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“I wrote that article,” gave me a pure, literal, and borderline dopey grin.

The “Invite-Only” filter is real. I never had the language for it, and live in that camp. It is, in defense of the word-hoses, a little inflexible—I’m told getting an outline of my day takes a police interrogation.

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I for sure heard from some of the long-talkers, Dennard, that they feel the short-talkers are NOT holding up their end of the conversation and so they have to the labor of keeping the dialogue going.

I'm also primarily invite-only and now I'm curious if it's innate or indoctrinated by one's family situation. I suspect the former as my brother grew up in the same milieu (obviously) and is a big-time "volunteer".

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My siblings run the gamut there too. Maybe it's the universe trying to balance itself. Like speed-walkers and sidewalk phalanxes.

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Maybe something to do with gender expectations/responses as well? The brother/volunteer, sister/invitation only example may be a coincidence, but I've seen studies from classrooms about how much more time teachers spend interacting with male students than females, and, well, do guys maybe get encouraged to talk more?

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This was fascinating to hear that the monologue-ers seem to get it, but still also kinda don’t? I’ve long had a dream of inventing wearable conversation monitors that show what percentage of time each person has been talking. Then you know if you’re at 75%, you need to zip it and let the other get to 50%. Any tech ppl out there who can build this? Let’s Shark Tank it!

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Ahhhhhhh! Tina I had the exact same idea! I even picture the visual images it could generate.

It's interesting, I do use Otter to transcribe interviews, which does provide a breakdown. Because its interviews and not normal conversation, its typically 10 percent me and 90 percent the other person. Which is just as it should be.

But what I find very telling is that in some cases, the very dense text blocks generated by the person I am interviewing can go on for an entire page or more. And that's happening when the person is monologuing to an extent I can't even interrupt with a question. It's fun to see my impression validated in such a concrete way.

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Oh, yes, please. I would invest in your start-up in a minute.

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Jun 17Liked by Anne Kadet

My mom is a super-monologuer and she’s gotten worse with age. I realized it was really bad when 11 years ago I called her on a layover from Achorage and I was so excited to be in Alaska. And I said hi mom I’m in Alaska can you believe it???? And she said, oh, and then monopolized the next ten minutes until she said well, I gotta run, nice to hear from you and hung up. I walked over to my future husband and just started crying. I did try to confront her at some point. She got really angry which is not typical. I refused to call her and we had this 3-4 week standoff that she finally broke. Since then though I realized she has ADHD!!! Textbook case that manifests in a lot of ways but she has no awareness of this being a “thing”. That’s made it easier, just knowing that it’s not a choice. She makes effort on occasion and she definitely tries to listen and not interrupt. Some days it works, definitely better in person and other days I just put on headphones and go about my day like she’s a personalized radio station.

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Awww that's a sweet story, Maria. I love that it went from being a heartbreaking situation (which I totally relate to!), to one where you came to understand what was going on and have been able to empathize.

I also have dealt with long-talkers by thinking of them as little radios. Nothing wrong with a little background noise, haha!

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And I'm 76 and just discovered that I'm ADHD! AND I'm A serious long talker, along the lines of the lovely Miss Emma! I typically harangue people about rocks, women in scripture, my favorite place to buy clothes and Marketplace India. Com's place in transforming women's lives but that's about it. And if someone has a fascinating monolog I'll pack it in promptly!

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You sound like a lot of fun to me, Therry! And I always love your comments.

Rocks?

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GEMS AND MINERALS! I'm a big time collector, and I just introduced my great nephews to collecting rocks, so that's what I'm longtalking about at the moment. I also left out my favorite subject to long talk about, the historian Peter Brown, who discovered and promulgated the field of Late Antiquity, which is what we used to call the Dark Ages. He found out all this fascinating information about the kingdoms and communities that were flourishing under what remained of Roman rule after Rome itself fell under the rule of the Barbarians ibn 410 CE. turns out the Roman colonies continued to flourish for centuries, and he can tell you all about them. I can talk a great deal about his influence on the field of historiography!! Whoo HOO!

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LOL

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I sense a jewelry-related post in the Cafe’s future! All those fabulous jewelry stores in NYC?!

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If the conversation sticks with great jewelry stores on the Etsy app, you won't be able to shut me up. Brick and mortar makes me tired.

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My wife has a fridge magnet that reads Sorry I slapped you, but you wouldn't stop talking and I panicked

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LOL its funny that long-talking is such a common and widely acknowledged occurrence that it inspires fridge magents!

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Yikes, that’s quite the magnet! Hope everything is okay.

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Okay this is hilarious.

