Characteristics of the Person:- Dogmatic and doesn't have a full stop in his conversation. He talks what he wants to talk, and isn't interested in what others want to talk or anything outside the scope of his interest. He just comes in says hello and tries to repel the conversation to what he wants to talk, and then there is no way to turn him out of it. But this isn't the problem.

Example of our conversation:- Let's say he likes some x product. He would talk about why product x is a good one and everything good about it (and some made up stuff too), which is plausible. But the things is that in order to prove the superiority of x he brings other related product y and starts debating on why y is inferior as compared to x. This is quite detrimental, not only to others opinion but also ends up making him believe in some false information. I tried many times to rectify him, but due to his dogmatic nature I end up on the receiving end of irrational criticism. Due to this the conversation ends up having information having influence of his prejudice, rather then mere facts. As I mentioned he doesn't know when to stop. His conversation can go on for hours if nothing is there to interrupt it (Today we conversed for 4 hours about some stuff that is beyond our control).

The Actual Problem:- I am least interested in the conversation, because the same conversation happens everytime he talks to me, about some products that he likes. I am tired of listening to the same stupid stuff everytime, about why x is greatest and other's are not. I tried several time to change the topic of our conversation to something else (more productive) but he ends up coming back to what he wants to talk regardless of other's interest.

Problem from my part:- My problem is that I just don't know how to express my lack of interest in his conversation. I tried to give him many signs depicting that "I am not interested in this talk" but he ignores them all and ends up talking about what he wants. And I am not a blunt person, who can go to a person and say "Get off my face" (which i believe would end up Hurting him). Due to this I end up nodding to whatever he says, without any interest for hours (Today, I wasted 4 hours of my life listening to this crap).

What Do I want:- I want some methods that I could use to make him stop bothering me. Or to make him realize that "I am not interested".

P.S.:- For those people who would answer/comment on me trying to acknowledge him about his behaviour, should probably stop coz I have tried quite a lot doing so but due to his arrogance nothing goes past his ego. So I believe work should be done on our side, rather then on his.

  • I edited your title to try to suggest the real problem; a “dogmatic” person wouldn’t necessarily be talkative. Also, why does this have a “management” tag? Nov 9, 2019 at 17:17
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    Sorry, I have to work comes to mind Nov 9, 2019 at 17:21
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    Do products x and y related to your job at all? Why does he bring it up, does he want you to do something about x and y?
    – Helena
    Nov 9, 2019 at 18:10
  • @JoeStrazzere Well, I have tried walking away from him, in order to signify that "I got something else to do" but still he keeps on following me, I tried changing topic, I tried acknowledging him several times about this particular habit also tired telling him my lack of interest in his "talks". Just to name a few Nov 10, 2019 at 6:30
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    @NeedHelpPlss I am trying to understand whether these conversations are relevant to your job or not. The example you gave around movie is very different whether you are movie producer or a gardener.
    – Helena
    Nov 10, 2019 at 11:49

3 Answers 3


Take him aside in private sometime and say:

“Bob, I have to tell you something that you won’t like to hear, but I think it’s important. I have noticed that you have a tendency to speak at length on subjects that interest you, without regards for whether your audience cares to hear about this topic. As a result, people tend to avoid you. Personally, I feel that it’s impacting my work because so many hours are taken up listening to your lectures and I have trouble concentrating on my duties. Please try not to do this. In the future I will let you know when this is happening by making this hand motion (extend your hand with palm raised). If you don’t stop, I will say “you’re doing it again!” and expect you to stop. I’d like us to be friends, but if this behavior continues I’m going to have to avoid you too so I can do my job.”

Then follow through on what you said.

I’ve used this exact approach several times. If you do it firmly but politely, it actually works well.

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    +1 Good answer -- Note that you can't change his behavior without causing him at least a little discomfort. You balance this by promising that you want him to change because you want to be his friend. Nov 9, 2019 at 19:00
  • Thanks for taking time to answer my question. I would follow as you said in our immediate conversation, and would return his output back to you. Nov 10, 2019 at 6:20
  • Good answer, but a little too touchy feely for my taste. I would be more direct, just because it’s my experience that people like this can miss what you’re talking about if you’re not blunt. Also, I wouldn’t discuss what other people’s reactions are unless you know for a fact what they are, because that adds an unnecessary dimension of gossip to the whole thing that might make the person feel ganged up on.
    – Joe
    Nov 18, 2019 at 13:13

Just pointing out that I have work to do and turning my focus to that work tended to work for me. It can be especially helpful if you can have something urgent to take care of, but I'd advise against making something up or causing a problem. Inflating the urgency of something that's already legitimately important generally worked for me.

I do feel like Ernest Friedman-Hill's answer is a better answer in the general case, but this is a less confrontational option that I used until I got the confidence to do as Ernest suggests.

If that's not effective, and this person's topic of interest is not relevant to their work, it may be helpful to mention to their boss how much time they spend on this non-work-related subject. As Joe Strazzere pointed out in his comment, this can be a dicey option. You'd want to be sure to have a pretty significant time attempting the first suggestion before talking to the boss.

That said, the times I've heard of this backfiring on the person due to their own involvement in the situation, it was because the person told the boss "we were talking", including themselves in the report. Be sure if you talk to their boss, "he was talking at me", rather than the other.

It may also be helpful to point out that this behavior is making it difficult for you to get your work done, but depending on how closely you are organizationally related to this person, that may not be as useful. If you report to the same boss, absolutely assert that you're trying to work and this is distracting from it.

If your reporting situation is like mine was in most of the cases I've had that were similar to this, where the only person in both your reporting chain and theirs was the CEO, and there's over a dozen people in those chains, stressing the distraction from your own work may not be effective at all.

  • I did use a weasel word, mostly for that reason. But I've updated my answer to try to better address that concern.
    – Ed Grimm
    Nov 9, 2019 at 17:51
  • If they're following the advice I gave in the paragraph before that, they spent most of that time attempting to work, at least. Note that I started the second paragraph with "If that's not effective."
    – Ed Grimm
    Nov 9, 2019 at 18:05
  • Thanks for answering my question. I would try you method as well, and would provide you his reaction on it. Nov 10, 2019 at 6:24

I would try to simply tune out, ignore him or walk away at some point. It might seem rude but by nodding you are providing him positive feedback and enabling him.

A good test would be to stop looking at him, don't react and put your headphones if you have any. Otherwise you could simply walk away for a few minutes without saying anything and ignore him once you come back.

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