Psychology Explains Why Some People Talk Too Much

In every social circle, there’s often that one person who always seems to dominate the conversation. They talk incessantly without pause, often oblivious to the subtle cues from others begging for a chance to contribute to the discussion. While this can be irritating, it’s important to realize that it’s not always intentional. The field of psychology offers some fascinating insights into why some people talk too much.

A Desire for Connection

One of the primary reasons why people talk too much is their desire for social connection. According to psychologist Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, individuals who tend to be verbose may be trying to impress others in an attempt to form bonds and connections. They believe that by sharing more information about themselves, they are more likely to find common ground with others.

Anxiety and Nervousness

Another psychological factor that can lead to excessive talking is anxiety. When some people feel nervous or anxious, they might use talking as a coping mechanism. This is known as ‘nervous chatter.’ It’s a way for them to relieve their stress and control their environment. However, it can often have the opposite effect, making others feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Excessive talking can also be a form of attention-seeking behavior. Some individuals crave the spotlight and feel validated when they are the center of attention. By monopolizing the conversation, they ensure that all eyes and ears are on them.

Possibility of ADHD or ADD

People who are excessively talkative may have a mental health condition like ADHD. This disorder is characterized by hyperactivity and restlessness, and excessive talking could be their way of expending surplus energy. Individuals with ADD often unintentionally interrupt others because they might feel excited or anxious. Moreover, individuals with ADHD usually have numerous thoughts running through their heads simultaneously, so talking can serve as a way to distract themselves. Research has established a link between hyperactivity and excessive talking, indicating that such behaviors might start early in life. Adults with ADHD may exhibit similar behaviors in social settings.

Influence of Asperger’s or Autism

While many individuals on the autism spectrum tend to be introverted, they can become excessively talkative about topics that interest them. They may not realize when others aren’t equally interested because they struggle with interpreting nonverbal cues and understanding when to end a conversation. The Autism Research Institute lists common social symptoms of adult autism, which include unintentional social blunders, difficulty keeping up in conversations, and difficulty detecting sarcasm or figurative language.

Insecurity and Inadequacy

Some people talk excessively to compensate for feelings of inadequacy or insecurity. They aim to impress others, and talking excessively can boost their confidence. They might exaggerate stories to make themselves appear more appealing or crack jokes to gain popularity and remain memorable. Individuals who feel insecure may seek external validation, turning social interactions into an opportunity to prove themselves rather than enjoy the experience.

Discomfort with Silence

Some individuals talk excessively to fill gaps in conversations. They might find silence uncomfortable, making them feel awkward or anxious. They may also worry that the other person will lose interest if the conversation isn’t constantly flowing. However, these individuals need to understand that pauses in conversations are normal and necessary for processing information.

Narcissistic Personality Traits

Though they might not have a full-blown personality disorder, excessive talkers could exhibit some degree of narcissism. Narcissists typically have fragile self-esteem, which they compensate for by exuding exaggerated confidence. They might crave attention and manipulate conversations to keep the focus on them. Although most people enjoy discussing themselves, narcissists take this to an extreme.

Feelings of Loneliness

Excessive talkers may not have many socialization opportunities, leading to feelings of loneliness. Their loneliness might manifest as clinginess or oversharing in an attempt to form connections. While everyone deserves companionship, these individuals might not realize that their behavior could push others away. Forcing a connection can seem desperate and off-putting, potentially driving potential friends away.

Lack of Self-awareness

Finally, some people talk too much simply because they lack self-awareness. They may not realize how much they’re speaking, or how little others are contributing to the conversation This can often be a result of social conditioning or personality traits.

Tips on Socializing With Someone Who Talks Too Much

  1. Active Listening: Start by actively listening to what they’re saying. This shows respect and can help you understand their perspective.
  2. Start with Curiosity Crucial Learning advises starting the conversation about their excessive talking with curiosity. For example, you might say, “I’m curious about something. Frequently when we’re talking, you tend to dominate the conversation. Can we discuss this?”
  3. Set Boundaries: Politely let them know when you have other commitments or need to focus on something else. This can help limit the length of conversations.
  4. Guide the Conversation: Don’t be afraid to steer the conversation in a new direction or bring up new topics. This can break up long monologues and get others involved.
  5. Ask Open-Ended Questions: Encourage them to think more deeply about what they’re saying by asking open-ended questions. This can also give others an opportunity to speak.
  6. Express Your Needs: If necessary, calmly and kindly express your need for more balanced conversations.
  7. Use Non-Verbal Cues: Use body language to signal when you’d like to speak or when you need to leave the conversation.
  8. Practice Patience: Remember that excessive talking may be due to anxiety or other personal issues. Be patient and understanding.
  9. Involve Others in the Conversation: If you’re in a group, try to involve others in the conversation to take the focus off the person who talks excessively.
  10. Be Honest but Tactful: If their excessive talking is causing problems, it might be necessary to have a gentle, honest conversation about it.
  11. Take Breaks: If you’re spending a lot of time with this person, make sure to take breaks to recharge. You’ll be more patient and attentive as a result.


Understanding the psychological reasons behind excessive talking can help us approach such individuals with more empathy. It’s important to remember that these behaviors often stem from deeper issues such as a need for connection, anxiety, or a desire for attention. By recognizing these, we can help create more balanced and inclusive conversations.

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