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Friday, July 29, 2011
Is Compulsive Talking an Addiction?
I have two relatives that are compulsive talkers in the Philippines. One is on my wife's side and the other on my side of the family. Both relatives are sometimes socially avoided because of their compulsive talking. The most common phrase use in our household, is the term "diarrhea of the mouth". When this relative starts talking and dominate the conversation, everyone just look at each other, thus not helping this relative at all. The compulsion seem to be more frequent during the full moon phase. All the relatives warn each other not to contact this person during the Full Moon days. Thus I do believe that people moods are affected by the phases of the moon. Do you believe this? I plan on posting some information on how the phases of the moon affect human behaviour soon.
The following article, I found very practical on how to deal with relatives who have compulsive talking disorder.
"Conventional wisdom holds that people who talk incessantly are merely rude, or pushy, or domineering. Instead, they are more likely suffering from "Communication Addiction Disorder." (C.A.D.) That is, they seem not to be able to stop themselves from talking so much, despite receiving social rejection for doing so.
This syndrome parallels one identified earlier in many people, I.A.D. - "Internet Addiction Disorder." In the case of I.A.D, persons seem to be unable to stop spending time online, surfing the net, communicating in chat-rooms, etc.
I used to think that over-talkers kept jabbering because they didn't think anyone was listening. By using a machine-gun approach, they hoped to hit something and finally be listened to. I now believe that most "talkaholism" is an addictive condition, and one more difficult to treat than its opposites of reticence, shyness, and communication apprehension.
In some ways C.A.D. is self-reinforcing to the talker, as if through some dysfunction in the person's neurological wiring the talker gets some reinforcement of their talk habit.
We all know at least a few talkaholics and may even have tried to "cure them" by pointing out how much they talked, or by scolding them, or by avoidance. Because most of them deny that their over-talk causes problems, these attempts to change them rarely help (as you may have noticed.)
Ways to manage compulsive talkers
Assert yourself and take charge of the conversation.
This is what HMO doctors have to do when they are required to see many patients in brief consultations. If you merely do polite listening and expect normal turn-taking, you may be run over by the talkative one. It can help to set up the time frame for talk, as in "I've got only 10 minutes before I have to pick up my daughter.
You can take more control by firmly interrupting. For example, you can say "Hold on a minute and let me ask you a question" or "I'd like to respond to what you've said so far."
Tell them how much you want to hear. Talkaholics tend to share all the details. Tell them, "I don't need all the details right now to understand. Just give me the headlines." You can do this if you're talking with a peer or a subordinate, but you may not be able to do so if you're talking to your boss.
In meetings, talkaholics can be reined in by having ground rules that require brevity. Having a set of agreements about how long participants are allowed to talk can help. We are aware that such procedures are used in both houses of the U.S. Congress and many public hearings.
If nothing else works, you'll want to escape the frustrating situation, saying "Please excuse me, I've got to go now." We know that victims of talkaholics eventually reduce contact with them, stop inviting to social events, and sometimes even sever their friendships.
Treatment for Communication Addiction Disorder?
The research evidence indicates that dependable treatment is not yet available. However, I think it is possible for a talkaholic to better manage their tendency with some coaching. If willing, they can learn to talk more briefly, to recognize the feelings that accompany their need to talk, and to pick up on the cues from others that they are causing interpersonal problems.
I also think that the new "energy psychologies" that have proven effective in dealing with stress and anxiety should also be tried.
Usually it is a high state of tension that drives a person to talk so much as a way of seeking relief. Reducing tension through simple self-help methods could go far in helping compulsive talkers to manage how much they talk".
I hope you found the above article informative.
Sources: Loren Ekroth, www.hodu.com and http://www.conversation-matters.com.