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Jun 17Liked by Anne Kadet

I desperately hoped to find a strategy here--some way to extricate myself from the nightmare that has become my life--but I knew deep down I'd be disappointed. There is just no roadmap to escape my particular corner of hell. But I ask all of you to please remember as your chatty friend drones on and on over eggs benedict that things could be worse. At least you're not an overnight doorman in a residential building where a long-talking insomniac camps at the desk for 4-5 hours EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. What was once simply emotional discomfort has morphed into actual physical pain as Chatty Charlie launches into hour 2 about his uncle Morty's bout of angina. I've had literal thoughts about going full Van Gogh and chopping off one of my ears and handing it to him. Unfortunately, it would only lead to a dissertation on cauterization techniques in the Civil War era. It's a hostage situation in every sense of the word and things are getting dire. Ironically, I'm mostly there for the health insurance so the therapy and benzos are fairly affordable. Aaaaaaand now I'm rambling--which is also ironic.

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Awwww John I'm sorry you didn't find anything in the story to help you! That sounds horrible!

It's funny, I talked about this with my own doorman (also named John). Because clearly, that is an occupation where you have no choice but to listen to folks who decide they want to talk to you, for as long as they want. He said he does get a lot of chatty folks who go on for a long time. Both building residents and people in the neighborhood. He said he does not mind and in fact even enjoys the listening as part of the job. On the other hand, he has not encountered anything like what you're experiencing.

All I can do is offer my sympathies, which you've got!

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Jun 17Liked by Anne Kadet

And I thank you. Between moral support from the cool writer and the knowledge that lack of sleep can lead to heart disease and stroke, I think I've got a few more shifts before I seek the sweet release of walking out the front door and into oncoming traffic.

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Jun 17·edited Jun 18Author

Haha, I'm sorry, but that just made me laugh so hard! Wishing you the best for your situation, John!

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Jun 18Liked by Anne Kadet

Would you be allowed to wear earphones while on duty and explain you are trying to learn french/spanish etc?

or say you have a sudden onset of tinnitus - you need to minimise noises?

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I am dead serious when I say he would only go on for an hour about all things tinnitus. In fact, he'd attempt to do it in French/Spanish if I stacked both lies. After over 30 years of bartending/doorman work I'm pretty good skillfully forcing social cues on people...this guy's my kryptonite.

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Jun 17Liked by Anne Kadet

I'm an Invite-Only, and I finally feel seen!

Thank you, Anne.

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I found this so helpful as well, drew! It's intersting to have a little label for something I've experienced my whole life.

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As an introvert and avowed short talker, I for one welcome outbursts of extreme garrulousness, especially if I am at a party. Any minute spent listening to someone else talk is a minute I don't have to.

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I am always relieved to find the long-talker at the party too, Rob, especially if I don't know anyone.

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Jun 17Liked by Anne Kadet

Me too! While I’m happy to chat away with friends, parties are SO difficult!!

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ALRIGHT!

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Jun 17Liked by Anne Kadet

“Once upon a time, I had a friend I'll call Gabby.” GABBY. 🤣👏👏👏

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Long live Gabby, wherever she may be gabbing!

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Haha, sounds like a story I need to hear! 😂👏

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As an autistic person, I do recognize when I am potentially am annoying people when I talk too much- which is generally why I don't talk too much.

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My understanding, David, is that this is something that an autistic person can to LEARN how to do, but it's not intuitive. Is that correct David?

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Yes. We can self-educate ourselves very easily on the topics we're interested in, but we need to have friends and family members tell us if it's necessary to know some socialization thing.

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My high functioning autistic son (31) can talk about the characteristics of people named Steven/Stephen (VERY different!) for an hour....lots of reminiscences about his junior high years and people we used to see in church 20 years ago.

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He even invented a word: "Stepthesizing": you are talking about something that I don't want to talk about".

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Reciting facts from newspaper articles...

I've never had this happen to me with a piece of my own writing, but I do have a good friend and travel companion who does this at night when we're both exhausted and I (for one) would prefer to listen to music or sleep.

I have once or twice used the line "Don't read the internet out loud".

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I have a friend who dreads phone calls with her mom, which she refers to as “Amy Reads the Internet.”

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So funny, Tina. I wonder what percent of long-talking frustrations involves kids listening to their parents? That, to me, seems to be the most common complaint. And is it ever the other way around?

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It's intriguing that Anne describes these folks as people "who see others purely as a personal audience for their never-ending performance".

I see *myself* purely as a personal audience for the never-ending performance of everyone else!

This does discourage Long Talking but it still makes people hate you. Maybe Anne can do a follow-up column about the members of our community.

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That's a great idea, Jeff. I've been talking about this article (hopefully not long-talking) with some friends and a few had the same suggestion.

And then there are the short-talkers who just don't talk enough, IMHO.

If only everyone talked exactly the right amount that worked perfectly for me!

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It's not the short-talking that bothers people, exactly. It's when they eventually decide that behind the short-talking you're probably judging them.

Because you are. This is the only piece of journalism that's ever made me feel seen:

https://www.theonion.com/quiet-guy-mistaken-for-nice-guy-1819568667

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Oh lord. I do relate.

