In our life, we meet thousands of people, and we exchange ideas about many different topics. But do we really take benefit of it? Do you remember the last time you had a really interesting conversation with someone? A conversation that teaches you something, give you a new perspective that you are still thinking about today, that is helping you to progress in your life journey?
We lost a lot of time in small talks without getting any kind of growth from it.
We are going to see common errors that destroy any kind of contact and make the conversation toxic, errors that can even cause people to have a bad impression of you. Those bad habits are everywhere and people even don’t realize they are doing it. So, I decide to talk about it so that you won’t be the guy in the room nobody wants to talk to.
Speaking too much about you
Probably the most tragic mistake, being selfish and operating self-ego masturbation is commonly hated in society. Studies tend to show that people are able to like unknown people just because they listen to them, so before speaking about ourselves, trying to listen can help create proximity. Of course, there are exceptions, and if you feel the person in front of you is receptive and enjoy our monologue, then take benefit of it.
It’s pretty easy to see if someone is interested in you or what you are saying. The body language, especially the eyes, the arms, and the posture will indicate if he/she wants to run away or give a hug. You should also pay attention to the signs the person gives, if they are really generic, with a low and subtly blazed voice, you should consider giving up. If you have the intuition that he is not interested, try to ask something like “sorry I’m talking a lot, maybe you would like to join your friends” or “if I’m taking too much of your time, just tell me.” Those kinds of sentences show deep respect for the person (which is in my opinion, is the most important) and let him the possibility to stop the conversation if he doesn’t like you. If that’s the case, it’s better to quit earlier because it prevents both of you from wasting time. Although the person may not enjoy you, you also will not let a displeasing image which can play on your reputation.
Judgment and Intolerance
You probably think that you are open-minded and tolerant, but in reality, studies show that we are permanently comparing and fitting the information we receive to our own values system, memories, education… and naturally react protective to difference. So, how do you behave in a way the person won’t feel judged or rejected? Listening first without making comments or strong emotional faces is the key. Generally, people speak more to be listened than to receive advice, and by consequence, they don’t expect us to be their life coach or psychologist. Secondly, when you feel that something is really far from your belief or the person is doing something really unappropriated, instead of blaming him/her on our own perception, you can just try to understand. Ask more details and try to get the mindset behind this belief or behavior. By doing this, you will learn a lot about topics you probably had a bad impression at first and you will portray a good image, great maturity, and wisdom of yourself, which is pretty rare these days.
Being our ego’s slave
We all are at some point slave of our ego. You may experience it when someone is saying something about a skill or a subject that you are reputed to be good at. From there, you feel a responsibility to defend your position as an “expert” and therefore try your best to be right more than to have a real conversation. If you want a clear example of this, just look at two musicians meeting each other. They may act friendly but you can quickly realize that they just want to show off and impose their superiority, technically. Or let’s say you are a French person traveling abroad, and during a conversation with new foreign friends, someone eating a croissant suddenly asks you how they are made. Let’s assume you don’t have any idea about the process but your ego doesn’t want you to be the ignorant French guy. Rather, you feel the pressure to speak about it because it’s your culture. It’s generally at this point that you sacrifice the truth for some bullshit talk just to avoid admitting you don’t know anything about it. The problem is that it’s really a risky game because others feel when you do, they can ask more questions or if there is a real expert in the room, you are dead and will also lose your credibility forever. It may be painful to confess that you don’t know something but it’s much less painful than to lie.
When I meet someone and he or she starts talking bad about another person, I try to escape the conversation as fast as I can, especially when I don’t know the person he or she is talking about. Because firstly, complaining is just a sign of incapacity to change a situation. Secondly, because I’m not speaking to people to be witnessing a trial. Thirdly, because it’s only negative emotions and I don’t need my mind to be polluted with this and lastly, because it strongly shows that the person is not intelligent enough socially to canalize his or her anxiety and need to share it with everyone around, creating a bad vibe source. Now it’s up to you, some people love trash-talk…
If you wish to be enjoyed by others, start by not being unpleasant. As you saw in this video, it can be really subtle and counter-intuitive at first. Speaking too much about ourselves, ignoring feedback, judging or being intolerant, being your ego’s slave or depreciating others are common things hated in society. So, next time you are socializing, try to be aware of those things first, and then correct them. If there are other things you hate in society, please share them so we can make a part 2 and make the world even better!