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Don’t Be Loopy! April 21, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, People.

Donald-DuckaWhen people expect me to listen, I want them to have a point . . . and reach it.

I’ve been in conversations with folks who set out in one direction, veer off into another, take a detour, drop into a digression . . .

All without EVER circling back to the initial point.

Donald-Duck-BaseballEven when I remind them of their starting point (because I was paying attention to what they were saying even if they weren’t), they still can’t complete the loop.

They’re just LOOPY!!!!

The worst off-topic rambler I know calls on the phone and chats non-stop for an hour or so.

She meanders this way and that without ever culminating a thread.Donald-Duck-Lazy

She’s definitely more focused on the “journey” than the destination.

I used to try and steer her back to topics of interest, but that just prolonged the call without unearthing any morals to her stories.

Now I just let her go (like the Energizer Bunny) while I recline on the bed, close my eyes, and R~E~L~A~X.

Donald-DirectorSince there is NO PRESSURE to respond or come up with interesting tidbits for discussion, it’s almost like meditating and watching the “clouds” float by.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related:  The Art of Timely Communication (Coffee Kat)


1. Val Boyko - April 21, 2016

A monologue is not the best communication that’s for sure. We humans need to speak and be heard, but why can’t we also be taught to listen well …

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

Perhaps we are “lousy listeners” because people talk so much slower than we can think ~ they are still on Point A while our thoughts have moved on to Point G.

Or maybe it’s because much of what people talk about isn’t compelling enough to hold our attention ~ or because we’ve tired of the detours and digressions.

Or maybe it’s because we want to be ready as soon as it’s our turn to talk ~ Ready, Set, Go!

When I stumble across a good conversationalist (someone who speaks and listens well) . . . it’s a real treat.

Val Boyko - April 21, 2016

Why am I talking? is a question I ask peeps to consider in my role as a communication coach. There are many reasons … and it mostly comes down to being so wrapped up in ourselves.
It is a treat to meet fellow thinkers and communicators! They have taken off the wrapping 😎

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

W.A.I.T. is a good reminder to rein it in.

Some people talk incessantly because they are uncomfortable with silence. I love the silent spaces between thoughts.

2. Under the Oaks - April 21, 2016

When I first read this in my email this morning I was scratching my head trying to figure out why it sounded so familiar and then your comment popped up on notifications… LOL! See that… I got right to the point! Yes, you’re right, we do just go with the flow! I love it!!!
Good Morning, Nancy!

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

Ha! Not surprised at your feeling of “deja vu” since this post is almost word for word what I said in response to Kate’s post.

And when I linked back to Kate’s post, I saw your comment to me for the first time! I always enjoy our “go with the flow” conversations.

3. Jill Weatherholt - April 21, 2016

Ramblers can be exhausting if we don’t zone out.

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

When I’m interested in a story, I feel “cheated” if the meandering ramble ends before all the loose threads I’ve followed are tied up. After following twists, turns, detours, and digressions, I want to hear the Punch Line!

4. Kate Crimmins - April 21, 2016

I too had Deja vu when I read this. Occasionally my husband will “Edith Bunker” a story with insignificant details. I always call him on it. I like getting to the point but I have learned with some people it’s best to just enjoy the ride.

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

I love using your posts as “spring boards” for my posts . . . especially when one of your posts got me thinking enough to write a post-size comment!

And, yes . . . just chill-ax and go with the flow without worrying about whether they even have a destination in mind.

5. JOriginal Muse - April 21, 2016

The first thing I thought of (right after “deja vu”) was this assessment I used for my Action Research in 2007). It can help us cut the poor ramblers (and semi-listeners) a break… If you’re interested…


Now I’ll chillax 😉

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

Thanks for the link . . .

I think some of the worst ramblers don’t fall into either category. They don’t think to talk or talk to think. They just talk to talk!

JOriginal Muse - April 21, 2016

LOL… All too true, too 😉

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

I find that accepting them as they are allows me to relax, listen, and allow them to be heard . . . even if they don’t have much of actual import to share.

6. anotherday2paradise - April 21, 2016

So true, Nancy. My heart sinks when certain people phone me and I know I’m there for the duration of their ramblings if I don’t want to appear rude and cut them off mid-ramble. 🙄

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

I know that sinking feeling, Sylvia. If I don’t have an hour “to kill” I’ve learned to not answer the phone. Then I call them back at their dinnertime . . . when they have an incentive to stay “on topic.”

anotherday2paradise - April 21, 2016


7. BunKaryudo - April 21, 2016

I also know someone like this. I won’t mention any names. Let me just say it reminds of a time way back in 1976, or was it 1977? No, it was 1976 because I remember it was the year I got my bike. Actually, I say “my bike,” but in fact it was really my cousin’s bike, but my uncle let me borrow it in exchange for a favor my dad had done for him the month before. You see, it all had to do with the weather that year, which made things very difficult for gardeners. My uncle’s garden wasn’t too badly affected at first, but then later… (+3hrs 20 mins)

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

Bwahahaha! Exactly, Bun!

Anne Lene @ MinimalistSometimes - April 21, 2016


nrhatch - April 21, 2016

Bun is the comedic master of SHOW don’t TELL.

8. livelytwist - April 21, 2016

She likes the sound of her own voice! Seriously some people just want to talk… that’s how they make sense of things. You’ve figured out what to do with this ‘talker’. No pressure to respond.

I guess if you hang up, she wouldn’t even notice … at first 🙂

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

We got cut off once. She talked another 5-10 minutes before she noticed the dead silence.

How do I know that? Easy, I kept dialing her number and kept getting a busy signal.

