Group friend hogs the conversation? Try these ideas

Illustration by Melanie DeLoach.
Illustration by Melanie DeLoach.

Dear Aunt Lil,

I am writing to you for a group of friends.

We usually don’t have a problem with letting people talk about themselves, to an extent, as many people often love to do this. What we are having trouble with is the one lady who seems to turn every single topic into something that pertains to her, her family, her health, her success, et al.

This is not new behavior, but it seems to have gained momentum. It is absolutely getting on our nerves.

Should we start making plans without her? No one wants to keep putting up with this! Help!

Our Nerves Are Shot

Dear Nerves,

May I suggest duct tape for the constant quacker?

Guess not, so let’s try asking her first, “What’s new with you, Loutishia?” When you have heard enough, pull out a bell and ring it, saying, “Thanks Loutishia, let’s move along to see what’s new with the other girls.”

Loutishia will protest loudly, but ring the bell with aggressive agitation and move to Isabella, who has been forewarned, like the rest of the group, to plunge in and tell the latest and greatest with their lives and not to let Loutishia interrupt them. They are all to turn to her and say “Shhh” when she tries to horn in on the conversation. Continue to ring the bell and glare at her.

If needed, you might give this new rule a try:

“None of us in this fun group has a right to monopolize the conversation. We want to celebrate each person’s new successes or to help solve problems.”

Now, if it whizzes over her head like a speeding bullet and you are waiting for it to hit her like a locomotive, you might have to employ my newest invention. It is called the Bloomer Bopper.

You will need a large pair of colorful bloomers — bikinis or thongs will not do. Pull the bloomers over the business end of a tennis racquet. Stuff the bloomers with pillow stuffing and stitch up the leg holes.

Sew the waist part of the bloomers around the tennis racquet handle securely. Make ribbons to sew on the leg and waist parts.
You now have a Bloomer Bopper to use on Loutishia or any other long-winded people who need a reminder to “shut their fly trap.”

May I wish you great success with my invention.

I live to serve,
Aunt Lil

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