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Monday question: Silencing the longtalkers

Posted by Robin Abrahams  March 19, 2012 06:53 AM

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A Monday question from a remarkably patient and courteous LW: 

As one whose conversational style allows a pause of a few seconds after the other person has finished a thought (to ensure they are through) before I begin speaking, I sometimes find myself on the receiving end of uninterrupted yakking. This happens especially when their style allows for a shorter pause and assumes I have nothing to say if I don't say it immediately. It's usually fine, unless I don't have the time or inclination for a long talk. In these cases, is there a polite way to interrupt a long-winded person and excuse yourself from the conversation?

What do you think? Of course one can always raise a hand, apologize sincerely, excuse one's self, and get back to one's life. But how have you dealt with the longtalkers in your life? You know, the ones who really won't let you go? 

Share advice, share stories. I'll share mine Friday. 

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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