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Don’t Let These 4 Habits Ruin Your Conversations

Don’t Let These 4 Habits Ruin Your Conversations
Bad Habits Can Ruin Conversations
    Bad Habits Can Ruin Conversations

    Why didn’t he call me back?  Why didn’t she laugh at my joke?  Why don’t they want to hang out again?

    Do you ever get the feeling that maybe something you did or said sabotaged your conversation (or worse, your relationship!?).

    In a perfect world, we could all take the Conversation Skills Assessment Aggregator 2000 and it would spit out a printed analysis of our entire communication profile.  It would detail our every strength and weakness, our every good and bad habit, and even our conversation style.  Maybe it would even make polite suggestions for you in a British accent.

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    Luckily, you have a good friend who always advises you on your conversation habits.  Oh, you don’t?  Neither do I.  If we are making a conversation mistake, most of us will never find out.  People will just choose not to talk to us as much.  You may not think anything of it.

    You may not have a friend or a machine that can politely make suggestions, but there are very common conversation mistakes you can look out for. With a little self reflection and self awareness, you can at least ensure that you are not damaging your conversations and relationships any further.

    Let’s look more closely at four of the bad habits:

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    1. Are You a Parrot?

    Do you find yourself just paraphrasing or repeating what the other person said?  If they say, “that was a cool movie!” do you say, “Yeah, that was a really cool movie!”?  Parrots act like they are having a conversation, but in reality, they rarely actually offer anything substantive.  Parrots rely on echoing and paraphrasing others.

    Suggestion:  If you find yourself just echoing what they are saying, try to offer substantive opinions or observations as well.

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    2. Are You an Energy Vampire?

    You may have fascinating stories and opinions to share, but if your energy cannot support the comments, people may find you hard to listen to.  Lacking energy or emotion when you talk can ruin your conversation faster than almost any other bad habit.   Good conversation is alive; good conversation flows with energy between the conversationalists.   If you are not adding to the flow of energy, then you are probably subtracting from it.

    Suggestions:  Think of your voice as a roller coaster ride for your listeners.  Are you creating a flat, boring ride?  Try to make your roller coaster ride enjoyable for your particular audience; add some vocal drops, some inclines, and vary your speed.  Vary your inflections and emphasize key words as well.

    Also, record your voice in private.  In fact, re-read this section in your normal voice and play it back.  If you have never recorded yourself before, you’ll be surprised by what you hear!

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    3. Are You a Predictable Talker?

    The Predictable Talker lives in the serious and literal world.  If they get up to use the restroom, and you ask them where they are going, they will always respond, “to the restroom.”  Everything they say is predictable; they’ll never surprise you with something unexpected.  In contrast, a Playful Talker may respond to that question with a number of unpredictable playful responses.  For example, “I thought I’d leave you with the bill,” or “I’m going to pickup that girl,” or “I’m trying to escape.”  The best conversation is playful and unpredictable; Predictable Talkers have trouble playing!

    Suggestion:  Train your mind to start considering the unexpected responses.  Next time someone asks you a question or makes a comment, mentally think about what response would be unexpected or unpredictable (within reason!).  Once in a while, try one of these unexpected comments and see how you do.  You may surprise yourself.

    4. Are You a Conversation Narcissist?

    Conversation Narcissists love nothing more than to talk about themselves.  The only reason they ask the other person a question like, “How was your weekend?” is so they can circle it back around to them again, “that’s nice…let me tell you about what happened to me…” They rarely inquire seriously about the other person or ask follow up questions.

    Suggestion:  This is easy to fix, be genuinely interested in the other person.  When someone tells you something, keep the focus on them, ask follow up questions, recall previous comments the person said, etc.

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    Last Updated on October 9, 2018

    27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

    27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

    Who has never gone through some ups and downs in the life? But some people can feel better in a quicker way than others because they’ve found their own remedies to heal the bad feelings.

    If you haven’t found yours, these ways will help you instantly feel better and ditch that negative self talk when you’re feeling bad about yourself:

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    1. Listen to the songs you loved when you were in high school or university, this will recall you of the old good times.
    2. Write something. Write down how you feel as a way to express your thoughts if you don’t feel like talking to anyone.
    3. Draw something. Draw anything you want because no one’s going to judge your drawing skills.
    4. Read the postcards or letters your friends or family sent you before, remind yourself there are people who always remember you.
    5. Silently think of a day or moment which you truly enjoyed and try to recapture that very first feeling. Was it the day of your graduation? The moment you traveled with your loved one?
    6. Take out your photo albums and go over your childhood photos.
    7. Cry when you feel like doing so. There’s nothing wrong with crying; cry out all your fear and stress and just face the truth after crying.
    8. Sing loudly like no one can hear you. Do you know that in Japan, people always sing karaoke to relieve stress?
    9. Cook a nice meal for yourself or for your family.
    10. Read your previous diary entries and look at your great memories.
    11. Dress up nicely to feel happier.
    12. Don’t stay in your bed! Get your laptop or a book and sit in a coffee place.
    13. Take a walk outside and feel the fresh air.
    14. Sweat yourself! Go jogging or play some sports.
    15. Pick up the musical instrument you used to play a lot and start to play it.
    16. Tidy up your desk or wardrobe, you’ll feel good that you’re being productive and actually doing something.
    17. Watch some funny videos, sure you can find a lot of them on Youtube.
    18. Eat something you like, be it a chocolate cake, or an ice-cream. Just please yourself with the flavour you like.
    19. Re-read your favorite book and write down the sentences or passages that you love.
    20. Watch a new movie, there must be a movie which you’ve always interested in but had no time to watch it.
    21. Do something nice that no one will notice, say picking up a rubbish in the street and throw it to a trash bin.
    22. Call your best friend and just talk whatever you want! Human beings are social animals after all, connecting with people close to you will make you feel better.
    23. Do voluntary work and help people in need, you’ll feel happy and satisfied.
    24. Get drunk with your close friends at home – a safe place for you to get drunk and get crazy. Let loose and have fun with your very close friends.
    25. Write an email or a note to a friend who you care about.
    26. Get out of your routine life and meet new friends. Get out of your comfort zone! Meeting new people can give you new inspirations in life.
    27. Look into the mirror and smile. Act like today’s already a wonderful day. How we act affects how we feel. It’s difficult to go on feeling sad if you’re trying to smile!

    Remember:

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    It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  — Epictetus

    If you want to feel better, change what you’re doing because obviously what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy!

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    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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