What is Motor-Mouth Syndrome?
“Motor-Mouth Syndrome” is when you or someone involved in a “supposed” conversation cannot stop talking to the point that the other person has great difficulty getting any words into the conversation. The conversation is one sided, as a result.
Motor-Mouths come in many versions but all do the same (incessantly talk and Hi-jack the conversation). Some are:
1. The Kind “Motor-Mouth”
You bump into this person, he or she asks, “How are you?,” appearing like they are really interested in you. Once you give your short answer they immediately take the “ball” from you and never ever give it back to you. They incessantly talk about themselves and their interests.
2. The Extreme Narcissist “Motor-Mouth”
This kind comes to you to get their supply of admiration from you as they give themselves endless praise and edit out any flaws from their image. Once they leave, you think, “What a self-absorbed, egotistical, selfish %$&^!”
3. The Professor “Motor-Mouth”
When this type of “Motor-Mouth” finds a listener that might look interested, he dumps on them their semi-truckload of knowledge. He is in love with his knowledge and has little awwareness that he already lost his listener. As a matter of fact, he wore out his listener. It is unfair and insensitive towards the listener. They were not expecting a long lecture on something that could have been answered with two or three sentences. Quoting obscure sources and erudite phrases, this “Motor-Mouth” overwhelms others.
4. The Projectile Barfer “Motor-Mouth”
These come to you because they have a gripe or problem they are complaining about and they have to ventilate and dump it on some innocent listener. You feel they just assaulted you without your permission. They feel so easily empowered to verbally vomit their stuff on you. Then they wipe their mouths, and leave. They leave you with all that toxic waste on you and never even say “Thanks.” How selfish!
5. The Educated “Motor-Mouth”
This person can, with eloquence, intelligently discuss any issue with you but is only interested in listening to hearing themselves. Trying to give a counter argument side is exhausting simply for the fact that you are trying to get a word in but cannot. When you walk away, you feel you were not listened to and/or that the other person did not care to really understand your side of the argument.
6. The Comedic “Motor-Mouth”
Comedic “Motor-Mouths” get a laugh from those around him but do not know when to stop. If someone says something in the convesation, it is an excuse to continue and spit out another joke. It goes on and on until folks get worn out and the humor is gone. He does not know when to stop.
7. The OCD “Motor-Mouth”
These types tell you something, then they repeat themselves saying the same thing over and over like you did not get it the first time. They annoy the daylights out of you because they cannot stop telling you what they just told you already… and they continue to do it.
8. The Activist “Motor-Mouth”
Activist “Motor-Mouths” can range from folks ranting about what they are angry about to those that assume you are as interested in their causes as you are. It can be political, religious, academic, shop-talk, etc. If you ask them one question about their area of concern, they deliver the equivalent of the “Gettysburg Address” to you.
9. The Deluded “Motor-Mouth”
This version erroneously thinks they are good listeners. In reality, they overwhelmingly control and dominate the conversation without really stopping to get feedback from the listener. They really are not interested in considering diverse views. They internally discount those views automatically and assume they have the only perspective that is valid.
10. The “I’m Right and You’re Wrong Motor-Mouth”
This person has great difficulty in believing the best of others and cannot accept a meeting point in the middle. You are put into the category of an enemy of their position as prideful, archaic, being a Neanderthal, or given an infinitude of labels used to degrade you in their minds. Putting a label on you helps them justify their superior arrogant righteousness.
11. The Emotional “Motor-Mouth”
This “Motor-Mouth” is unique because they end up dominating the whole discussion due to their intensity of emotion whether it is with anger, yelling, or crying, etc. The emotional outburst ends up monopolizing and detouring any possibility of engaging with reason. This is not saying that this person’s hurts and wounds don’t matter, but once the emotional outburst happens, it totally takes over the discussion and nothing else matters any more. It kills any opportunity for diverse thinking. The listener cannot respond for fear of being called “insensitive and uncaring.” The emotionally affected person cannot hear anything said from that point on, even if the other person is finally able to get a word in.
What is going on underneath the life of a “Motor-Mouth”?
1. The person is emotionally stuck in adolescence or childhood.
These ages are developmental periods where a person learns from their parents on how to share with others, not be selfish, and develop the ability to look outside of themselves to the needs of those around them. They are not able to be inter-dependent with others. One can say that “Motor-Mouths” are immature and selfish person. They have socially arrested development. Possibly, there was a parental failure to train them to be unselfish. Maybe the parents were selfish “Motor-mouths” themselves.
2. Motor-Mouths cannot put themselves in other people’s shoes. This makes them insensitive and therefore they miss many cues of what is going on with others. This contributes to them living in a deluded and blind selfish bubble.
3. As mentioned earlier, they typically cannot believe the best of others since they are already on a track of self-centeredness and elevating their worldview as the only one that is right.
Is there hope for a “Motor-Mouth”?
The issue is how hungry is the “Motor-Mouth” to change?
The greater the selfishness then the greater the difficulty in changing.
“Motor-Mouths” must want to change badly and need to start shutting up and asking more questions in conversations. They need to practice listening to themselves as they talk. They need to measure their talking and work to shorten their statements. They need to say things concisely and precisely. A recovering “Motor-Mouth” needs to get input from others who are safe that will give them honest feedback. They need to recruit people to help them and coach them. After a conversation they can ask the other person, “Did I monopolize the conversation?” or “Did you feel like I listened and understood you?” “Motor-Mouths” should consider giving their friends permission to give them a hand signal when they are dominating the conversation or when the other person needs to insert their comments and views. Another way for “Motor-Mouths” to overcome their continuous talking is to imagine they are playing a game of verbal tennis. Like hitting the ball back and forth at regular short intervals, the “Motor-Mouth needs to stop talking and let the other person respond intermittently. This is a healthy way of participating in a mutually enjoyable interchange. As can be seen, there is hope for a “Motor-Mouth.”
Wondering how to have good conversations? Check out the video below.
López De Victoria, S. (2017). What is Motor-Mouth Syndrome?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-motor-mouth-syndrome/