Question: I feel like I talk too much. I listen when friends want to discuss their problems, but sometimes what they say starts me off on a rant about myself. I feel like this annoys my friends, but how else do I talk to them about what’s going on in my life? Am I being rude? Are there some guidelines I can follow to keep from being seen as a self-obsessed chatterbox?
Advice: Yeah, you’re being rude. But it’s good that you caught yourself.
Guideline No. 1: Listen. Look the person in the eye as he talks. Ask questions to elicit more information, or simply say “Is that right?” a lot. Paraphrase what they are talking about a few times to help yourself listen even better.
Guideline No. 2: Wait until you are asked about yourself.
Guideline No. 3: No, really — wait!