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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec 23, 2004 / 11 Teves, 5765

How to derail runaway yakkers

By Steve Brewer


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In everyday conversation, it's remarkable how many people can't tell the difference between "rapt" and "trapped."


They'll yammer on and on, believing they have our undivided attention, when in fact we are secretly practicing the skill known as "yawning with our mouths closed."


It's not just that these people are boring. They're so self-absorbed they think they're fascinating, or their topic so enraptures them they assume it must be equally interesting to the world at large. They feel justified in "sharing" with the rest of us, so we won't be deprived of this information/opinion/enlightenment.


We've all been trapped in such conversations. In the workplace, a co-worker (or, worse, a boss) corners you in a corridor and forces you to listen to gory descriptions of his recent medical procedure. Or a client spends an entire business lunch reliving the detailed itinerary of an exotic vacation you could never afford. Or you're seated at a dinner party next to a blowhard so breathtakingly dull you want to spit in his plate.


Fortunately, you needn't suffer in silence any longer. You can use special communication techniques to derail runaway yakkers. Try the following:


  • Direct confrontation. If a co-worker insists on telling you the plot of last night's TV sitcom, say, "I thought only idiots watched that show."

  • Distraction. Sometimes, all you need is to divert the person's attention. For example, if a colleague won't shut up, try interrupting with, "You've got a smudge on your face." When he wipes his cheek and keeps talking, say, "No, on the other side." When he wipes his hand on that side, say, "Oh, no, you made it worse." Soon, he'll stop chattering and go find a mirror.

  • Appeal to the senses. You can create a diversion by saying, "Is it cold in here?" Or "What's that smell?" Or "Look! A bear!"

  • Physical cues. Roll your eyes. Clear your throat repeatedly. Look at your wristwatch. If none of those cues works, then get physical with the talker. Give him a little "goose" in the ribs with your finger. Seven or eight times. Or a friendly slap on the shoulder. Harder each time, until he goes away. Actual strangling is considered bad manners.

  • Disagree endlessly. When a colleague wants to complain about working conditions, say, "I like it that way." Every time.

  • Agree endlessly. Some people just love to argue. If you agree with everything they say, you take the legs right out from under them. If your agreement causes problems later, you can always deny it.

  • Verbal judo. Use the yakkers' own momentum to throw them off-balance. Some examples:
If a colleague insists on telling you about last night's dream, pretend to listen, and then, no matter how outlandish the description, say, "I had a dream just like that."

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If people keep talking about illness/poor health/surgery, take it further by "topping" them. Tell them their malady is "nothing compared to dengue fever." Offer to compare scars. Try "Want to see my boil?" Soon, even the sickest gabber will find the strength to scurry away.


If a genealogy nut tries to tell you about past generations in her family, pretend to consider the names, then say: "I thought my ancestors killed all your ancestors. Guess we missed some."


If a co-worker complains about his ex-wife, say: "I know just what you mean. She's been the same way, ever since we started dating."


Using these techniques can rescue you from many excruciating conversations and in most cases can actually lengthen your life.


Remember, though: If you find people using such techniques on you, then it's time to shut up. Before they start goosing you.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in uplifting articles. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Steve Brewer latest book is "Trophy Husband: A Survival Guide to Working at Home" (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) To comment, please click here.



© 2004, Steve Brewer