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Oh no. I LOVE to read and share facts from articles! But that is a good line for sure.

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It's fine! Within reason! But with him it's like "I am literally lying in the next bed, scrolling on my phone while you scroll on yours. Why do you think that's a conversation-starter when it's obviously a substitute for conversation?"

See, maybe it's one of those AITA situations. If we just agreed to scroll the same content at the same time I'd have something intelligent to say in response and it wouldn't turn into a monologue... I guess?

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I’m going to just start exclaiming “SQUIRREL!” 🐿️

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I would LOVE to try some of the more outrageous suggestions, KS. Please let us know if you do and what happens!

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Jun 17Liked by Anne Kadet

We do it with my brother. He’s definitely on the autism spectrum and gets so excited about things, veering off to different topics as he goes. We all just go ‘Squirrel’ and he laughs and stops. He really appreciates us letting him know.

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Aww that makes me happy to hear Beth!

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Jun 17Liked by Anne Kadet

This article is a gift to the world <3 Great insights! I have several friends who are long-talkers, and I related to the reasons for long-talking more than I thought I would. (And I myself can prattle on when I have the right audience of treasured friends.)

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Thanks for your kind words Emily!

One of the conclusions I'm drawing is that very short-talker has an inner long talker, but I don't think there's such a thing as a long-talker with an inner short-talker!

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This is a great topic! I've been married to an over-talker for 33 years, and lots of these suggestions are really helpful. Why does he do it? In my experience, my husband talks as a way to think whereas I'm the opposite -- I think in order to talk. I wouldn't want to open my mouth until I've thought an issue all the way through. It results in lots of his talking and lots of my silent thinking. I suppose we fit together like two puzzle pieces that way. But some of these suggestions are worth trying, for sure -- thank you!

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I know some people who think outloud as well, Heather, and think I do it myself at times. I know I must—because sometimes I understand something better or arrive at a new insight while I'm talking. And I'm glad people give me the space to do that.

I do think it's considerate, in general, to do the mental work before I start talking. But my understanding is that some people, like you said about your husband, can only think by talking! After 33 years of this, I imagine you must know his mind so well. Marriage!

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I am gobsmacked Gabby just dropped you! GOBSMACKED!!

I like to talk but after about two minutes off talking about myself I feel terrible for hogging the conversation and immediately start asking questions. I've even had people stop me and say, "Please finish what you were saying" because I so abruptly pass the torch off.

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I have some friends like you, Michael! They'll be saying something extremely interesting and then suddenly get self-conscious and turn the conversation back to me! Which is endearing but I often wish they'd continue without interrupting themselves.

And not totally sure that your claim to be GOBSMACKED is sarcastic but suspect it may be...

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Not sarcastic at ALL!

SHE DROPPED YOU!! THAT'S AWFUL!!! WHAT KIND OF PERSON DOES THAT!!! NO, I DON'T KNOW WHY I'M BEING SO SHOUTY!!!

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This make me think back to school, when the teachers would look for a student to answer a question and only a few people would ever raise their hand so they'd be the only students talking most of the time. I was one of those few, I can clearly remember several times where I made a point of not raising my hand since I felt I already talked a lot that class, but nobody else raised their hand so nothing happened until I raised mine despite very much not wanting to.

That sounds like a reasonable long talker origin story, never been called a long talker (most times I feel cut off from conversations with more than two people because I can't get a word in at all), but I doubt the 'literally nobody else in class is willing to answer a basic question' experience is unique and I can see how it'd build a habit.

Anyway I'm forwarding this to some relatives because I know exactly who they'll think of with this piece.

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Ah, the classroom hand wavers!

I think it was Emma, in the story, who also said she was also a classroom hand waver. I'm looking through the transcript now....

Yep, she said:

"It was very like, 'Emma, you need to keep your hand down.' And I was like, "Damn, that's crazy. You asked if anybody has an answer, and nobody else in the classroom's raising their hand. What am I gonna do, shut the f— up?"

I was also a hand waver! Even though I am more of a listener, I had SO much to say in class. Maybe it was because the professor was asking a question! Being an "invite-only" person, I loved it when it seemed like someone maybe actually wanted to hear from me.

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Many moons ago was on the phone with a man known to go on and on. Put the landline phone down

gently, went to the kitchen to make myself lunch, took a few bites, brought the food back and got back on the phone. He never noticed I was gone. Probably did this as a test so I could announce it to our circle of friends. He was good looking and smart, not a loser.

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I think we've all been tempted to do this, Sharon, but few actually try!

What really strikes me about your story is that no matter what the meal is, it has to take a least a few minutes to make lunch. I freak out if I talk for more than maybe a few sentences on the phone and don't get at least an "um-hm or a "right" in response.

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Oh I’ve done this many times. They never notice and it’s actually amusing. You don't even need an occasional umhum

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