Social skills and maintaining relationships are probably two of the most important things in life. Yet, these are also the most difficult to do. Communicating the wrong way will lead to miscommunication. Miscommunication from the sender will make one look stupid, irritating, and annoying.
If there was something that we should have learned more in school, it would be how to improve our communication skills, not just because we use it daily, it is also because of its vitality in maintaining relationships.
You can find solid and time-tested information throughout the years regarding this topic. And since communication and relationships are pretty instinctive free flowing processes, advices which apply in all situations are quite hard to find. Much of these things are learned from experience.
Here are five common mistakes that we should avoid to improve our communication skills, our relationships, and our lives.
1. Being judgmental. No one likes being judged. If you keep up such topics in your conversations, then soon, the people you talk to will probably start to assume that you talk the same way about them when they are not around. It will place a barrier between you and the people you have relationships with.
Besides, being judgmental might make you feel superior for a short while. But in the long run, it will put negative energy into your frame of mind.
2. Bragging. You may think bragging about your new phone or what you make money-wise will impress people. But consciously trying to impress anyone quickly becomes pretty obvious and transparent. You will likely come across as annoying, trying-hard, and insecure rather than the coolest kid in town.
3. Putting the spotlight on Me, Me and Me. A couple of common ways to put the spotlight on you are:
a. Talking too much: This is hijacking someone else’s story by interrupting and then relating it to some anecdote in your life. By this means, it’s taking the focus off the other person and on to you once again.
b. Not really listening, just waiting for your turn to talk again.
c. When you’re clinging desperately by talking about them as long as you can, then try really hard to maneuver the conversation back to you.
4. Always giving advice. I’ve been guilty of this so many times. A lot of people don’t really realize that it might be something that we should be holding a bit back. If someone is telling you about a problem or situation then it’s easy to assume they want your point of view and advice. It’s easy to feel clever by dispensing your wisdom.
But sometimes people just want to you to listen and hear them out. So just listen instead of bursting out your problem-solving skills immediately or you can ask if they want to hear what you would do in a similar situation.
5. Worrying about making mistakes in conversations. Thinking too much about what you say or how you say it is a dead end. Instead of having focus, you will end up in a limbo of words and thoughts. You will feel flustered and everything becomes uncomfortable. The only way you can escape the worry of looking dumb is by not focusing on it too much. The feeling of being intimidated will not help you at all. Be yourself.
There are some who were born good communicators and there are some who find it hard communicating. Yet, whoever you are, I hope this article would help you realize that in order to have fruitful conversations with others, you should definitely avoid the conversational mistakes mentioned above.