Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Everyone can talk, but striking up a good conversation is a skill not everyone can master. What draws the line between a good and a bad conversationalist is not just one who knows more than keeping the conversation going. Actually, there are some common habits and things we do unintentionally that are considered rude in a conversation. Read along to find out whether you do any of these conversational mistakes.
You wouldn’t notice how annoying being interrupted is until you experience it yourself. We all hate being cut off mid-sentence, it makes us feel like what we are saying is not important. When we interrupt conversations, we come off as selfish people who just want to jump in and say what we want regardless of who is speaking or what they are saying.
2. Wanting to prove yourself right
You need to pay attention when you are forcing an opinion in a conversation, wanting to prove yourself right, or trying too hard to make the listener agree. In mature productive conversations, we should expect and accept that people can have different opinions and that they don’t have to agree with everything we say.
3. Acting all-knowing
You might have good knowledge, but boasting too much about it by speaking about things not everyone understands or constantly correcting others makes it sound like you see them as ignorant. While done with good intentions, you must first make sure the piece of information you want to share is a topic of interest to the listener or at least a topic in which they have some fluency.
We all want to share a story or speak about a situation we have faced, but one-upping the speaker is perceived as wanting to steal the show or bragging. For instance, if someone speaks about their trip to a certain country you shouldn’t try to top their story with a better one. Also, if someone is sharing how bad their day has been don’t try to respond by saying how your day was even worse than theirs. This, instead of building connections, channels competitiveness.
5. Unsolicited advice
A rule of thumb: never give advice if you are not asked for it. Sometimes, people come to us with a problem in which they’d want to hear our opinion on how we would have solved it. Other times, they come to us just to vent, seeking empathy, connection, and emotional support without having to be told what to do or not to do. So unless someone asks you what they should do, don’t volunteer with advice.
6. Prepping your response before you listen to the end of the sentence
Are you listening attentively or just waiting to jump in with a reply? A lot of people don’t listen intentionally and just have a reply in their head ready to blurt it out even before the speaker finishes what they are saying. Don’t focus on just replying, listen actively instead.
7. Disengaged body language
This behavior is exhibited in different ways such as not maintaining eye contact, being turned away from the person speaking, or checking your phone. While in a conversation, it is important to watch out for our body language in order not to send unresponsive or uninterested signals.
8. Asking private questions
There’s a difference between wanting to break the ice or keep a nice conversation going, and going too far as to ask personal questions. Keep the conversation as broad as possible with general topics. Don’t ask questions about ethnicity, income, or the choice of having kids or not.
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