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Old September 5th, 2010, 11:03 PM
ThinkingMan ThinkingMan is offline
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Friends Who Monopolize Conversations

...how would you address that problem? As my confidence has grown from the growing number of small but significant victories of being a recovering NG, I've started more and more to notice that a significant number of friends have extremely poor social skills.

It's like once they know I'm actively listening, they treat the conversation as a 'captive audience' and seek some kind of esteem they never got from mommy and daddy when growing up. And they'll hardly let me get a word in until I talk over them, which I've starting doing, twice this weekend as a matter of fact.

I know how I'm going to address this problem and believe me, while it won't be cruel or abusive it will be very decisive and there will be no doubt as to where I stand on this unacceptable behavior. Being decisive is something I no longer have problems with since dealing with my formerly ingrained NG character deficiencies that enabled others to take advantage of me.

I'm curious. What, friends, would you do in my shoes? FYI, these are decent friends but hardly the deep kind of friendships that I can't afford to lose. So it's not a matter of my being lonely if I were to lose the friendships because of accountability that I might impose.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 01:04 AM
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I'm curious as to how you deal with this ThinkingMan? I've had this happen in the past when someone goes 'captive audience' on me. It really grates me when I'm being 'talked at'. I usually react by being passive-aggressive and trying to ignore them or move away which this isn't very effective.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 01:08 AM
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I lacked male buddies for such a length I can be guilty of talking too much.

It is something I have to keep aware of.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 01:36 AM
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I don't know that I get into the situations too much. I suppose if someone is going on for a long time I stop looking them in the eye and do something with my hands. After they complete a sentence or a thought I'll say, "That's a damn shame," or use some other conversation capper. I'm more of the type of guy who has "fun" conversations though. If someone is going on I'll start cracking jokes--and if it's ridiculous I'll make fun of how long the story's going. "Hey, I feel like you've been talking about this for a while now, what's your point?" Then I'll usually give out a big laugh. Unless someone has died or another tragic event has happened, literally every conversation I have is light-hearted.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 01:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett G View Post
I'm curious as to how you deal with this ThinkingMan? I've had this happen in the past when someone goes 'captive audience' on me. It really grates me when I'm being 'talked at'. I usually react by being passive-aggressive and trying to ignore them or move away which this isn't very effective.
I have no magic bullet to offer, but am keen to see some suggestions. I've been the captive audience far too often in my life. My Mom could talk for an hour without stopping to take a breath. I had all sorts of coping mechanisms, from daydreaming to smartass comments.

These days when someone tries that with me I'm better about excusing myself and moving on. And maybe that's all you need, rather than some magic line that "wins" the situation for you. If it's a friend, I'd find an opportunity when the filibuster is not taking place to talk about it and how your idea of an interesting conversation is to have give AND take.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 02:00 AM
MagicC MagicC is offline
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I do a lot of improv, and I've come to the conclusion that people who aren't actively trying to be creative do a *ton* of "scripting". That is, directing conversations to places where they can say the same stuff they've said before or have been thinking about long enough to be able to speak about it fluently. This prevents the anxiety of being in uncharted conversational territory.

To help people who have the desire to be "scripted", you can move the conversation to areas of common interest, where you can both speak fluently about the same subject. If they won't take the cues and insist on speaking about the initial subject they've established...well, there's not much you can do about that, except make yourself friends with greater commonality of interests and/or great social fluency.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 06:57 AM
Principled Man Principled Man is offline
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You now know what you will get from these people, so the next time you find yourself in this situation you have no one to blame but yourself. They won't change. Spend less time with them and go meet new people. It's unavoidable that you will end up spending some time with people who drain you, and monopolize conversations. It's best to just let these people be who they are and minimize the amount of "damage" they cause in your life by being highly selective about when and where you involve them in your life. As I said, now you know what you are going to get from these people, so you can go into interactions with them expecting it and therefore let it have as little affect on you as possible. They do this to everyone, I assure you, and it's got nothing to do with you.

Seek life.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 09:40 AM
ThinkingMan ThinkingMan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett G View Post
I'm curious as to how you deal with this ThinkingMan? I've had this happen in the past when someone goes 'captive audience' on me. It really grates me when I'm being 'talked at'. I usually react by being passive-aggressive and trying to ignore them or move away which this isn't very effective.
Brett,

I'm pretty close to what Principled Man posted as his opinion, which is a very good, insightful post. Once upon a time I used to cling to people like the ones I described in my original post because I was afraid of being alone. That was the best I could do at that time because I hadn't begun working on eliminating my NG behaviors.

As I've begun and progressed on the recovery process, combined with a revival of true faith in a loving God instead of dead and empty religion, things have drastically changed for the better.

I'm no longer afraid of being alone because I no longer see myself as someone undeserving of being loved and having as a friend. That's changed everything. Connections are being made with new people, meaningful, satisfying connections. But at a price. What is that price?

I must prune users and other types of unhealthy friendships from my life. That includes family relationships if necessary. I don't believe in abandoning people unless they want to abuse friendship/relationship with me without penalty or consequences.

What are those consequences? Loss of relationship and 'face time' with me. I wouldn't be able to draw such a strong boundary with people unless I'd experienced the small victories such as making new friends, connecting in a real and meaningful way with people and not just the surface BS that is about as exciting and meaningful as making out with a mannequin.

Society, religion included, would try to shame us with its own twisted beliefs that drawing strong boundaries with users such as those who I'm disconnecting from, is heartless and cruel. That's untrue but if society considers me as cruel, then so be it. I've had it with users, takers and other various types of well-meaning but nonetheless unhealthy people sucking the life out of me because they won't take strong action on their own personality defects.

All my relationships are going on a list of two categories. Giver and Taker. And face time around the Taker category will be severely curtailed and limited to controlled situations where I can leave if necessary. Even confront.

I don't relish having to take such measures. But not afraid of it, either. And I'm not being a true friend if I enable such unhealthy behavior in my friends to go unchallenged. If I'm that way I want my friends to confront me. And my Taker friends will soon have a decision to make as to their friendship with me.

I've already made my decision.
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