While some people appear to be born to start and keep up pleasant conversations, others struggle and often leave a wrong impression due to their conversation habits. Here are some of the most common mistakes you must stop as soon as possible if you want to master the art of talking to others and not appearing rude or worse.
Many people want to tell their stories seeking empathy but end up getting unwanted advice. If no one asks you, there is no need for you to try to solve someone’s problems, and one thing to do is to replace unsolicited advice with listening. Put yourself in the place of the person you’re talking to and try to show them kindness and a safe space to bare their soul.
Some questions are off-limits unless you are talking to those closest to you. Questions regarding someone’s personal life should not be on the table unless they start talking about a specific topic. There are many things to discuss, from music and arts to lifestyle topics. What you should avoid is debating politics, religion, or anything that might be too personal, like when one’s having kids or the reasons behind one’s divorce.
Comparing war stories
Let’s say a person is talking about their recent divorce, struggles, and what they went through. Instead of listening, some people try to top that story with their personal experience, good or bad. Conversation is not a competition; sometimes, people offer insight into their lives where they want to be heard. If you went through something similar, you can use it to express empathy and mention that you understand them while validating what they went through.
One of the biggest rudest things you can do is to cut off a person. It is a sign of poor behavior and even worse social skills. Sometimes, we have to hear out even about things we don’t honestly care about because that’s the basic etiquette rule of being a good conversationalist. If a person is boring you, excuse yourself, or do not start conversations with them the next time you run into them.
The world would be a much darker place if everyone became brutally honest because in the heart of it is brutality, cruelty. Instead of “telling it like it is,” try finding a silver lining, compliment the person, and express your opinion politely and thoughtfully. If it is someone close to you, you might be in a position to make a point more directly, but you still have to think about other people’s feelings and give them safe space while talking to you.
Sharing conversations online
We live in the age of oversharing, but posting private conversations online goes beyond rudeness. It is not only about breaking one’s trust but also putting one’s privacy on display for the world to see. Unless you have permission, restrain yourself because anything online is forever.
Agreeing with everything, one says shows you are either a people pleaser or a lousy listener. Being a “yes” person is not polite. It shows that you lack boundaries and are too afraid or shy to express yourself. If someone wants your opinion, feel free to say it to disagree because that shows your integrity and honesty.