August 6, 2015

There’s a new phenomenon on the rise—it seems that over-talkers are overtaking our society. Auntie recently attended a soiree and two overbearing types kept stomping on the flow of conversation. No one is saying it’s not fun to jump in and add to the chatter—but loudly shutting down another soul is just tiresome, and yes, rude.

So let Auntie be the first to tell you—being a loud and obnoxious know-it-all does not make you right. In fact, it just makes you loud and obnoxious, and it makes the rest of us want to put Auntie Jodi’s Helpful Hint #270 to use:

We all have an acquaintance who is a bit needy, or controlling, miserly, or negative. The problem is when we have a dozen or two of these souls in our midst. Auntie’s best suggestion is to pare down your list of soul-suckers on your contacts list, and then, simply find yourself too busy to interact.

That’s right—Auntie is suggesting that you cut ties to these people. But sometimes, cutting ties is not easy and not possible—as evidenced in this letter Auntie received:

Dear Auntie Jodi,

Some members of my husband’s family are bombastic to the point of ridiculousness. I’ve noticed at gatherings that three people, who are not particularly funny, smart or interesting, dominate all conversations by cutting the rest of us off mid-sentence. They are constantly correcting or one upping us, or they steam-roll over everyone. I suppose I’m asking how we, the polite faction of the family, can possibly do anything about this. It’s obviously been going on for a very long time. I’m new to the family, and cannot take it.

Sincerely, Shocked Into Silence

Dear Shocked, Have you discussed this with your husband? If not, do so immediately, and set up a tag-team plan of attack for when the Bombastic Three start with their antics. If it is impossible to corral them, and to Auntie, this sounds like an old family script that will never be changed, you and your husband need to leave the area, if leaving the family is not an option. But first, why not try using Auntie Jodi’s Helpful Hint # 128:

Does every family get-together become a real life episode of the game show Family Feud? Why not make this year’s reunion pay off—for at least one branch of your family tree. Evenly divide the group, and then go around the table, asking prepared questions of all the attendees. Turn up the fun by providing everyone with a noisemaker/buzzer so that no whispering or cheating can occur without being called out. Provide a cash payout to the winners, and assign the losers to KP duty.

Have a question for Auntie? Comment and ask below or on Instagram (“>@jodiadler) Thank you ever so much.

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