Four Ways to Get Rid of an Attention Hog

Everyone has that friend who has the desire to be the center of attention all the time. It’s okay to have his or her company for a few minutes, but he or she just becomes an insecure, self-centered attention seeker whom you cannot stand hanging out with for too long. Here are some ways to get rid of an attention hog.

Zone Out

Attention-seekers tend to exploit your graciousness and your willingness to listen. Once they start talking about themselves or their opinions on things, they can’t seem to stop. They have the tendency to become emotional vampires because they are too preoccupied with making themselves the center of everyone’s attention. The more you entertain an attention-hog, he or she will find ways to completely space you out of the conversation, and attempt to divert your attention to his or her stories and antics.

While you can accommodate the irritation that comes with having an attention hog for a friend, you can instead zone out. Let the conversation get in one ear, but you can always let it out the other. While you can give your friend the impression that you’re listening, you can think about other things other than the one-way conversation taking place.

Change the Topic

Some people are smooth talkers, but not even the most conversational people can talk about everything. A quick topic change can help a lot to send a message to your friend that he or she does not need to involve himself or herself with every conversation. Attention-hogs butt in on every interesting conversation. If you want to get rid of an attention hog and you want to space him or her out of the conversation, you may want to sustain a conversation that’s not interesting at all.

Here are some ideas for topics:

  • Insurance, mortgaging (tell them how to pay down your mortgage faster), and the stock market (or something else that is meant to be boring)
  • American foreign policy in Uzbekistan (or some other topic your friend knows nothing about)
  • A long history of marshmallows in ancient Egypt (it will get interesting, but it starts off boring)

Assert Yourself

Attention-seekers are “bullies,” in the sense that they invade your personal space by robbing you of your undivided attention and monopolizing conversations. Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and your right to space:

  • Stand your ground. Sometimes it’s best to politely but sternly tell your friend that he or she is becoming quite disruptive and annoying, and that it may be more respectful for him or her to listen to conversations more than just trying to interject or interrupt.
  • Leave the conversation. If your patience is sorely tested by an attention-hog, it may do you good to just excuse yourself from the conversation, and leave. Your friend may take that as a sign that you’re irritated, and that he or she can take a hint from your actions.

Talk About Yourself a Lot

Turning the tables on an attention-seeker can make him or her realize how annoying or hurtful it can be to be spaced out of a conversation. You can show him or her an example of his or her own bad behavior by talking about yourself and what you think of things, events, and issues. By talking about yourself a lot, you can space out the attention-hog from the conversation and make him or her learn a valuable lesson in etiquette.


Attention hogs pig out on every conversation, leaving no room for other people to talk and to interact. With these steps, you can get rid of an attention hog and give everyone their space to talk and to participate in events and gatherings. If you enjoyed reading this article, you’ll surely enjoy reading how to get rid of childish people too.