Does your girlfriend talk too much? Maybe you feel like you can’t get a word in, or perhaps she’s so talkative that you find it draining.
At first, it may not seem such a big deal. But talking too much is a common habit that can become a real issue between couples.
In this article, I’ll share some practical tips on how to deal with a talkative person.
Let’s clear something up…do women talk more than men?
Before we start, let’s bust some myths.
There is a commonly held stereotype that women are more naturally talkative than men. Some even claim this is down to biology.
The reality is that science has found no evidence for this being the case. As explained in Psychology Today, if anything, far more research points to men being the slightly more talkative sex:
“A review of 56 studies conducted by linguistics researcher Deborah James and social psychologist Janice Drakich found only two studies showing that women talked more than men, while 34 studies found men talked more than women. Sixteen of the studies found they talked the same and four showed no clear pattern.”
Studies have suggested that a person’s status is actually far more directly related to how much they talk than their gender.
Let’s remember that people are individuals and should be treated as such.
Clumping women together into some kind of overly talkative club isn’t helpful. Just as suggesting that men are uncommunicative similarly does them a huge disservice.
It encourages both sexes to feel like they have to adhere to some sort of expected gender role, rather than be whoever they truly are.
So if your girlfriend’s talkative nature has nothing to do with her gender, what is the reason and how can you handle it?
How do I deal with a talkative girlfriend?
1) Discuss your different communication styles
The good news is that this issue boils down to miscommunication, and so can be fixed.
The bad news is that miscommunication is the downfall of most relationships. So you will want to address it to get back on track asap.
Here’s the thing…
There’s really no such thing as talking too much or talking too little. The point is that we are all different.
Shaming someone for their personality type is only going to create defensiveness. You want to avoid that.
Having said that, there are most certainly poor ways of communicating that can be disrespectful and rude in a relationship.
There is a difference between being a very talkative person and being a selfish communicator.
The latter will most likely take over or show very little interest in what the other person has to say. If this is the case, it definitely needs to change (and we’ll go into ways of dealing with it later).
But at the root of it, it’s often about different communication styles and potentially different energy types too.
That’s where you need to try and bridge the gap between you and your girlfriend.
Some people love to talk and can do it constantly all day, every day. Other people get easily exhausted or frustrated by a lot of conversation. Some are extroverts and maybe more talkative and others are introverted and quieter.
You need to have a chat with your girlfriend about your different communication styles. That means talking about both your and her preferences, and telling each other what you need.
Starting a conversation about communication style can be a great way to address the issue more generally without making things personal.
You may even ask the question ‘Do you think we have different communication styles?’
This gives you the opportunity to first talk generally about how you each communicate and then explain how you feel.
That way you can let her know the things that are important to you — which may include the more quiet time when you are together, or explaining that you find it very draining to talk all the time, etc.
2) When you talk about it, make it about you and not her
Rather than it being her who “talks too much”, recognize that a more accurate statement might be that your girlfriend talks too much for your liking.
This reframe is going to really help you to avoid conflict when you bring it up with her.
When we raise any issue with our partners, laying blame totally at their door is unfair and unhelpful. Rather than frame it as her doing something wrong, it’s better to make it about your preferences.
Here’s what I mean. When you speak to her you can say things like:
“I find too much conversation overwhelming”.
“I feel like I can’t always keep up with the conversation, and so could do with more pauses”.
“It takes me longer to think about what I’m going to say, so I need you to give me more time to speak.”
Rather than being her fault, presenting it in this way makes it more about you telling her what you need. Compare that with statements like:
“You’re talking too much”
“You never shut up”
“You don’t let me get a word in”
And I’m sure you’ll see how the accusatory tone is more likely to leave her feeling attacked, which will make it much harder to resolve.
3) Try to find a middle ground
What do you do when your partner talks too much? It’s time to find some middle ground.
What are the bits that really annoy you or that you find unreasonable when your girlfriend is being particularly talkative?
