You’ve got problems, I’ve got advice. This advice isn’t sugar-coated—in fact, it’s sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.
You’ve got problems, I’ve got advice. This advice isn’t sugar-coated—in fact, it’s sugar-free, and…
Keep in mind, I’m not a therapist or any other kind of health professional—just a guy who’s willing to tell it like it is. I simply want to give you the tools you need to enrich your damn lives. If for whatever reason you don’t like my advice, feel free to file a formal complaint here. Now then, let’s get on with it.
I’ve got this one coworker who just loves to hear himself talk, and for some reason he’s chosen me specifically to be the recipient of his blessings. He keeps coming up to me during lunch breaks wanting to talk European politics. I’m European and interested in politics so with anyone else I would usually welcome this topic; however, he isn’t actually interested in my opinion at all, he just seems to want to show off how much he knows. I know all of these things, probably better than him. But no matter how often I interjected “Yes, I know,” he just kept talking at me, getting louder and louder at every interjection, and keeping up a constant string of “umms” and “aahs” to make sure I couldn’t say anything even when he was picking his next words.
I am not very good at communicating when I’m uncomfortable in a situation, so I just sit there staring blankly at nothing while he talks in my general direction. The problem is, since he’s talking about something I actually find interesting, I do occasionally contribute something to the conversation, which obviously keeps him going.
The first thing you need to do is stop responding to him. At all. I know it’s hard because he’s talking about something you’re actually interested in, but you absolutely cannot respond in any way—even if you have the best retort ever. If you nod and give an occasional “mmm,” he’ll probably keep talking, but if you actually respond with words, he’ll ramble on ‘til the end of days my friend. You probably do know more than this guy, but that does not matter to him in the slightest. He’s seeking self-affirmation by spouting off his own political knowledge and garbage opinions. It’s what makes him feel whole, so if that bugs you, there’s no way you can interact with him and expect anything less than this ancient form of verbal torture.