How Not To Be A Headache In Conversations
It happens everyday. You join a group of friends or acquaintances for a chat. You speak and suddenly the smiles are replaced by awkward expressions, the laughter and wild chatter by sheer silence. You wonder what you have done or said wrong.
If this situation is a scene from your life, then read on to find out what mistakes you could be making in conversations and how you can avoid them.
Wrong topic. It is best to steer clear from utterly negative, gory or touchy topics which many people are uncomfortable talking about. These may be topics related to sex, religion, politics, bad health or bad relationship. Just stay away from these topics to avoid turning a friendly conversation to an awkward moment or, worse, a heated debate.
Also, keep from using jargon or technical terms. Sometimes it doesn’t offend people that they hear technical language; what offends them is the fact that you don’t explain what it means. To avoid this, explain to people the meaning of the term without talking down to them.
Hellish dwelling. Be sure to avoid talking too much about a particular topic. It can be hellish for people if you talk endlessly about one topic, even if it’s not related to you. To avoid this mistake, pay attention to what goes on around you. If you hear music that pleases you, then you can comment on that. Instead of dwelling on your career misfortunes, you may ask about other people’s work life. This way, you don’t bore people and you get to talk about things which most people can relate with.
I, me, myself. You can’t get through life without meeting egocentric people who keeps on blabbering about themselves. What’s worse is if you’re actually that self-absorbed callous creature who’s the headache in every conversation. To be sure that you don’t talk too much about yourself, keep a mental note of how many times you brought up topics centering on you. More on, ask questions about other people and encourage them to share always what they feel or think about a certain topic.
When advice is not sound. Nobody wants to be lectured about their own life; that is an undebatable fact. However, what’s worse than being lectured is being bombarded with advice when you don’t ask for it. Even a single advice can make a person annoyed. That’s why it’s always best to just listen to people when they share their problem. More often than not, that’s what most people need, somebody who can listen to them so they can better solve their problems themselves. If they seem to be desperate or clueless as to how to find a solution, then ask first if your suggestion is welcome. Make sure to use the word "suggestion" as this means you’re not imposing your opinions or expertise on them, thus it is up to them if they follow your suggestion or not. This way you get to offer help and share your thoughts without making the conversation awkward or invading the other person’s decision-making skills.
Tiny talk. There’s a fine line separating a good listener from a boring companion. If you don’t contribute much to the conversation, chances are, you’re sending the message that you’re either uninterested or just plain passive. While you can always ask questions to encourage everyone to share more about their thoughts and feelings, the best way is to share your own and expound on what others are saying.
Although not all subjects can be your interest, you can never go wrong about expanding your horizons by exposing yourself more about topics which are new to you. Surfing the internet is the best way to do this for multifarious videos, podcasts and articles are available to you if you just take the time to discover them.
Interruptions lead to eruptions. Need I say more? This mistake often turns conversations unhappy, if not totally bitter. You can keep your mouth shut while other people are talking by concentrating on every thing they want to share. Pretend that you have to take a listening comprehension test every end of the day, meaning you have to be able to write down the things other people tell you in every conversation. The steps in avoiding this mistake are simply to train yourself to be patient, listen intently and wait for your turn to talk. Keep in mind that the best conversationalists are the best listeners and that’s probably the reason why we only have one mouth and two ears.