How to tell your friend to shut up
When you’re in the presence of someone who won’t stop talking, your nerves might be frayed. At some point, it’s usually acceptable to intervene and kindly request that they be quiet. It is possible, so pay attention!
1. Requesting that someone with you remain quiet.
This is for the overly verbose friend, coworker, or family.
1. Interrupt them and politely beg them to stop. Come up with something like, “It’s been great chatting with you, but you really need to either speak your bit or go now.”
- As an example: “It’s been great to hear all you’ve had to say, Sally, but I’m running out of time, and I have to let you know that X and then I have to go. Do you mind if I briefly explain this and then flee? We’ll try again another day.”
2. Determine the scenario. In certain instances, it’s OK to just say “see ya” and go or retreat into your own world. When a neighbor comes over, are you out grocery shopping, having your nails done, walking the dog down the street, or sitting in your house? If you were or are doing any of these things, it’s OK to get up and walk away, or just make a gesture indicating you’ve heard but are now focused on something else.
3. Stop paying attention. If the individual continues to speak without pausing or allowing you to speak, cease worrying whether or not they are in the midst of speaking. All of them are “me time” scenarios. This allows you the right to ignore them and go about your business.
4. Make motions. Show that it’s time to call it a day with these well-known gestures geared at indicating that enough is enough.
- Start to tap your watch. Maybe the person will see that you are pressed for time.
- In the middle of the conversation, just start yawning and looking away. Do this every five minutes. This clues the person that you are tired and need some rest.
5. Go engage in another discussion with someone you know. Make certain that the individual does not follow you. You’re on your own if this occurs. They’ve evolved into stalkers!
6. Make an excuse. This is the most enjoyable part. You are capable of being inventive. You may say things like, “I’m running late for salsa class,” “I forgot to change my bed,” and “It’s time for me to juice my grapes.”
7. If none of the foregoing works, firmly say to the individual speaking, “Please be silent for a bit!” You’ve had enough, and they’ve earned such abruptness when they absolutely refuse to quit. Once they’ve recovered from their astonishment and understood what you’ve done, either apologize for being a little too abrupt or rise up and make an effort to get them to go. In any case, understanding how it affects you will make them think twice before ear-bashing you in the future.
- A less pushy approach might be to indicate that they are just talking too much by saying something like, “The quieter you get, the more you can hear.” Alternatively, “Can you hear what I’m saying? It’s the sound of just being.”
- If the individual has been gossiping, some curt remarks include: “If you can’t be kind/positive, be silent.” Alternatively, “So much to say about the same subject! It implies to me that you aren’t as innocent as you claim.” Alternatively, “If it’s not your tale, don’t tell it.”
- “The trick to being dull is to say everything,” you might remark if you’re really fed up and nasty. Just be aware that it is likely to startle the other person.
2. Requesting that someone in your immediate area stay quiet.
This is for those who like chit-chatting at the library.
1. Request that the individual cease conversing or creating noise. Ask them if they mind moving their discussion someplace else in the room where it is acceptable, or if they mind speaking softly.
2. Inform the talkative individual that it is interfering with your job and that you are unable to focus. Only do this if they respect you; a bully or a domineering person will find it humorous.
3. Request that another individual advise the talkative person to be quiet. If someone refuses to remain quiet at a library or other quiet environment, bring it to the attention of those in control. They will enforce silent rules on your behalf.
4. When you urge folks to be quiet, be calm and respectful. Most individuals don’t plan to speak loudly, and some are unaware of how far the sound travels.