👄 You know the type – not you of course – the one who :
✦ never shuts up so you can’t get a word in edgewise
✦ asks you how you are but won’t let you answer more than 2 words
✦ is always interrupting to add their 2-cents
✦ knows exactly what you need to fix your problem or upset
✦ goes on & on about something that’s bothering them, blaming others
✦ talks in endless circles, until you’re punch drunk just listening to them ….
💟 Anita Vangelisti, a Texas U psychologist, found that conversational narcissism is keeping the attention on oneself, & can include : boasting, speaking loudly, using exaggerated gestures, & a ‘glazed overlook’ in the eyes when someone else is talking.
Deep-dish narcissists (NPDs) will use the technique of endless talking – to control & trap their target (victim / empath) who finds it very hard to get out of these filibusters.
💟 FROM Brett & Kate McKay (2011)
In The Pursuit of Attention, sociologist Charles Derber describes research results from 1,500 face-to-face conversations that recorded how people traded & vied for attention.
He found that despite good intentions, & often without awareness, most people use conversational narcissism. This can take subtle forms, in deference to social norms & etiquette.
Conversational responses :
1. In the shift-response, an anxious listener is internally preparing to change the subject, so attention can shift back to themselves. EXP:
James: I’m thinking about buying a new car
Rob: “Oh yeah? I’m thinking about buying a new car too”
Rob: Yup, I just test-drove a Mustang yesterday & it was awesome.
This style is a way to grab the focus away from the current speaker, but not always done blatantly.
The clever person can put in a nice transition comment to disguise the intention, like “That’s interesting. / Really? I can see that…. ,”
right before shifting into a comment about themselves, tying their response to the topic at hand : “I was thinking about trading mine in….”
2. The support-response keeps complete attention on the current speaker & topic. EXP:
James: I’m thinking about buying a new car.
Rob: Oh yeah? What models have you looked at?
This style can come in 3 sub-forms, each a higher level of attention & interest in speaker & topic:
‣ Background statements are minimal, to show you’re listening: “Uh-huh”
‣ Supportive assertions show active listening. “You’re right. That’s not OK.”
‣ Supportive questions indicate you’re not only listening, but also interested in hearing more. “What are you going to do now?” (MORE…..)
✫ ✫ ✫ ✫
💟 Michelle Loch, coach, speaker, author (2017) – combined colors with 5 talking styles & the reason they can cause problems with others. Conversational narcissism (CN) shuts down thinking, fuels defensive responses, creates apathy & wastes time. In each color-style, it’s all about you – whether to protect or defend, or assuming you know what others need or want.
AT WORK, CN is someone WHO :
✴︎ always sets & leads the agenda at every meetings, or in work conversations
✴︎ assumes their team or colleagues have understood their instructions or requests (but they didn’t)
✴︎ assumes others have their goals or desired outcomes (but they don’t)
✴︎ never asks for your opinion or ideas, or if they do, doesn’t take the time to understand your reasoning or perspective
✴︎ wastes your time, because nothing in the meeting is of value to the issues you‘ve asked feedback or help with
✴︎ ends a meeting or conversation that leaves you thinking “Well, that was all about them!” …..
❧ Be a facilitator, not a consultant with all the answers. Ask for input – trust that others know what they want or need from a conversation or meeting
❧ Ask if they want feedback from you, don’t just tell them what you think. If they say yes, then find out what specific kind they need, & in what form
❧ Let others do the thinking : What are their needs for the project? What would be the best outcome for them? What other perspectives or customer should we be considering?
NEXT: N Mind games (#1)