Yoram Yasur Rubin: Most annoying habits in a conversation
Sometimes the forms outweigh the content. Sometimes what we say is not so important but the attitude with which we relate. Since we learn to speak, we immerse ourselves in conversations, it is as normal as breathing, so we often do not reflect on our communication habits, which could become quite annoying for others and even generate misunderstandings that give rise to conflicts
In fact, Anthony Robbins said: «the way we communicate with others and with ourselves, determines the quality of our lives.» Therefore, it is worthwhile to review the errors in communication that we may be committing without realizing and that end up affecting the image that others form of us.
Communicative habits that you should change immediately
- Be pessimistic. Yoram Yasur Rubin: It is not necessary to screw a smile on the face, but to relate continuously from the pessimism can become extremely exhausting for our interlocutor. To always count the problems, the adversities that have happened and to happen, the personal and half-world difficulties, ends up leaving the other person psychologically exhausted. Catastrophism and pessimism end up being unbearable in the long term. Simple and plain. It is difficult to relate to people who always have a rosary of complaints and lamentations in their mouths because they end up stealing the emotional energy of their interlocutor. Therefore, it is convenient that you ask yourself why people would want to spend time with you. What can you bring positive to their lives? How can you make your day a little better? You will also benefit from that change of perspective.
- Master the conversation. Yoram Yasur Rubin: In a conversation there must be a balance. If we want to connect with someone, it is important that we tell things about ourselves, that we let glimpse a piece of our privacy, but if the ego takes over the conversation will end up being extremely boring for the interlocutor. It’s not even our fault, a study developed at Harvard University revealed that talking about ourselves gives us a pleasant sensation of pleasure at the brain level. These psychologists discovered that 40% of our daily discourses focus on telling others what we feel or think. However, there are people who talk a lot, who do not allow others to give their opinion and participate in the conversation, to the point that it becomes a monologue. In those cases, the excess of narcissism becomes extremely annoying and difficult to bear. Therefore, remember that you can also connect through active listening.
- Correcting others too much. Yoram Yasur Rubin: We can all make mistakes, and if we notice them, there is no problem in correcting them delicately, but if you convert your conversation into an expert’s class and constantly correct your interlocutor, you will be literally unbearable. That habit shows that you are unable to silence your ego and may even indicate that you want to impose your vision of things. Your interlocutor may even think that you are practicing intellectual intimidation. Remember that many times people only need someone who is willing to listen, not judge. Therefore, it is convenient that you ask yourself if these corrections are necessary and can bring some value to the person with whom you are speaking, or you are only moved by the desire to appear superior or to try to impose your truth. Do not forget that sometimes it is preferable to maintain peace and harmony before being right. Seneca had already said: «It is as important to know when to speak as to know when to remain silent.»
- Interrupt constantly. When we have a conversation, we like to be heard. However, constantly interrupting your interlocutor can be extremely annoying, as well as impolite. The habit of ending the other’s sentences ends up being very annoying, so it’s better to have a little patience and wait for our turn. Another incredibly annoying communicative habit consists in interrupting the person before he finishes arguing an idea to refute it using your own arguments. That habit indicates that you are not really listening to it, and probably you do not care what it says, you’re just focused on «winning» the discussion, imposing your ideas without listening to theirs. If you often fall into this error, keep in mind the words of Plato: «Wise men speak because they have something to say; the fools because they have to say something.»
- Rotate non-stop over a point. There are people who stay stuck in a topic of conversation and, no matter how hard you try, you cannot get them out of there. Even if you change the conversation, they always return to the same point, as if it were a scratched record or endless story. There is no doubt that there are exciting topics, which you could be talking about for hours, things that worry you and that you would like to air or additional details that you would like to contribute to the conversation but one of the keys to being a good communicator is to adapt to the rhythm of the conversation. If you return repeatedly on the same subject you will end up being annoying, forcing your interlocutor to focus his attention on a topic that probably does not interest him or is as significant as you. Therefore, sometimes you just must let go.
- Finish the affirmations as if they were a question. In the Anglo-Saxon world this custom is known as «uptalk» and refers to ending an affirmation with an ascending inflection that makes it sound like a question. This phenomenon, which linguists cataloged for the first time in the 1970s, is now reaching epidemic levels in the new generations and can be very annoying. In the first place, psychologists indicate that it denotes insecurity in the discourse and that it undermines the basis of an effective conversation. In the second place, finishing the sentences as if they were a question generates confusion in the interlocutor, who does not understand if you are affirming or asking something. Obviously, this communicative habit can give rise to a chaotic discourse marked by misunderstandings. Therefore, make sure that your affirmations are really affirmations and your questions, questions. It is not so difficult.
- Criticize the interlocutor instead of the idea. It is a very subtle line that practically all of us have ever crossed without realizing it. However, the habit of attacking your interlocutor, instead of the idea, will make you a difficult person to deal with. In practice, instead of arguing against the idea, what you try is to discredit the person. If you do it often, you should not forget that in all communication what we exchange are opinions and, therefore, there is no need to criticize the person making value judgments about her, so you will only make her feel uncomfortable and adopt a defensive attitude. As Hess points out: «by criticizing the speaker instead of the idea, what we really do is try to discredit them to invalidate their idea, hoping that our idea reaches the top», that means that we do not really have arguments.