How to Deal With a Talkative Coworker

Many people are scared of talking to strangers and often avoid them when possible. In a survival situation, you need to talk to these people in order for them not only become friends but also be able to help you out. Here’s how

Coworkers who never shut up can be a pain to deal with. The best way to deal with them is to ignore them and let them do their own thing. Read more in detail here: coworkers who never shut up.

A man trying to shake hand with coworker and he is making weird face.

When a colleague strolling by stops to speak, you’re in your cubicle, minding your own thing. It seems harmless enough… but they do it numerous times a day. Almost every single day. While you don’t mind a little chit-chat with your coworkers, this coworker’s interruptions go much too long, are uninteresting, and/or obstruct your workflow and productivity.

What are your options for dealing with a chatty coworker? We’ll guide you through a few possibilities below.

6 Ways to Deal With an Excessively Talkative Coworker

1. Workplace small conversation is crucial; don’t dismiss it completely. While small chat at work might seem tedious and irrelevant at times, it is a crucial part of creating a positive workplace culture and connecting with your colleagues. You want to be able to communicate with them. How do you go about doing that? Frequently, it’s via the casual talk you have throughout the day. At least part of the time, be open to them. You don’t want to be known as the grumpy office curmudgeon who only speaks to people on formal business things.

Whether someone at work is chatty, use your common sense to determine if you simply need to cope with it and make some small conversation now and then, or if it’s genuinely disrupting your day. If it’s the latter, have a look at the choices listed below.

2. Use headphones and/or make oneself seem busy, but don’t overdo it. Wearing headphones to give off an unapproachable, “do not disturb” feeling is a typical practice in today’s environment. You’re less likely to get stopped by a talkative colleague if you’re actively typing, if you have a concentrated expression on your face when reviewing a report, or if you have headphones in/on. (If you have a private office, reducing distractions is frequently as simple as shutting the door; an open door usually encourages some chit-chat.)

However, keep in mind the preceding point: small conversation and general sociability are vital aspects of being a team player, so don’t wear your headphones all the time. It’s acceptable to have a few blocks of concentrated work time throughout the day, but make an effort to turn them off at other times to seem more accessible.

3. Inform them that you need to return to work. If simply appearing busy isn’t enough, make up any number of excuses to justify your need to return to work; start with the preface, “I’d really love to chat more, but…” and then add something like “I’m on a deadline for this memo” or “I have a phone call coming up later that I need to prepare for.” The problem is that these justifications can’t always be white lies; if you claim you have a phone call in 10 minutes and you don’t, you’ll be able to tell what’s going on very quickly.


“I wish I could chat more, but I’m really trying to be more focused with work, so I need to go back to it,” you may say if you don’t have a good explanation. We’ll hook up later, maybe during happy hour.”

Use pleasant tones to cushion the impact at this point – there’s no need to be a jerk. Know that your colleague is probably trying to help you and isn’t conversing with you to pull you off track. It’s more than possible that they’re simply a chatty individual attempting to make a connection, or that they’re bored and don’t know what to do with themselves.

4. Set up a meeting if it’s work-related. If you’re often stopped by work-related chit-chat and queries, set up a meeting to discuss it in more depth and in a more concentrated way. In certain circumstances, the answer is as easy as that. If the colleague responds with anything along the lines of, “Oh, it’s OK. If you say, “There’s no need for a meeting; I’ll sort it out on my own,” it’s probable that their topic was unimportant, and you merely got out of it. Winning!  

5. Confront them more forcefully about their excessive chit-chat. If the chattiness is becoming a regular occurrence and your pleasant reasons or overall “do not bother” look aren’t working, you’ll need to have a more direct, somewhat sterner dialogue about it. Of course, it’s unpleasant, but it’s occasionally essential. Sure, you could receive the quiet treatment, but isn’t that what you’ve been yearning for all along?  

6. Speak with a manager. You may bring the problem up with a supervisor or HR as a last option (that bit is critical). If you’re experiencing a severe enough problem that you’re thinking of talking to your boss about it, chances are that others are impacted as well. A supervisor may be able to address the issue in a less personal way: “I’ve heard that your chattiness is affecting other people’s productivity at work.”

You’ll be able to minimize the talkative interruptions and get back to tackling the task at hand with these strategies.



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The “coworker talks to themselves all day” is a situation that can be difficult to deal with. It is best to let them know how you feel, and try not to take it too personally.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you tell a coworker they talk too much?

A: It is best for you to phrase this question as I am finding it difficult to concentrate/focus with what you are saying. or I would prefer if we talked less and focused more on the task at hand.

How do you deal with a talker at work?

A: A talker is someone who talks a lot or spreads rumors. Some examples of how to deal with them are by reminding them that theyre not the only one talking, asking if you can trust what they say and explaining how their behavior impacts others in the workplace.

When your coworkers talk too much?

A: This can often be difficult, but you should try to remain calm and not force them out of your office. You might also want to take a break or go for lunch so that when they talk again you wont feel as irritated. If this doesnt work though, then its time to find new coworkers!

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