Sunday, November 26, 2006

Mouth as Weapon: 9 Signs of Psycho Blabbers

Sterling, in a post at Chips Quips, got me going on a special form of violent assault, known as "talking someone to death". You know, the constant blabbering about nothing that drives you stark raving crazy. On and on they go, jabbering, in a manic chatterbox hysteria, often wildly animated, on and on forever.

I'm not talking about a person who's got an immense wealth of knowledge about something you really care about. We all enjoy discussing issues with someone who has had interesting experiences and has done a lot of research and thinking. That can be fun, enlightening, and helpful.

No. I refer to a person who talks about themselves, their hobby, their blog, their vehicle, their kids, their political party, their faith or atheism...and they are totally oblivious to the looks of boredom, frustration, and impending insanity in those who must listen to their harangues.

You can't get a word in edgewise. They won't shut up. If you try to say something, that is regarded as a rude and unnecessary interruption. It's as though their mouth is a gun they're shooting at you, repeatedly, killing your input, murdering your opinion, annihilating your point of view.

They never ask your opinion. They never pause to allow two way conversation. They never listen to a damn thing you say, they just deal with your remark in a hurried manner, agreeing or dismissing, then rush headlong into their boring recitations again. It's like they were getting paid by some dumbass Word of Mouth Marketing agency, at a rate of $100 per word.

Yak yak yak. Blah blah blah. On and on and on they go, without the slightest concern for how others feel about it. Without any need for comments coming from outside their mouth.

What makes someone do that?

I've identified several factors that seem to always enter into the psychological reality of this abnormal situation and sick personality.

9 Signs of Psycho Blabbers

(1) Arrogance: seeks to bully others into listening to, and agreeing with, him.

(2) Self-centered: thinks only of his crap, and is deluded into grandiose visions of how great he is, thus, how small everyone else is in comparison.

(3) Insensitive to others: so full of himself, he can't even really see others or read their facial expressions and body language.

(4) Uncaring about others: not interested in what others think, do, or feel.

(5) Self-impressed: assumes that what he believes or likes is what others will agree with and have a passion for.

(6) Stubborn: gets fixated on an idea and clings to it like a life raft. The less secure he feels about the idea, the more he inflicts it on others.

(7) Insecure: is not sure about actions, decisions and opinions, so he keeps repeating them, thinking that constant self-affirmation will make them more real and true.

(8) Hostile: will hound you, follow you around, keep calling you on the phone, and then act upset or even angry if you dare to hush him up, beg him to chill out, or request a moment of peace to collect and reassemble your own shattered psyche.

(9) Hiding: there is some secret within him, some dark reality that he's warding off with this relentless stream of words--abuse as a child, a huge mistake he's made and is afraid someone will notice it and confront him, or whatever the case may be. Also, there are some disturbing, subconscious thoughts that keep trying to rise to the surface, and the constant stream of talking wards them off. When not talking, he tends to watch TV or listen to music--silence and relaxed contemplation are intolerable, even psychically painful for him.

Don't tell me "he just like to hear himself talk" or "he's always been like that, that's just the way he is". I don't think these people hear themselves, because if they did, they would have died of boredom a long time ago. To blow it off with "that's just Bill" is to offer no explanation or cure.

In The Analysis of the Self: A Systematic Approach to the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorders, by Heinz Kohut, MD (International Universities Press, NY, 1971), I encounter such terms as "the grandiose self", "narcissistic rage", "tyrannically and sadistically asserted demands", "diffuse narcissistic vulnerability", and "an intense hunger for a powerful external supplier of self-esteem".

The big mouth/motor mouth has trouble being self-contained, he cannot generate sufficient self-esteem through achievement, contemplation, study, or normal give-and-take social interactions.

These types tend to never appreciate anything, they tend to take advantage of others, and they tend to act superior to those who are less fortunate ("poor people"), other races, and members of other political, technological, or religious persuasions.

I will return to this subject, but for now, to avoid being a Psycho Blabber myself, I leave you with two relevant quotes from that Kohut book.

"...the patient's heightened pleasure in himself soon becomes submerged again and the increased vitality of his actions cannot be maintained long. A rebuff, the absence of expected approval, the environment's lack of interest in the patient, and the like, will soon again bring about the former state of depletion. " (p. 17)

"At slight signs of disapproval of him, however, or of lack of understanding for him, or of loss of interest in him, he would feel drained and depressed, would tend to become first enraged and then cold, haughty, isolated..." (p. 58)

While I have not fully formulated a solution to this problematic personality, I mean I have no clear way of confronting it and shutting it down, I feel I am inching closer to the answer. What interests me is not how to "change" or "cure" the person, but how to deal with him, how to successfully end his repeated acts of verbal aggression.

Don't think you have to put up with it, until it drives you crazy and makes you depressed. You don't.


Anonymous said...

If you can find a way to effectively combat this type of person, please post it. I am dealing with one of these personalities now... borderline insane... threatens legal action against people who disagree... no concern for others... more than your average asshole. What these people inflict on others really needs to be classified as harassment.

steven edward streight said...

Oh, I have my ways of dealing with it, but I seek a few more myself.

One way is to abruptly, with no explanation, vanish. I did that once or a thousand times.

I myself am a freaking blabbermouth and I have to forcibly subdue myself, to avoid getting an iron skillet on my head repeatedly, WBW (wielded by wife).

Another way is to rise up above it all via weird meditation techniques, but watch out you don't get a demon flying in there.

Still another way is to greet it with a more massive ego treatment. Be even more mouthy. Ruin and wither his oratory. Like St. Stephen, the first martyr, make them "unable to resist the power and wisdom by which he spoke". But alas, he was stoned for it, and I don't mean can can.

I advice NEVER confronting the person with how boring and selfish they are.

You seem to have a curiously dangerous case there, so I strongly advise you to get professional help immediately: cops, lawyers, shrinks, social workers, gurus, whatever you can muster.

Please stay in touch, friend. (See how prolix this reply is? It takes one to know one, sigh...)

steven edward streight said...

I also think these people are beautiful hateful angels sent to us for our training in this saha world.

You must somehow do the illogical and thus spiritual: have compassion on the stupid annoying jerkbag, and wish for his eventual or abrupt Enlightenment and Transformation.

Every enemy must be dealt with appropriately, sometimes violently mentally, but also with some mercy and compassion.

But too many are chumps, with no spine. We must figure out a dignified but decisive solution, before it's too late and someone commits homicide or suicide, which is very probable in too many cases.