DEAR ABBY: I have noticed that some people in my age group (60s) are becoming compulsive talkers. These people don't ask questions of those around them. When someone begins to speak, the compulsive talker interrupts, usually in a louder voice and returns to dominating the conversation. Some of them continue to ramble on even when no one is listening anymore.
I tire quickly when I'm around these marathon talkers, but I'm too polite to interrupt them. It wouldn't do any good anyway, because they seem unable to stop. When someone tells them they talk too much, they get offended, but the behavior doesn't change.
Do you have suggestions for how to handle compulsive talkers so I won't have to listen to the person go on and on? It makes me feel fatigued, irritable and trapped. -- OVERLOADED IN WASHINGTON
DEAR OVERLOADED: I do have a suggestion. Avoid people like this. If you can't avoid them, politely excuse yourself as quickly as possible. These people are "sappers," and it is not unusual for them to drain others of energy, leaving them feeling tired, overloaded and trapped as you have described. Within a few minutes of getting away you will start feeling better. Try it and you'll see.Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics