Digesting Gobbled-up, Overbearing Responses


The following responses to: The question to ask is are we coming across overwhelming or overpowering to others?  provide additional insight in identifying abrasive, insensitive and overbearing attitudes.

Oh, how grateful I am for your insights. I am a gobbler. In fact, it has taken discipline over recent years not to call, not to barge in on others' lives, but rather wait to be invited. Thank you. E

During divorces (twice the same guy) and troubling times I was pulled into by Satan, I was a gobbler. ‘Could have claimed I was a turkey! I realized it but was desperately deeply in trouble. God gave me a couple people who understood. How blessed I was. I am way more aware now after the drama-way has passed. When I can, I try to be a source of encouragement to others. Life ‘rings’ are needed more and more these days. It's a frustrating, confusing world. I am still blessed. B

I appreciated the honesty of these two gals and am wondering if periodically, taking an inner analysis of our own attitudes and dialogue would be a profitable social and spiritual journey. Perhaps many of you do that already, rather than waiting until a stressful situation and possible hurt feelings demands attention.

Gobbled-up, Overbearing is so good and helps me a lot in dealing with my introverted friend. JS.

It pleases Introverts when loquacious friends acknowledge that speaking actually enables them to think; and “to help me, please raise your hand when your ears are brimful.”

I laughed a lot during this read.... I’ve had people like this all thru my life and A and I have a couple who are like this now.... we laugh at the moment it's happening.... knowing they have to go home eventually, or the day/event will end... We "limit" our physical exposure in time because it is taxing...Loved the story of "Sue" showing up 1500 miles away...She surely had gall!!! J.

When Jim preached about relationships and Extroverts’ tendency to overstay their welcome, he told a story about the couple when being over-visited, the husband looked at his watch and nonchalantly said, “Look at the time. Whose house are we at? We’ve got to be going.”

It’s always respectful to comment early on in a visit, “We’ve kept you folks long enough; we need to be going”, and allow the hosts to say, “Oh, please stay a little longer “--if they do. Then stay 10 minutes more and leave. Extroverts who mindlessly overstay visits wisely monitor their visiting time by setting a time limit before arrival or commenting, “I’m staying only 20 minutes. So, please remind me if I forget.”

I'm responding to the scripture verse Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” King Solomon shows us his wisdom applied to relationships. It may bring hurt, but it can also encourage us to make changes in our attitude and behavior. I prefer a friend's wounds over an enemy's kisses. I love the title of your blog, Gobbled-up.  Devour comes to mind.  Setting boundaries is a way of dealing with haughty people.  I do agree with you on using an honest "I statement" and the reception of that. T.

Oh, that was wonderful. I had a friend who was an early riser and had everything finished when she came to see me. I never had a schedule, but worked around when my kids wanted to eat and sleep so her visit was always an intrusion. I often wondered whether I was intrusive, interrupted, or offered information that was never solicited. H.

Giving unsolicited advice is a tough blunder to monitor and demands strong resolve to eliminate entirely.  Ascertaining when people are actually interested in long on-going discussions requires trial and error along with becoming adept in reading body language. Offering a hint like “I identify with your experience with—say, an obvious broken arm, etc.…then stopping with that, as an invitation for them to follow up with your hint of like-experience should they want. If they do not inquire, don’t instill. Many people interject “Here’s what you should say or avoid, do, buy, etc.” The comic, ‘Maxine’ says “I don’t give unsolicited advice but just answer questions that haven’t been asked yet.”

One of our mom’s favorite one-liner cautions was ‘unsolicited advice is of no avail.’  In other words, unsolicited advice falls on deaf ears, or “If I don’t ask for advice, it’s unlikely that I’ll embrace yours.”  That’s what Mom wrote to Jim and me when we were learning how to care for our first child. The advice for ‘onion’ tea, and other old wives’ tales-suggestions kept us swirling.  Mom never offered advice but was willing to respond if she was confident that she had ‘wherewithal to speak’, as she often expressed. She said “Listen politely to unsolicited advice, then do it your way.” Wisdom, then, is to wait until the listener responds to your hint for details and delay giving advice until asked.  We sibs appreciated that mom listened to us and humbly advised us only when we asked.

Another form of overbearing control is slinging abrasive criticism and opinions, of another’s lifestyle, downgrading a restaurant, a state of the Union, part of town, autos, schools and people they dislike or disapprove of, church, club or hurling threatening ultimatums ad nauseam.  Abrasive-speakers are not fun to be around.  They leave lots of needed recovery in their wake, like small children whose disgruntled parent scolds them for making a mess of an ice cream treat or misbehavior in a store. “I’m never bringing you to this ice cream store again.” or “This is the last time I’m taking you to a ballgame.” I overheard a frustrated mom threaten her sleepy preschooler, “I’m going to put you in the car and lock the door while we finish eating.” That was a horribly controlling and frightening thing to say to a child.

What really gets me is that when I’ve experienced a medical problem, car problem, putting a pet down, and someone asks, “How’s your day going”, and I indicate something that has happened and before I’m finished, they chime in, “I know how you feel…what happened to me was…” P.

One-up-man-ship  is another insensitive and disgusting dialog to tolerate and likewise probably the most difficult to ditch. I’m sure every reader will recognize being subjected to this communication flaw.

It is amazing how many people assume the passive position of “I can top your story”.  Remaining silent on a personal past/better story rather than falling into the arrogant and negative one-up-man-ship demands intense resolve. Besides that, telling anyone that you know how they feel, isn’t very comforting and robs them of their personal story. Everyone deserves to tell his/her story without interruption. One of my friends responded to a neighbor who asked him how his day was going with “Well, not too good. I had to put my dog down.”  The neighbor said, “I know how you feel, I had to put two dogs down at the same time, once.”  Was that comforting to my friend?  Not in the least. “I’m sorry you had that happen”, is a better reply or “Is there anything I can do to help you?” is a generous response. Learning to listen is an extremely important and essential communication skill and an excellent and rewarding endeavor.

As I shared my broken ankle story, many who had experienced much, much worse ankle breaks involving pins and plates, sympathized, brought food and offered to shop, mail letters and fetch my mail. I intentionally took my own advice and listened carefully to their stories which were informative as well as bond-strengthening.

The multi sides of gobbled-up, overbearing, demanding, controlling, abrasive, monopolizing conversation, overstaying, unsolicited advice-giving, one-upmanship will never just disappear but can only be identified, understood, controlled and discontinued.

Unless we identify these negative attitudes and double check our own lazy and hurtful communication skills, we may not claim ownership.  But using Jesus’ Golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” can also be applied “Say unto others what you would have others say unto you.”

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.  I Cor. 13:4-8 (NIV).