• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

Signed, A Frustrated Friend



Here's my response to another great question that was sent in by one of you. 💌


Dear Yehudit,


How do you suggest dealing with somebody who talks and talks, underestimating your knowledge of a topic or flat out assuming you know nothing about it?


Every few weeks, I meet with a group of friends on Zoom.


There’s one friend who regularly takes over conversations and speaks as if she's delivering information that nobody has already heard (mostly about world news). The rest of us have a lot of trouble getting a word in edgewise.


There’s one friend who regularly takes over conversations and speaks as if she's delivering information that nobody has already heard (mostly about world news). The rest of us have a lot of trouble getting a word in edgewise.

I value these friendships and I don’t want to stop participating in the meetings.


But I’m starting to run out of patience.


Signed,


A Frustrated Friend


Dear Frustrated Friend,


A good practice, even without somebody who behaves the way you describe, is for whoever is the initiator of these meetings to establish group rules.


The best ground rules are those generated by the group members themselves.

The best ground rules are those generated by the group members themselves. Creating the rules as a group helps create a feeling of ownership and prevents the feeling of being told what to do.

And the fun thing about being the initiator/facilitator is you get to put in your own thoughts too. (Doing this seamlessly is a skill honed with practice). If someone suggests a rule that doesn’t feel exactly right, the facilitator can rephrase. (“Wait, do you mean people should give space to talk to others? Yes? Cool. Everyone agrees? Writing that down.”)


This creates an understanding of what is considered acceptable behavior. If the talker keeps offending, you can remind them in a private chat. If the behavior still persists, it’s okay to moderate.


Again, it really depends on the group, but there are things to do to help moderate this type of behavior. Some people have just never been told to be mindful of the space they take up. Others have a need to be the show of the party. Some groups encourage that type of behavior. (“Uncle Marty is hilarious, why do you keep trying to shut him up?”)


It is all a dance of complex human relations.


It is all a dance of complex human relations.

Best of luck to your group and you find your way.


Peace,


Yehudit


If you have a question, please send me a message. I may not have "all the answers," but I'll do everything I can to give you a supportive and encouraging response. 📫


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