Dear Blake,

I frequently get together to play cards with a small group of women from my gated community. The newest member, however, never stops talking and becomes surly if she doesn’t win. We all find her annoying and try to avoid playing at her table. When we gently told her the nonstop chatter and constant complaints are distracting, she told us she has no intention of changing. “Take me as I am, or don’t associate with me,” she has said.

Since we don’t want to give up the games or play behind her back, we HAVE to associate with her. In a social setting, she is more bearable and, at heart, is a good and generous person. Advice?

Signed, Peggy
From Richmond, Virginia

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Dear Peggy,

People who talk nonstop can drive anyone crazy. So I would suggest that you and the other players should privately declare war on Ms. Motor Mouth. Here are some possible battlefield tactics. Tell everyone to wear a headset and listen to music, so it will be obvious to her that she is being tuned out. Or, when she starts gabbing, the other three at the table should start talking among themselves about a pre-selected topic that you’re sure she knows nothing about. Or this one. Everyone should start to nod off when she speaks, and maybe with the constant snoring she will realize how boring she is and then shut up. And if none of those work, try this one. Anytime she speaks, the other three should get up and go to the bathroom, go make a phone call, go for a brief walk outside, etc. When she finally picks up the hints, hopefully she’ll be so reluctant to talk, that she’ll only communicate with hand signals. I hope this helps.