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10 Things To Stop Doing in Your Relationships

10 Things To Stop Doing in Your Relationships

    Want to build positive relationships? Then make sure not to commit the following 10 things that disrupt relationships:

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    1. Giving hurtful comments. Are you hurting others by your lack of tact? You might think that you’re being helpful, but your intentions might have hurt the other party instead. Put yourself in others’ shoes first. If it’s not a comment you appreciate hearing yourself, then perhaps it’s not something others will appreciate either.
    2. Giving solutions when the person is really looking for a listening ear. Probably an understatement: A lot of times what people want is a listening ear. Deep down, people have solutions to the problems they are facing – they are just looking for someone to share their frustrations with because they have had a long and hard day. I had a friend who would always butt in with suggestions whenever I shared my frustrations. Our conversations became stifling – in the end I stopped talking about them altogether because I wasn’t getting the refuge I wanted. Be more conscious of what the other party is looking for, and adjust accordingly to fit that.
    3. Being judgmental; Thinking you are above others. No one likes to be judged or labeled. If you are constantly judging others for what they do/say, it might be good to reflect that upon yourself.  Putting someone off doesn’t make someone a better person; it just makes him/her appear insecure. Humility is a timeless virtue that’s appreciated by everyone.
    4. Being defensive to criticism. How well do you respond to criticism? Do you become defensive and wall yourself up? Or do you graciously take it into stride and use the criticism constructively for growth? Learn to deal with critical people – it might be the most important skill you can ever acquire.
    5. Telling people what to do. Most of us don’t like it when people try to boss us around. Learning to energize people and get them on board a common vision is more empowering than trying to order people around.
    6. Being aloof; Not being responsive. I have experienced situations where acquaintances do not respond to correspondences, possibly because they do not see them as important. Subsequently I form a very bad impression of them, and deprioritize their requests when they seek my help later on.
    7. Thinking you know it all. The more I learn, the more I realize what I don’t know. There is a wealth of knowledge out there for us to learn. Thinking you know everything, rejecting new methods and vehemently insisting on your ways prevents you from connecting with others. Be open to trying new things.
    8. Being a complainer. It’s okay to complain every once in a while, but doing it all too often puts off people. Complaining too much makes you an energy vortex – it becomes draining to be around you. People like to be around positive people, not energy vampires. If you are one, it’s not too late to change – start by focusing on positive things around you and work from there.
    9. Not following up on things you agreed on. One of my pet peeves is when people don’t follow up on things they agree on (be it appointments, favors, etc). I think it makes them unreliable and leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. These are the same people that I make a note not to work with in the future.
    10. Not listening. Are you present in your conversations with others? Or is your mind on something else? When conversing with someone, learn to not only listen, but listen actively. Seek out the underlying message behind what someone is saying.

    Here are some classic posts on dealing with people which you should check out:

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    Let’s work hard to build more meaningful relationships in 2011!

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    Image © Shutterstock

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    Celestine Chua

    Celestine is the Founder of Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to boost productivity and achieve excellence in life.

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    Last Updated on February 11, 2021

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

    Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

    The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

    Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

    Perceptual Barrier

    The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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    The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

    The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

    Attitudinal Barrier

    Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

    The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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    The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

    Language Barrier

    This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

    The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

    The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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    Emotional Barrier

    Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

    The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

    The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

    Cultural Barrier

    Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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    The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

    The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

    Gender Barrier

    Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

    The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

    The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

    And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

    Reference

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