Blake’s Advice Column
I am part of a couples group that gets together on a regular basis for dinner. The problem is one of the women takes over the conversation, and it becomes her monologue. She just won’t stop! She goes into minute detail about every aspect of her life for the last couple of weeks (or months or years!) and the lives of her family, friends, friends of family and friends of friends. These are people we don’t know and don’t care about!
We have tried to redirect the conversation by asking someone else a specific question. Before they can hardly comment, she jumps right in again. She’s a nice person, and a friend. Can you suggest a kind way we can fix this, or do we just have to exclude them from these dinners?
From Kansas City, Kansas
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Having someone dominate conversation as you describe is not only irritating, it shows poor etiquette. In this case, feel aggressive tactics must be employed to suppress the jaws of that lady, without mercy or sensitivity. Here are some suggestions. When she begins to speak, inform everyone else to immediately start conversations with each other, and maybe she’ll stop flapping her worn out gums when she realizes that no one is looking at her or listening. Or, have everyone wear a mask due to the corona virus so she won’t be sure who yells at her to “shut up!” Or, the men ought to get together in a separate area, and shame her husband into not being able to control his babbling bride, including threatening to beat him up and vandalize his vehicle. But if you want to show motor mouth that you want to be fair, bring a stop watch, and tell everyone they have a time limit on talking, and whoever speaks the most, must pay for everyone’s meal. At that point, I would encourage everyone to bring up provocative subjects that they know will prompt her to go on one of her mindless endless monologues. This will cause her to pay for so many consecutive meals, that she and her husband will be in financial ruins. The downside is, during the dinners after that, she’ll be talking nonstop about her upcoming bankruptcy. I hope this helps.