E056 - The Problem with Over-Speaking and Rambling

communication making space over-speaking over-talking waking up Oct 12, 2023

Hello there, glorious human

In this post I explore over-speaking, talking too much, rambling, and losing your way. Read on or watch the video below.


You might talk about one thing, and then suddenly you're talking about another, and then talking about another, and you have no idea how you got there. But you know you’ve been talking for quite some time!

On the one hand, rambling and over-speaking can show that you are confident and are comfortable speaking up—but it can also be embarrassing, like a weird, sneaking suspicion that one has talked too much or is taking up too much space, and that it may have some kind of negative consequence or negative impact on others. This can negatively affect one's work life—for example, rambling and over-speaking when you present in a meeting is not the most optimal way to communicate. It can irritate others and make them feel like you’re taking up too much space and that there's no room for anybody else's voice. 

If you're an over-speaker, my heart is with you. My heart is with all of our patterns, because none of us is perfect. So let’s explore what to do if you're a bit of an over-talker or a rambler, and how to ground this and find focus to express yourself more clearly and concisely. 

The first thing is to recognize that it's happening. Many over-talkers that I've worked with hadn't really acknowledged that the pattern existed, and they didn't understand its consequences on others. 

Over-talking and rambling can be destructive in one-on-one and professional relationships. Often the speaker feels confident to take up space but is unaware that the more space they take up, the less space is available to those around them. This can reduce intimacy and trust and the ability for others to express themselves safely.

One way to approach this is to simply ask family, friends, or co-workers if they experience you as an over-talker or a rambler—what they have noticed, and what implications or impacts it has for them. 

Simply asking the question can really wake up your system and help you see the effects it has on your spouse or children, for example, who may not have as much space as they need to say the things they want to say. Instead, they may choose not to say them and just give up and let you speak. So just recognizing the impact of the pattern on others can drive a lot of change.

The second aspect to consider is the possibility of an anxiety response in your sympathetic nervous system, a fight or flight response. Adrenaline rushes through the body, you get excited or a little bit afraid, and so you over-talk. It could come out as confident excitement, just the words coming out (and it can be quite satisfying to get them all out). But when the words are driven by adrenaline, we over-speak. 

So we really want to regulate our nervous systems: get grounded, get into our bodies. We want to get out of our ideas and self-expression and instead put our energy and attention into being in our bodies.

People who are over-talking are often lost in their heads—there's a bit of adrenaline and excitement or fear going on, and it's all coming out. When we take a breath and bring in a pause, we ground ourselves and regulate. Developing this as a habit will help dismantle the pattern significantly. Grounding and regulating the nervous system are two important aspects of slowing down and "coming home".

Another aspect of this is to work on the conditioning or the patterning itself: it may be a trauma response to someone else’s over-talking, or it could just be part of your family culture—for example, where the smallest child in a family has to talk a lot and really loud, and has to fight and fight just to be heard, setting up a whole lifetime’s pattern. 

Each person is different in how they learned this pattern, but it is key to face the conditioning. It's really a clump of conditioning that we've been doing since childhood, then at school, and then it just snowballs. 

When I'm working with clients we seek to dismantle the pattern, often using EFT and some cognitive processes and other tools. If you're already working with a support practitioner, work with them on the conditioning around speaking too much or taking up too much space. 

Another important point to consider is that over-talking or rambling requires a kind of disconnection from the other person. When you're over-talking, you’re usually losing the other person, or you've captured them—you're talking and they're saying “Yes,” but inside they may feel like it’s too much, and they’re wondering when it will be their turn to speak. They may be nodding and trying to put you at your ease while hiding their own discomfort.

I don't want to create shame around this, though—this is just another pattern. Deconditioning the shame response is hugely important

If you've over-talked and you're worried about it the next day and you feel a sort of shame hangover, I encourage you to do the work to clear it—that feeling of “Ooh, I did it again, I’m the worst. I talked too much, I lost my way. They must think I'm horrible.” 

That shame response is part of what keeps the pattern in place, and it’s important to work on the whole pattern. The shame doesn't actually help you heal, it keeps the pattern stuck.

Over-talkers and ramblers are generally confident and very powerful communicators, which is a beautiful skill to share with a group, as you can help the quieter voices come in. As a confident speaker, or perhaps an over-talker, there's a responsibility to make space for others. 

We can do this by always rebalancing and taking breaths. Just check whether you're disconnecting: try and stay with the person, make space for the other person or the group of people. Don't make the communication about “me”, keep it about “us”. From within that “us” space you can generally notice and watch what's going on with the other person or people.

So take more breaths, regulate, slow down

Please know that you can balance this whole pattern out, and that you can communicate with balance and grace and clarity. The promise of this work is that we all have the birthright and ability to communicate with authority and clarity and heart within a settled body, a sense of being grounded in ourselves. 

At the core of it all, I like to express it like this: we can all feel confident and clear while communicating, safe in our own skinSometimes we just have to do a little bit of work to teach ourselves how to do this beautiful thing, to connect and communicate with authority and heart. 

I'm sending you a huge amount of love and all the comfort of being in your own skin, feeling safe and happy just being yourself with other human beings.

Send me  a mail if there's anything on your mind or heart, or if you just want to share in the conversation.