Wedding Woes

Stop nodding along and interrupt him

Dear Prudence,
I recently moved into a shared house with three roommates I hadn’t known before. All three are friendly guys, but one in particular is a talker. I set a timer on my phone, and he talked at me for 35 minutes without me saying a single word, just smiling and nodding along. This happens several times a week. Since I spend significant time in the kitchen and living room, how do I set proper boundaries to avoid these extensive monologues? He’s a kind person—he just gives me no room to have a human conversation. Should I interrupt his never-ending orations, keep grinning and bearing it, or find some middle ground?

—Chatty Roommate

Re: Stop nodding along and interrupt him

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If LW wants to partake in the conversation, he should interject.  "Yes, I know exactly what you are talking about.  I've had X, Y, and Z happen to me as well!"  or "I don't agree with that, here is what I think. . ."
  • This is my brother in law. He's super nice, but a talker who thinks he has the-most-important-thing-ever to say about every topic. It's exhausting. But yeah, we interject when we have something to say, and he listens. Break into the conversation when you have something to contribute, don't just record how long he talks. That's weird. 
  • Break in, or tell him you'd prefer silence. 

    I have a friend who I'm beginning to suspect can't handle silence. I don't see him super often in person, so it's fine - I do just nod along, because a lot of the time I don't have anything to say, and it doesn't bother me - but if we were in the same house? "That's awesome, Jim. If you don't mind, I'm going to [listen to a podcast, read a book, whatever], so I won't be available to talk. Thanks!" 
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