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15 Things Only Talkative People Would Understand

15 Things Only Talkative People Would Understand

You’ve probably seen those Peanuts cartoons involving Charlie Brown having a phone conversation with his grandmother, or a sales lady, in which the person on the other end of the line sounds like a trombone with a sock stuck inside it: “Whaa-whaa-whaa-whaa-whaa.”

And if you’ve ever been accused of talking too much, you’ve probably been mocked with that same voice.

Talkative people have a hard life. On the one hand, everyone’s always telling you to shut up. And on the other, you’re just expected to show up at every social event with a pocket full of acerbically witty conversation starters that would make Oscar Wilde swoon in admiration.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. Here are 15 things only those talkative people would understand.

1. You end a lot of your conversations with an apology

Your friends love you. You know they do, or they’d probably have all pooled their money together to have your tongue surgically removed, but that doesn’t stop you from going home from a coffee date with your best friend, cudgeling your brains to make sure you remembered to ask her if she got that job she’d interviewed for, or how her husband is.

Case-in-point: Last week, I texted a friend to ask if we could meet for ice cream; I was juggling three writing projects with the skill of an amateur plate-spinner, while trying to talk my parents through multiple health issues from 500 miles away, and my brain felt like over-cooked spaghetti.

After unceremoniously unloading on my friend, I looked up from my sadly empty ice cream cup and said, “I’m sorry. I just yammered at you for an hour.” The fact that I regularly render the same listening service to my friends, or the fact that I obviously needed an ear, didn’t stop me fearing that she’d probably wished I had laryngitis that day.

2. You can’t keep a secret

Well, actually, you can, but you make it a rule that anyone must inform you of your roll as secret keeper before entrusting you with classified information so that you remember to switch on the brain-to-mouth filter. Remember that episode of “The Big Bang Theory” when Penny made Sheldon swear he wouldn’t tell Leonard that she’d lied about finishing community college? If anyone forgets to activate the secret-keeping clause with you, it’s not going to end well.

I learned this lesson the hard way in high school when I entrusted one soul on the planet with the name of the boy I secretly wanted to go to the Senior Prom with and made her swear not to tell him. She didn’t, but one night while at the local coffee shop, she boldly asked me in front of the rest of our girlfriends whether or not I’d worked up the courage to ask him to the prom.

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“That’s classified information!” I hissed.

“What? I didn’t tell him. I swear I didn’t,” she protested.

“No,” I said, “but you just told everyone at this table, not to mention everyone else in earshot.”

Given the fact that half the student body usually congregated at this particular coffee shop on weekends, the information eventually reaching the boy in question was an inevitability.

3. You’re famous for maxing out your Twitter API limit on a five-minute firect message conversation

140 characters? Who are you kidding? And TweetLonger is your friend.

Recently I became rather enthusiastic in a debate with a friend about the merits of Benedict Cumberbatch versus Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes. and no sooner had my Twitter client run out of DMs than I received an email from the friend I’d been chatting with, containing the subject line “You need to stop breaking Twitter. Seriously.”

4. You sometimes catch yourself having structured conversations with your smartphone

I’m not actually sure why I do this. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m lonely and single, and talking to Siri simulates human contact. Or maybe the movie “Her” just had a more profound impact on me than I realized.

Whatever the reason, sometimes, instead of simply barking out, “Text Kate,” I ask, “Siri, can you text Kate?” I like to think she appreciates the courteous gesture.

5. You interrupt yourself

You know exactly what I’m talking about. The perfect example: So, I was running errands yesterday, and when I was in the checkout line at the grocery store, I got stuck behind a woman wearing a hat with so many feathers it looked like she had a giant bird perched on her head, and – wait, did I ever tell you about the time I ran over a bird with my car? That was awful, because I’m terrified of birds. I never told you why I’m terrified of birds, did I?

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Your friends must love cliffhangers, because they never complain, and they’re still dying to know what happened in that car-hits-bird scenario. You can’t help it. You’re the Energizer Bunny of storytelling.

6. You’re everyone’s favorite road trip buddy

And you always get shotgun because when the iPod has exhausted its selection and you’re stuck behind a Winnebago crawling at 20 MPH, whoever’s driving will thank you later for keeping them awake and single-handedly saving all of your lives.

My best friend used to bribe me with Starbucks: “If you keep me awake, I’ll buy you a caramel latte.”

Honestly, I don’t know why he bothered to bribe me with lattes and espresso brownies. I almost never need an excuse to open my mouth, though caffeine and chocolate are usually pretty good motivators.

