another story.
It's my stepson who drives me crazy. It's gotten to a point where I can hardly stand to be around him now. His favorite topic is himself and just how fabulous he is. It's hard to say when this started, he wasn't always like this, but in the last few years he's been quite successful on his job and although he's always been successful at every job he's held, this one carries more prestige and now, the man can't stop talking about himself. This is the son who likes to drink so, as he drinks, he becomes increasingly self-centered, the star that every conversation must circle around, and often I have to just leave the room. His father and I have never touched on this even once so I don't know what he feels about it but, when I change the subject, bring up anything from politics to sports to entertainment, my stepson will find a way, any way, to work himself back in as the main topic. It's all about him, all the time, and it makes me sick. Apparently his sister and brother have indicated something to him because he's said to me that he thinks they are jealous of him. It took everything I had to keep a straight face. And stay out of it.
I know it's a lack of self-esteem and the need to impress that drives this type of behavior and do try to see it from that angle but I personally resent being put upon this way and I'm certain that this is one of the reasons he's almost 40 and still single. I'd bet money he does this very same thing on first dates.
I have a cousin who I whom I met as a kid, as she lives in Florida, and I was there on vacation. We have reconnected since I moved here. We don't have much in common, but I must say that she does attempt to keep a "thread" going.
The problem is, every time that we speak, she gives an "organ recital", and I seem to fall into it. I have heard, in agonizing detail, about everything that is wrong with her, and believe me, it is a lot. I find myself countering with my health problems. I don't think that is particularly healthy for me.
I know that she means well, and I like her, sort of, (in small doses) but I know that she is very bright, and should have more to say than retelling at great length, the state of her health.
I don't think I have adequately described the surgical scar from my hip replacement. Should I send you photos?
I never ask myself any questions that require me to answer.
Only rhetorical questions ?
You should look at the bright side-- you just need some more friends.
If you have a baseball friend... a politics friend... a French cooking friend... a dirty talk friend... a neighborhood gossip friend... then you can choose which friend to call (and thus the topic of conversation) when ever you are in the mood.
It sounds like a winning situation for everyone involved.
This might be a good day to call Dys. He's my curmudgeon friend.
My cousin Pat is a great guy with two fine sons. They play baseball and hockey.
Constantly. And Pat gives you updates. Constantly. Liam hit has hit four home
runs this summer. Seamus hit a three-run triple yesterday. And so it goes.
Some of us - well, most of us - get very self involved at different times - it's natural, at least to get that way in our own minds. Most people learn to cope with their own dramas, if not well, at least with some sense re splattering them all around us in a solipsistic way in some constant manner. We have a monitor for how people are reacting, whether or not we curb our excesses immediately.
I don't think some people have a monitor for this, or their usual monitor goes wacko.
I have a family member I'll say I love, still do. But I did notice over the years, that in all our conversations, all our visits, all our talks into the night back in the old days when I used to visit her family and we would all talk until 3 a.m. after putting the kids to bed.. that a huge proportion of the talk was her detailing what was going on with her and her life.
I had in the meantime been having my own busy roller coaster rides, but they'd be dispatched shortly. Her husband talked moderately often, but more about philosophy and other general subjects.
This can get to be a pattern, because the person essentially ignored - I think it's more complex than ignored, and will get back to that - starts to give up on being heard in any complementary way (I don't mean complimentary). Or maybe the opposite, may forget the correct spellings.
I think low self esteem does have something to do with it. I think that I, the much more unheard person, was someone liked, respected, and resented at the same time, somewhat envied. The conversation hog thing wasn't meant, really, or even noticed by the person going on and on. It was a stage to be, to her, finally heard, listened to. But, the thirty fifth time, one perceives an unequal distribution of concern.
With many people with this Over and Over thing going on, I pick up a big I am a Victim thing happening, which of course may be true, but still.. Or an I Can't Believe This Is Happening to Me thing, that seems to occlude or preclude normal back and forth. This listener becomes an Ear personified.
This is normal when we're in crises, to some extent, but gums up communication when it goes on and on.
What to do about it? I'm no therapist, would be interested in answers. I don't have anyone in my life doing this right now, which is restful.
Maybe I should just get a "Ask me about my grandbaby" tee shirt and let someone else have the opportunity to talk about someone besides theirself
Uh, oh, I have my own behavior thing in that I wait for people to tell me personal stuff; this is often a rather short time. This is either polite or a serious fault. So I don't know anything about your family, Roger (not uninterested).
I do have one pal who, when you next see her, hits ya with at least twenty questions. I later learned that she picked this up from her mother (so it goes). It's even a joke now between friends, how we are.
I think a person suddenly behaving this way (even if it goes on for three years, say) is in distress. Not to suggest counselling as an answer to everything, but a sharp counsellor is worth his or her weight. Sometimes it's as simple as seeing yourself as a character in a book behaving this way; or just someone else you know and seeing yourself in them. Or just the right person stepping you back and telling you what you are doing. Of course, that person may lose a friend.