Some things she may need to change, whilst other things may be perfectly reasonable and it is you that may need to adjust.
If you’ve been feeling like ‘my girlfriend talks about herself too much, then you definitely need to be included more in the conversation. She’ll probably need to ask you more questions and show an active interest in what you have to say to make you feel more heard.
On the other hand, if you’re thinking ‘my girlfriend talks about feelings too much’ then maybe it’s time to consider whether this is really a “flaw” of hers or your problem? Perhaps you are simply uncomfortable with discussing emotions and could do with opening up more?
Whilst it’s common for one person to do slightly more talking in every couple (or a lot more, depending on personality types), conversations should never be monologues.
If she doesn’t leave room in the conversation for you to speak, if she never asks you questions, if she talks for long stretches of time without trying to include you, if she only ever wants to talk about herself — it suggests that she may be lacking in self-awareness.
It’s important to bring this up so that she has the opportunity to change. If she can’t take on board what you’ve said then you have bigger problems. In this instance the issue isn’t that she talks too much, it’s that she isn’t prepared to consider your feelings.
For a relationship to work, we have to be able to accept reasonable feedback that is presented in a respectful and fairway.
This is the way we resolve problems so that we can adapt, grow and blossom together.
In a previous relationship, an ex-partner told me that my brain seems to work a bit faster than his, so sometimes when he paused whilst speaking he wasn’t actually finished, but I would jump in too quickly with my response.
So I began to leave a much bigger gap to let him reflect (sometimes I’d even consciously count to 5 in my head to make sure I was doing so).
The point is that if you respect your partner, you will both be willing to make room for each other within the relationship.
4) Flag up bad conversation habits
Some things are a no, no when it comes to having healthy conversations. But often people don’t even realize they are doing certain things.
For example, your girlfriend may have a habit of interrupting you when you speak. This isn’t cool and needs to stop.
But it could be that she gets so excited and enthusiastic that she jumps in before you have time to finish. She may not be aware it’s happening.
In order to recognize rude habits we can develop, we need them pointed out. In this instance, you could say something like: “Babe, you cut me off, let me finish please”.
Or maybe she gets anxious easily and launches into a 20-minute rant. Perhaps she repeats herself, telling you the same story over and over again.
It can be nerve-wracking pointing things out to our partner when we’re worried about rocking the boat. But it’s important to be able to.
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. If you’re coming from a compassionate place then it should be well received.
5) Work on becoming better listeners
Keeping quiet whilst your girlfriend speaks isn’t the same as listening. Particularly if you’ve been feeling like ‘I zone out when my girlfriend talks’.
Similarly, she also needs to learn how to listen just as much as she talks. Both of you need to feel heard and understood in the relationship.
Suggest that you both try to improve your listening skills in the relationship. Say you’ve been reading up on the importance of active listening and think it would be great to give it a go.
6) Decide whether you are compatible
No relationship is perfect. At the end of the day, it’s about weighing up the good versus the bad. We all have different habits and ways of being.
My partner and I are very different. I remember asking him once if it was annoying that I always ask if he is ok or if he needs anything, as a previous partner would get very frustrated and call this “fussing”.
He replied, “no, that’s just who you are”.
This has honestly got to be one of the most accepting statements. Because it is just who I am. It’s how I express affection.
Maybe the same applies to your girlfriend. Why does my girlfriend talk to me so much? Perhaps it’s because she cares about you, she trusts you, and it’s her way of bonding.
We all will need to change certain bad habits in relationships. That’s actually one of the most rewarding things about having a partner — they help us to grow.
But we can’t change people. If you both care about one another, you will want to make compromises. But ultimately if you cannot accept her for who she is it probably won’t work.
If you genuinely feel like ‘my girlfriend never shuts up and it really annoys you, then you need to realize she is unlikely to suddenly become a quiet type of person. It’s not who she is.
With consideration and awareness, she may be less talkative at times. But if you really want (or need) a quiet girlfriend, then maybe she isn’t the one for you.