7. Your own phone interrupts you at the most pivotal point in your latest tale when the person on the other end calls you back

You know exactly what I mean. The person you’re talking to hasn’t said a word in 20 minutes and you didn’t realize the call dropped. The most embarrassing part of the conversation is usually the point at which you attempt to resume the story.

“So, where did I leave off?” You ask. “Did I lose you before I got to the part where he proposed?”

“Wait, you’re engaged?” The other person cries incredulously.

“You missed that? But that was like ten minutes ago.”

“Yeah, that’s how much you talk.”

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8. You’re the first person everyone expects to fill a lull in the conversation, and you’re always willing to rise to the challenge

When the well of words has run dry, you’ll dust off an amusing anecdote about the time you had too many margaritas and managed to lock yourself out of a bathroom that didn’t actually lock. It might also be the perfect moment to resume that car-meets-bird story where you left off last year.

All too often, your own life debacles form the subject of these stories, but you’ve learned to accept it with good grace. No sacrifice is too great to keep the conversation flowing.

9. Your friends and family regularly tell you to consider a career in public speaking

You talk so much anyway, you might as well get paid for it, and you’re always the first one everyone volunteers for a speech, or a toast, or (unfortunately for you) a eulogy. Your family probably even has a running joke that when you die, there’ll be no one to speak at your service, because you’re the designated family eulogist.

10. You have a serious case of voicemail anxiety

What do you mean, you only have up to three minutes? So you either end the call, or wind up doing your best impression of Six from the 90s sitcom “Blossom” that no one can understand. You should have just texted.

Still, your friends are always amazed when you leave them messages and manage to squeeze in the news about your new job, a story about your trip to the park with your golden retriever, and the latest update on your grandmother’s recovery from open-heart surgery, all without seeming to take a breath.

11. Your text-messages get cut off

Sometimes when you text people, they regularly respond with messages along the lines of “I only got the first half of that.”

This is why you’re famous for texting friends to ask if you can call them, because it’s easier than giving them text anxiety while they stare at that maddeningly cryptic “buddy is typing” bubble, waiting for you to finish your latest novel.

Recently I texted a friend with the intention of giving her my flight information for my return home from a family trip, but the message evolved into a saga about everything that had occurred over the course of the past three weeks.

Finally, when I’d finished, my friend texted back to ask, “I think I might have missed part of your message. When does your flight get in?” Oops.

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12. You talk too much, even for your smartphone’s attention span

For someone who’s supposedly always at my service, Siri can be irritatingly inattentive sometimes. While I generally don’t rely on voice dictation for written communication, because I find Siri’s ability to insert proper punctuation spotty at best, sometimes when I’m feeling particularly chatty, I’ll ask her to send a text for me, thinking it’ll just be quicker and spare my carpal tunnel syndrome.

The number of time’s she’s timed out on me and said, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that” has made me question whether or not I really do talk too much.

13. You’re the king or queen of conversational icebreakers

Your natural loquaciousness brings people together. I once based an eight-month relationship with a guy on his answer to my question, “If you could be stuck in an elevator with anyone, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?”

Any man who replies, “Yoda, because he could just teach me to use The Force to get us out” is a man after my own heart.

And nothing chips away at the ice of an awkward introduction better than an arbitrary question like “Penguins – for or against?”

Whether people see this as an invitation to debate where penguins rank on the scale of animal cuteness or the merits of “Penguins of Madagascar” as a film, everyone’s been spared the anxiety of discussing the weather or the most recent book they’ve read. You’re welcome.

14. You’re actually an excellent listener

It sounds counter intuitive, but in my experience, talkative people actually absorb most of what’s going on around them, because they’re always the ones who have to tell everyone else what the teacher, or flight attendant, or tour guide just said.

Among my family and friends, this responsibility generally falls on my shoulders. I don’t know why, but everyone assumes that I’ve been able to recall the fancy French-sounding specials the restaurant server has just rattled off over my grumbling stomach while nobody was paying attention an that i’m more than happy to repeat dishes I can barely pronounce.

The theory is that I’ll be talking anyway, so I might as well make myself useful or keep my breath to cool my porridge.

15. You always know the right thing to say

99 times out of 100, your friends are telling you to shut up (albeit affectionately), but when they need advice about their latest relationship problems, need someone to talk them through anxiety attacks, or just want to hear a friendly voice on a bad day, you’re always ready with words of wisdom or witty banter, and this is probably why everyone puts up with your prattle in the first place.

Featured photo credit: Victorian Ladies Talking by OpenClips via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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