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Old 11-27-2018, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 1,660,813 times
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Does anyone know why some seniors become really long winded as they get older? I'm talking about those people who go on and on, taking 15-20 minutes to tell a story that just 5 years before they could tell in 5 minutes.

Then there are the ones who constantly find ways to dominate conversations, and or who never let anyone else talk. I volunteer at a local senior center, where we have a knitting group. We have a 74-year-old woman who really seems to have this issue. She jumps into every conversation, and no matter what someone else might say, she has an opinion or some experience that she wants to share. Once she starts just goes on and on. Sometimes she takes the conversation off track. If people try to talk over her or steer the conversation back to the original topic, she sometimes gets defensive that other people are trying to interrupt her, and even brags about how she can talk louder than anyone else, so don't try it! She complains that the other people in her groups talk too much (apparently she doesn't realize she is the worst offender, by far).

People complain about her a lot, but nobody wants to tell her to shut up, because she would take it way too hard. She really is very sweet and nobody wants to hurt her. We've discussed having a polite, private conversation with her about it, but the conclusion is this would probably backfire, too. She would probably over react and go to the other extreme and nobody wants that either.

For now, we're all pretending to ignore it. There is something to be said for being patient and realizing we all have faults, especially as we get older. But... is there a better solution?

Or at least an idea on what causes this (so maybe we can be a little more sympathetic)?

Thoughts?

Last edited by Piney Creek; 11-27-2018 at 09:09 PM..
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:51 PM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
2,207 posts, read 1,351,512 times
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Sometimes elders spend so much time alone with nobody to talk to. So when they get in a social situation, they just talk and talk.

A private discussion with her might help... something like: we like your stories but other people need to have a chance to talk too.
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:26 PM
 
2,575 posts, read 4,693,815 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ansible90 View Post
Sometimes elders spend so much time alone with nobody to talk to. So when they get in a social situation, they just talk and talk.
I was going to suggest this, too. I live alone and I notice I get pretty talkative with the ladies I volunteer with, partly because I might not have spoken to a single soul for 3 days since my last volunteer shift. The three ladies I work with are all very chatty and sociable, and I can easily shut my trap and let them tell *their* stories, so I know I'm not as bad as your example, but I do try to monitor my yakkiness and be sensitive to my listeners' attention to make sure they're interested in what I'm saying.

All three have become like friends, and told me many personal things about their lives, so I think I can assume I do listen, or they wouldn't confide in me. One thing I consciously do sometimes is let them start the conversation when the last topic has run its course.
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Old 11-27-2018, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,124 posts, read 23,000,049 times
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I had no problem reading your OP. But, I don't know how to handle your problem.

I think I'm sometimes the person who talks too much. I make a serious effort to listen at least as much as I talk.

What I think makes your situation different, is that this person has bragged about being louder than other people - basically saying that she is aware of her bullying behavior and is proud of it.

If it was me, personally, and this woman was in a group I was attending and I didn't like her behavior and the library or volunteer venue wasn't willing to talk to her about her behavior - is, I would quit the group. I believe life is too short to suffer fools.

I recently quit a volunteer situation at a local library because of the way they handled volunteers. Like I say, life is too short. I have realized in my old age that I don't have to do anything I don't want to do, and I don't have to hang out with people I don't like. So, I just don't.

What happened regarding my recent volunteer situation where I quit - is that some of the participants started their own group and invited me. So, we just started our own little group and invite only people whose company we enjoy. You could do the same. Just start your own little group.

The new group I have become involved in, is held at someone's home, so she can control who is invited. She has complete control and never has to put up with obnoxious people. You could do the same, eh?
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Old 11-28-2018, 04:47 AM
 
2,742 posts, read 727,575 times
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But---how do you know this woman has become long-winded? Since you likely didn't know her thirty years before, you don't know whether she was like this when younger. I know people of both sexes and all ages who are long-winded. I truly believe that aging doesn't change change personality and behavior; at most it may just amplify those traits a little because filters fade (perhaps neurophysiology changes do lead to this or maybe older folks, especially women, just get tired of maintaining those filters and tamping down one's true thoughts and feelings). I'm almost 65 and as a quiet introvert I don't think I will ever become long-winded, even in 20 years! I have lots of physical and mental energy, but not so much vocal energy (my voice gets strained easily). And I know and accept that to most people, hearing my stories are not as interesting to them as their telling their own.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Texas of course
566 posts, read 267,828 times
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I knew someone like that, she was just lonely.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 1,660,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
But---how do you know this woman has become long-winded? Since you likely didn't know her thirty years before, you don't know whether she was like this when younger.

I'm actually talking about two different people in this thread. For the first person (the one who now takes much longer to tell stories she used to tell in 5 minutes), I'm taking the word of some of the other people at the center. I live in a small town, some of these people have indeed known her for decades. I understand that she always was a bit of a talker, but it's gotten worse as she's gotten older. Or, maybe her friends have become less tolerant of it (or maybe they spend more time with her and now notice it more).
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:23 AM
 
1,328 posts, read 651,120 times
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Believe me....it`s just not seniors. Guess being long winded, is just in their blood.
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:30 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,436 posts, read 1,673,946 times
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It may be an age issue, but I think it’s a basic personality type that exists across all age groups. Our local knitting group has an engineer in her late 40’s that can’t stop once she starts, she drones on and on. She’s a nice person with a major flaw.

The make-up of that group is unique with many seasonal members. The dynamics change and the possibility of an overbearing, dominant member is lessened. With new people attending, the chances of getting stuck sitting next to a talker every time doesn’t happen as easily.

OP, fixing the problem would mean fixing the problem person and that’s not likely to happen. It’s a tough issue for many groups. Either that person leaves or everyone else does.

Last edited by jean_ji; 11-28-2018 at 06:24 AM..
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Old 11-28-2018, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Central IL
15,253 posts, read 8,548,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over the hill gang View Post
I knew someone like that, she was just lonely.
Great, but not an excuse - and I actually question that with her bragging behavior. It seems that even talking a lot does not help her "loneliness" - it is more of a personality issue and likely a long-standing one, not just since getting older.
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