Today we will discuss a social phenomenon of EXTREME TALKING. It’s a form of conversational storytelling and dialogue that is fun to listen to but perhaps hard to engage with. You’ve heard someone who does it. Or maybe you do it yourself. It’s basically a never ending series of dramatized superlatives. You had the BEST possible thing or the WORST possible thing happen to you.
Oh my God, I went to the BEST sushi restaurant last night!
That ski resort is the WORST one in Colorado. The snow was terrible and the lines were outrageously long.
Everything these extreme talkers talk about has a polarizing nature but is delivered with such enthusiasm that it can be fun listening to them. However, an effect of this communication style is that it may diminish connection or willingness by others to participate in the conversation. Why is that?
First off, how can anyone really be included or have anything to offer up in a conversation like this without one-upping each other? Really, all you can do is smile and ask more questions upon which the extreme talker can further expound and amaze all who listen. Even if you’ve had a similar experience as the extreme talker, you don't feel inclined to toss it out there for fear of being perceived as competing, and if you don’t think your story is "extreme" enough it probably isn't going to be interesting to the extreme talkers in the conversation. After all, they already had the BEST or WORST so anything in between is just not that interesting.
These extreme talkers are entertaining. I don't believe they intend to create a conversation barrier, but it’s common for their less assertive conversation participants to feel a little shut down by the experience.
On one hand, you may be a bit envious that they have so much excitement for what they are sharing. On the other hand, maybe they are simply being entertaining, or worse, trying to convince themselves. Their motivation really shouldn’t concern you as much as learning how to interject your own piece of the conversation without feeling either boring or competitive.
~Andy & Anna
Andy is a curious soul with INFJ-T personality who likes to examine life closely and lives for those moments of deep revelation and spiritual connection.