9. William D'Andrea - April 21, 2016

That’s one advantage to using internet messaging. Anyone can go on forever, expressing his or her ideas to an infinite number of “friends”. If you don’t have the time, or want to totally ignore him or her, you can go right ahead; and whoever sent the message will not be personally offended.
Maybe they will, but if he or she is, you won’t know it, and he or she probably doesn’t know you.

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

Good point. On the internet, no one sees us rolling our eyes or tapping our foot with impatience or scrolling to the end of a post without really digesting it.

Sadly some people are as disorganized as writers as they are when speaking. If paragraph after paragraph circles round and round without getting anywhere, I lose patience and turn my attention elsewhere.

William D'Andrea - April 23, 2016

As a writer, I try not to repeat myself. However, that has led to me running out of new material. So the works I now produce, have become few and far between; and I annoy other people who I contact on the internet, asking them to read my old writings.

10. Ally Bean - April 21, 2016

Yep. I’m a “get to the point” girl. However, I’ve come to realize that some people are what I call “stream of consciousness” people, and all you can do is let them meander along. Fortunately, they rarely test you on what they just babbled, so zoning out is ok.

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

Exactly right ~> with stream of consciousness folks, the point is that there is no point. They are just babbling brooks.

11. Carol Ferenc - April 21, 2016

I once had this situation with a co-worker. There was almost no escape ~ the worst!

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

When co-workers are long-winded, we can smile and say, “I hate to cut you short . . . but I have [a deadline I’m working on] [a call I have to make] [someone I need to catch].”

Carol Ferenc - April 22, 2016

Yes, I used all those excuses to the point where I felt I was being rude. Thankfully, retirement took care of the problem!

nrhatch - April 22, 2016

Retirement rocks!

12. diannegray - April 21, 2016

I don’t mind the rambling and long exhaustive journey as long as all their stories aren’t about THEM because nothing else exists in the world. ARGH – that really gets my goat 😉

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

That’s bad. Also bad ~> stories with tedious details about people you don’t know and will never meet.

13. suzicate - April 21, 2016

I had to laugh at your comment about someone not noticing being cut off. I had that happen the other day and I had to call back several times before she had figured out we’d been cut off. Next, it was helping her find where we’d been cut off because she’d finished her story (that I had not yet heard) into a receiver of air!

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

Haha! That’s exactly what happened . . . I had to let her know how far to back up based on the last thing I heard. Of course, several digressions and detours got retold in the process.

14. ericjbaker - April 21, 2016

I’m a big jerk nowadays. After 3 minutes, I announce my sudden need to depart and bail. I figure the person will either stop liking me, get hurt feelings and eventually get over it, or learn to speed it up. I’m fine with any of those outcomes.

nrhatch - April 21, 2016

In general, I enjoy talking to guys ~ they tend to get to the point of the story with fewer loop-de-loops.

Maybe that’s because they’re already trained to “speed it up.”

ericjbaker - April 21, 2016

I suppose it depends on the venue and the person. I could be on the phone with The Most Interesting Man In The World and still want to exit after 3 minutes. Face to face, if the person is engaging, has things to say, and practices 2-way communication… those conversations can go on for hours. A couple of beers along the way helps. 😉

nrhatch - April 22, 2016

Gotcha. Venue matters. Refreshments matter. Back and forth communication matters. And subject matter matters. When people gossip about people, I lose interest 9.237 times faster than when the conversation focuses on ideas.

15. Eileen - April 22, 2016

Extroverts don’t know what we are thinking until we hear ourselves say it. It often isn’t really dialogue, just exploring the tangle of our own thoughts. Unless we write, it’s pretty much our only way of getting to know ourselves. But two extroverts can cover a lot of territory and actually remember later what each other said. And on a shared interest can sometimes get a very fast paced, stimulating and informative dialogue going, while leaving an introvert behind in the dust. Journaling can help us cut down on boring people out of their minds. 🙂
I have friends that I avoid communication in anyway except email. I can read when and how much suits me and they can do the same.

nrhatch - April 22, 2016

Hmm . . . maybe that all depends on the subject matter under discussion? You might be interested in this article on Extroverts and Introverts:


From the article:

* Introverts have more brain activity in their frontal lobes and when these areas are activated through solitary activity, introverts become energized through processes such as problem solving, introspection, and complex thinking.

* Extroverts on the other hand tend to have more activity in the back of their brain, areas that deal with processing sensory information from the external world, so they tend to search for external stimuli in the form of interacting with other people and the outside world to energize them.

* If you really want to engage an introvert in conversation, skip the small talk. Introverts tend to love deep conversations on subjects that interest them. They love to debate, go past the superficial and poke around the depths in people’s minds to see what’s really going on in there. Most, if not all introverts tend to regard small talk as a waste of time, unless it’s with someone new they just met.

* Extroverts thrive on small talk.
Introverts abhor it.

* Introverts love anything that involves deep conversation. They get energized by discussing subjects that are important to them and they love to see what and how other people think, to connect the dots, to dig deep, to find root causes, to use logical thinking via debate in conversation, etc.

* Introverts have an amazing ability to discover new thoughts, an uncanny ability to focus, to concentrate, to connect the dots, to observe and note things that most people miss, to listen extremely well and are often found having a rich and vivid imagination too.

To read more: http://briankim.net/articles/top-5-things-every-extrovert-should-know-about-introverts/

16. L. Marie - April 22, 2016

I know what you mean. Some ramblers call, because they’re bored and want to be energized through the connection. But I feel drained from those encounters. 😦

nrhatch - April 22, 2016

Me too! When I converse, I like the conversation to swing around to discussing ideas . . . not just engaging in idle chit chat.

17. Tiny - April 24, 2016

Good advice, Nancy!

nrhatch - April 25, 2016

Just go with the flow instead of struggling against the current.

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