Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Your very-close someone gets points off for tactlessness, but still did you a favor. Painful as it is, it’s better to know you’ve maxed out at least one person’s listening capacity than alienate others as you unwittingly prattle on about [Topic] .
So, what to do next:
(1) Hire someone to listen to you. Whatever [Topic] is, there’s someone out there with the expertise to help you. If you can’t afford that, then dig a little more. While alternatives to expensive/scarce professional guidance are inadequate to the need, there are people trying to improve access, be it through sliding-scale fees or group care or affiliation with a larger entity that can absorb some of the costs. Start looking for your safe place to unload. Talking about it beyond even one listener’s limits likely means it’s time to find a way to stop talking and start moving forward, whether it’s a persistent problem or a dramatic life change preoccupying you.
(2) Don’t banish [Topic] from all conversations, but be mindful of others’ limits, and, ideally, open about them: “I realize I’ve beaten [Topic] to death, but I have something I’d like to bounce off you. May I impose on you for 15 minutes?” And stick to the time limit you promised, unless the other person is plainly OK with running long.
(3) Avoid [Topic] around the person who spoke up. No point in looking for loopholes there.
Good luck making peace with [Topic] , so it’s not always first in mind.
That’s possible too — and for that, the solution is to save [Topic] for those similarly immersed in it. Diaper talk with other new parents, hobby talk with similar hobbyists, etc.
“Listen” might be the single most useful bit of advice, for friendship, romance, career, parenting … even basket-weaving, though at some point you'll probably have to weave a basket.
It’s the thing in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction.