Help-my cousin is driving me crazy


Ok some background. My cousin “Cindy” and I are only a year apart. As kids we lived only 2 blocks away from each other and hung out all the time. Her parents moved out of state due to a job transfer. Recently my cousin “Cindy” moved back to our state. She is recently divorced, no kids (husband was never “ready”)and is 34 years old.

I was pretty excited to rekindle our friendship. Well when she first got back we were talking and our conversation turned to faith and how important it is for my husband and I and our family. She seemed very enthused about returning to the church. (She was raised Catholic but stopped going quite a while back and married outside the church.) I was really happy about that so she started attending Mass with our family. Went to confession with us and everything.

Now for the problem she’s really starting to drive me crazy. She talks almost non-stop and completely dominates the conversation. When she calls it takes me over an hour at least to get off the phone with her. She doesn’t just talk to me she talks to everyone.

For instance we made a quick stop at the grocery store after one of lunches together. She struck up a converstion with the man behind the deli counter while he was taking care of her order. She continued to talk to him after he was done and he was trying to take care of other customers. I finally walked away and did pretty much my weeks worth of grocery shopping waiting for her stop telling this man her life story. It had to have been at least 30 minutes.

Another time she called and asked what I was doing that day. I told her I planned to go to adoration to make a holy hour. She asked if she could come. When we got to church I stopped in at the bathroom. When I came out she had struck up a conversation with an elderly woman in the vestibule. I waited politely about 10 minutes before I finally went into the church alone. She continued talking to this woman for over a half hour. Her voice was so loud I could hear it (as well as all others who were there) all the way inside the church. When she finally came in and sat beside me she tried to talk to me about this conversation she had with this woman. I finally leaned over and asked her if we could talk about it later.

There’s other things -she constantly complains about having no money and yet everytime we go out she’s alway buying things. Things like knick-knacks,clothes, cd’s ect. She’s on her third job since moving back and it hasn’t been even a year. Her bosses/co-workers are “too demanding” or “unappreciative” or “rude”. The way she talks about her current job I don’t think it’s going to last much longer either.

Her first job she actually got working at my Aunt and Uncle’s business (not her parents -a different Aunt & Uncle). When she found out some of her co-workers were making more money than her she was upset and asked for more money. My Aunt said they had more experience and turned her down. She kept some important papers my Aunt needed in retaliation -feeling completely justified in doing so. Eventually she changed her mind and returned them but when my Aunt found out she fired her.

I know this is already too long… I feel bad for her, she lives alone and she talks about how lucking I am to a have husband and children. I know she lonely -but she exhausting to be around. And her attitude just grates on my nerves. I sometimes wonder if this is some sort of mental illness she has.



Is there any way that you could gently let her know how you feel? I think if you could find a way to be both honest and charitable, you would probably be doing her a really big favor. Maybe you can let her know that you are so happy she is back, but just want to give her some feedback so that you two can have the kind of friendship that you both really want to have. Be sure to have some of her positive attributes in the forefront of your mind, so you can be reassuring if she takes it hard. How she responds to this might give you a better idea of whether she is just lonely and going through an understandably difficult time or if she is genuinely mentally ill.


I’m honestly not sure how productive that would be. She already not speaking to 3 of my cousins because “they are too critical” and “judgemental” according her. Often the things she tells me that they said to her don’t sound like they’re being too critical but giving her sound advice.

I can’t really tell her she talks too much, can I?:o She doesn’t seem to have any sense of people. These long winded converstations with strangers happen nearly every time we go somewhere. I can see the peoples eyes glaze over after a while but she just chatters on completely oblivious.

She’s very sweet in other ways and my girls just love her because she’s silly and playful with them but her maturity level seems like a teenager or child instead of a grown woman.

Recently at her job one of the employees was making a presentation. She told me she was being helpful by speaking up and giving her thoughts and her own experiences on the subject. She told me the person making the presentation got very annoyed and asked her to quit interrupting. She said she tried to explain she was only trying to be helpful. When her boss asked her sit down and let the employee make the presentation she stormed out of the meeting. That is not the behavior of a grown woman.

I’m very happy she’s returned to the church and I’m afraid if I say something to upset she just quit going and then I’ll feel guilty.


I also have a cousin like that. She does know though that she has this tendency. So, sometimes she will ask if we really want her to start talking. I think she knows once she gets started, it’s hard to stop.

I don’t know, I’ve spent most of my life being too worried about hurting people’s feelings and kept too much to myself. Now I sort of think it is nicer to let someone know how you are feeling. Personally, if others were feeling this way about me, I would want to know. I am always open for improvement.


i think your cousin is going through a time when she is trying to connect with people and the only way she is able to do so is by talking… i have become that way now although before i could easily hear about someone else for the entire conversation and come away satisfied…
she might just be needing some plain old TLC… you might try to change the subject visibly in front of her…


There was a very friendly guy who ran a Catechism Study Group who tended to be long-winded. He’d invite people to his house and then have almost a captive audience. Good thing was, he had a healthy sense of humor, humility, and awareness of other people. So the solution which he himself proposed with a smile was to take an actual egg-timer three minute hour glass and whenever he or anyone else in the Study Group wanted to start talking and make a point, whoever the speaker was could only talk for as long as the sand in the hourglass allowed. :thumbsup:

~~ the phoenix


**Bear with me, I’m just thinking out loud here…

what if, during one of her too long conversations with a busy worker (like the deli guy) YOU interrupt and say “come on Cindy, let’s go, this man needs to get back to those waiting customers” with a big smile?

My mom likes to talk to, but she isn’t like your cousin. I can do things like interrupt and use humor to get her moving…not sure how effective that would be for your cousin as she might perceive YOU as the rude one. But at least you’d be doing a good deed for any of her “victims”;).

I think you just need to speak up more and make it about you. Like your example of adoration “let’s talk about this later” seemed to work. But also give a reason. “I’d just like to listen to Jesus for awhile…I’d like to pray in silence…I just need some quiet time…etc”. That way you give her something to think about without being accusatory.

Malia **


Is this something new for her, or has she always been like this? If this trait has only recently appeared, if you notice that her personality has changed, perhaps it is, as you said, some kind of mental issue. Perhaps she should be checked out by a doctor.


i wouldnt rush to label it as a mental disorder… but i would be kind and let her know that she was intruding a bit too much sometimes… after all she is trying to have a conversation with you and not a monologue…


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