Dreadful Mistakes People Make When Having a Conversation

It can be challenging to strike up a conversation with someone close to us – whether it’s a friend, co-worker, or family member. Finding the right words and maintaining genuine connection can be daunting tasks.

Don’t let the potential pitfalls of conversation stop you from creating meaningful connections with others! Instead, follow these helpful guidelines to avoid making some common missteps when having a conversation.

1. Not Listening

If someone doesn’t listen to what you have to say, it can be deeply hurtful. They may feel as if you don’t care or are uninterested in their story. Furthermore, this makes them feel unsafe and shuts down communication with you.

You can tell if someone is not paying attention by looking at nonverbal cues such as fidgeting, doodling, staring at a watch, yawning or inappropriate facial expressions. These behaviors indicate an ineffective listening situation.

They may also fail to maintain eye contact with you. This could be a sign that they are daydreaming or simply not paying attention.

Another sign of poor listening is thinking ahead to what they will say next instead of paying attention to what the other person is saying. This can be especially problematic for individuals with inattentive ADHD.

To address this situation effectively, give the other person time to process what they have said. Asking them to pause for a moment while you reflect on what was said or telling them that you need some space before responding can be beneficial.

It’s also helpful to ask them if they have any queries or need clarification on what you have just said. This can be an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you care and are truly interested in their story.

Furthermore, repeating back what the other person said in your own words shows that you have understood their message and are genuinely interested in them. Doing this will enhance their perception of you as an attentive listener.

2. Interrupting

Interrupting is an incredibly bad mistake to make when having a conversation. Not only will this ruin the atmosphere of your interaction, but it may also indicate that you aren’t paying attention to who is speaking to you.

Interrupting someone is like telling them their thoughts are unimportant to you and can come off as a form of harassment.

Interrupters typically attempt to gain power in a conversation. This can occur if you are engaged in an argument with someone and they interrupt your ideas.

If you find it difficult to focus on one main issue during a conversation, try to keep the focus on that one thing that needs to be discussed. Doing this will help keep everything on track.

Additionally, writing down your main points before beginning the conversation can help you stay organized.

Although it may seem like an obvious suggestion, many people neglect to do so. It also pays off to prepare some notes prior to having a difficult conversation in order to stay on topic.

You can use a pen and paper or notepad to jot down the main points you wish to discuss. Doing this will enable you to refer back to the notes when confused or uncertain what to say next.

You can also ask some questions to keep the conversation moving along. These could range from advantages and disadvantages of different lures to your favorite beer. They don’t need to be specific, but rather questions that will help you gain a deeper understanding of who the other person is.

3. Dominating

Dominance is when someone holds a dominant position in an environment. While dominance can be beneficial, such as being the leader of your basketball team and having the capacity to win games, it can also lead to feelings of powerlessness among others.

Dominators often take control of conversations by talking endlessly, disregarding other people’s opinions and thoughts. While it can be difficult to know how best to handle this scenario, there are several approaches you can try.

One way to take control of a conversation is through humor. You can do this by making non-verbal funny gestures, telling jokes, getting people laughing or shifting the subject to one of your choice.

Another approach is to confront the person directly and express your dissatisfaction with their behaviour. While this may not be ideal if you already have a solid relationship with them, it can help foster a healthier professional and personal bond in the long run.

You can also try setting boundaries with the dominating person, so they don’t prevent other members of your team from sharing their views and opinions. For instance, if they’re frequently interrupting others, politely interject and remind them that other team members need a chance to voice their thoughts as well.

Dominating is an unfortunate mistake to make when having a conversation, but it can be overcome with patience and sensitivity. Remember that these people may simply be overusing a strength they already possess and may not realize the consequences of their actions.

4. Talking Too Much

Talking too much can make others feel as if they are dominating the conversation and unimportant.

The talker may feel superior to the other person or be feeling nervous or overwhelmed. If this is the case, they may say things that are irrelevant or boring for them.

Another reason people tend to talk too much is when they are self-absorbed or narcissistic. This can lead to a lack of empathy and interest in other people, leading them to express themselves excessively.

In these situations, it’s essential to comprehend why someone talks so much and how they could alter their behaviour. Doing this will help them avoid repeating similar errors in the future.

For instance, it might be beneficial for the speaker to jot down their thoughts and feelings prior to speaking so they are clear about their points of view. Doing this also allows them to become aware of how long they are speaking for, enabling them to stop when necessary and keep the conversation moving along smoothly.

Finally, it might be beneficial for the speaker in question to invite some friends over to provide feedback on their conversations. Doing this will enable them to become more conscious of how long they’re speaking and more tuned-in to their listeners’ cues.

If talking too much is causing you issues, it is essential to seek assistance from a mental health professional. They can identify whether there is an underlying mental illness causing your behavior and craft a treatment plan to enhance interpersonal connections.

5. Talking Too Fast

Speaking too quickly is a common issue that may make you sound hurried or uncertain of yourself. It could be indicative of nervousness or anxiety, but it’s also possible to speak too quickly for other reasons.

For instance, you might be a hyperverbal person who talks quickly to express their ideas. It can be challenging to pause when speaking this way, so practice slowing down before speaking in public.

If you find yourself speaking too quickly, it may be beneficial to ask someone else to listen and let you know when it sounds out of sync. Doing this can give you insight into how fast you speak and allow you to gradually improve your pace over time.

Furthermore, you can incorporate frequent pauses into your speech to help you relax and slow down. For instance, add a short pause at the end of each major point so that the audience has time to process what you just said.

Consciously limiting your speech can be difficult, but it is an invaluable skill that will enable you to speak more clearly and coherently in the future. By adding pauses into your words, it becomes easier to maintain control of your rate, giving you a boost of confidence and competence when speaking.

If you want to improve your communication and create conversations that matter, join me for the free training episode where I will demonstrate six techniques for speaking slowly so listeners can hear and appreciate what you have to say.