People who don't SHUT UP

Have you ever encountered someone who doesn't know how and when to shut up? I can just picture you nodding your head.

I don't think these people purposely do it to annoy others. They may not be cognizant of the fact that they go on and on far longer than others may care to listen.

My coworker Veronica is this way. She talks about everything under the sun -- from her daughter's shopping habits to her dog's eating habits -- and doesn't know when to quit.

Much to my chagrin, these drawn-out conversations -- what many of us would call chit-chat or small talk -- are usually devoid of substance.

I would love to find people conversing about history, psychology, or the wonders of the universe for an hour, but that seldom happens. Those are the kinds of deep, enthralling subjects that great conversations are made of.

Beyond that, there's an obvious reason a person shouldn't ramble on that long: a conversation consists of more than one person, and the other parties should be able to get a word in edgewise.

Part of being a good conversationalist is being a good listener. If you're hogging all the talking time, you're essentially having a conversation with yourself.

I realize it isn't easy to tell someone they talk too much.

If you ever find yourself talking to a blabbermouth, politely cut in at certain points -- you can even interject with "if I may" -- so the other person gives you a chance to weigh in.

As much as people might love hearing themselves talk, they need to respect the fact that others may wish to voice their own thoughts and opinions.

If one talks so much as to deter others from contributing to the conversation, they may inadvertently prevent other people's great ideas and experiences from being brought to light.

Know anyone who refuses to shut up?