Our own selfishness amidst conversation is a difficult thing to keep tabs on. A person needs to have a tuned sense of others’ perception in order to successfully recognize that they’re talking about themselves too much. Those with a tendency to keep talking about the happenings of their own lives with others can be labeled a variety of things. These people can be anyone from a narcissist, to simply someone who is a socially unpolished individual. There are instances in which we find ourselves in conversations that only serve to benefit the pride of the ones we’re speaking with. As if being used as a pawn for the increase of their own confidence, we serve to simply be a face for them to present their selfish dialogue toward.
The natural inclination for people listening to someone who keeps talking about themselves is to somehow exit the exchange of dialogue. This method of overcoming the pain of listening to someone go on, and on, about themselves is effective, but is blind toward any benefits of remaining in conversation with the person in question. You’ll be in conversation with important, powerful, people who just can’t seem to stop talking about themselves. There may be truth in the notion that people with narcissistic tendencies are prone to be high-achievers in society. If you plan on being a high-achiever yourself, be prepared to interact with those who love themselves just a little bit too much for your conversations with them to feel pleasant.
This article aims to explore how you can benefit from people who just can’t seem to stop talking about themselves.
The Selfish Inquirer
With those who are relentless in their approach to please themselves in conversation, it makes sense to use the selfish momentum which they yearn to maintain against them. By continuously talking about themselves, they’re prone to reveal information which may be of use to you. Selfishness isn’t selective in regards to who it infects. Some of the selfish people you get into conversations with will be people whose intellect and experience you respect. Their selfish tendencies amidst social interaction will make it easier for you to covertly be selfish in your own right.
Being a, “selfish inquirer,” entails maintaining the conversation to be exactly how the person you’re interacting with likes it: about them. Keep the conversation going about them. Ask them questions, and inquire deeply into the topics which they seem so desperate to talk about. As they become comfortable and content with speaking about themselves, they’ll be likelier to answer the curious questions that you pose.
Figure out things that you can learn from the person in question, and attempt to steer the conversation toward those topics. Steer the conversation under the guise of keeping it about them. Play into their feelings of pride whilst fishing for information that interests you, and which will improve your knowledge about a specific topic. If a selfish conversationalist provides you with valuable information, then being stuck in conversation with them may not be such a bad thing.
Pay them compliments on the things you want to learn about; tell them that the fence they’ve built in their backyard is a work of art, in an effort to inquire into how much it cost and which contractors were hired. If you put thought into the method of arriving at the information which you want to learn about, you’ll realize that you can get there in different ways.
If you want to ballpark someone’s level of income for instance, you can use the topic of them going to Hawaii on vacation to open up many doors toward that goal. Inquire into which hotel they stayed at, and how far in advance they needed to place their reservation for such a nice room. Ask them whether their place of work was okay with them taking a three-week vacation, and how their vacation time is accumulated at work. From there, you can get into a conversation of whether they are a contract worker or work regular, full time hours. Are they happy with their compensation? Is it worth all the hours they put in? In fact, how many hours to they work? Is that more hours than that of the average person in their position? What are the industry averages of compensation for the work that they do?
In utilizing the momentum they’ve generated about talking about themselves, you’d be able to ride a wave of selfish inquiry. Remember, selfish conversationalists open doors for selfish inquirers to please their curiosity. They’ll find it difficult to become a closed book after being such an open book earlier in conversation. They will feel pressure to continue answering questions that deal with topics specific to themselves, since they’ve worked hard to establish the conversation to be about them.
Serving to Highlight Their Selfish Ways
Utilizing their own selfish momentum against them will not only benefit you by allowing you to gathering information that interests you, but will also serve to highlight just how much they like talking about themselves. The effect that’ll have can be split into two: the effect on the individual themselves, and the effect of witnesses to your conversation with the individual in question.
The individual themselves will be either satisfied from the extremely one sided conversation, or will feel uncomfortable with the amount of information they’ve unveiled about themselves. Perhaps your inquiries were a little to private in nature, and they feel a tad bit exposed. If that’s the case, they’ll be more protective of their information the next time you get into conversation with them. If they’re in tune with how their secrets were exposed the first time, then they’d understand the root cause to be their tendency to say too much about themselves. They will thereby be discouraged to talk about themselves so much going forward.
If they come out of their conversations with you satisfied with talking about themselves the whole time, then their liking for you will increase. You’d be seen as a good conversationalist in their mind, and will continue to reap the benefits of fulfilling your curiosity about various matters. If the person in question holds an ounce of knowledge for you to benefit from, then you should be content with being let into their world by way of their selfish dialogue.
The effect your utilization of their selfish momentum will have on onlookers will be one of them noticing just how selfish the individual in question is in conversation. You’d serve to expose their selfish methods of interacting with others, and will indirectly serve to discourage others from getting into lengthy conversations with the individual at hand. An indirect method of discouraging others to enjoy conversations with selfish conversationalists seems to be an effective way to put a stop to their behavior. They will be discouraged by the results of their social ways without having their feelings hurt by being explicitly told about their selfish tendencies.