Whether you are a fluttering social butterfly or a socially awkward introvert, there are certain unspoken rules of conversation that need to be followed without any questions asked. We have all been in situations where we got an unexpected reaction, which left us wondering how we could have phrased our sentence better. Well, fear not, because we are here to help you with some useful tips on what to avoid in a conversation. Keep these in mind and watch the number of awkward silences decrease!
1. At work, do not say, “This might sound stupid, but…”
This gives the impression that you aren’t confident enough in what you believe. Say what you want with conviction and confidence. How others perceive it is up to them, but do not ever give this precursor to any opinion you might voice.
2. When meeting someone, do not say, “You look tired.”
It is, more often than not, taken in a negative sense, implying that the person doesn’t look good. Women, especially, go through this a lot when they don’t wear kohl. If you don’t really have anything else to say regarding someone’s appearance, it is best to go with the flow instead of commenting on a person’s looks.
3. In an interview, do not ask questions like, “What is the leave policy?” Or “What are my benefits and incentives?”
These are things you need to know before accepting a job, but make sure that you don’t put forward these questions until all other information regarding your work has been discussed. This might depict you as being someone who is more focused on what you can get from the organization than what you can do for them.
4. To your partner, do not say, “If you loved me, you wouldn’t…”
Anything that follows this phrase implies that a certain expectation of yours hasn’t been met by your partner, thereby indicating that you are dissatisfied. This can cause your relationship more harm than good. The better way to say this would be to tell your partner how a certain action of theirs made you feel, instead of bringing the measure of their love into everything.
5. If you are in a position of authority, handling a group of people, and someone requests for something, do not say, “If I do that for you, I have to do it for everyone.”
Being fair is not always being equal to everyone. Different people have different needs and by meeting a person’s specific and unique need is how one treats everybody equally. You can instead tell them politely that you cannot do what they asked for. Refrain from being rude and don’t over-promise either. Balance is the key!
6. When given a task or responsibility, do not say, “I’ll try.”
Like the great Jedi master, Yoda once said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” When you say you will try, it implies a lack of interest and/or failure. Instead, tell them you will do it, projecting confidence. Or if you really can’t do it, simply tell them you can’t and explain why.
7. If you are in a customer service role, do not say, “There must’ve been a miscommunication.”
The better way to convey this would be to say “I misunderstood your request, let me fix that.” Like they say, the customer is, after all, always right.
8. In a speech, do not ever say, “I think I have bored you enough.”
Even if the audience wasn’t bored until then, they will definitely be put off if you say this. This simply gives the idea that you don’t find your own speech interesting enough.
9. When trying to sell something, do not say, “Experts say…” or “Research shows…”
If you are in a position where you are trying to convince someone to buy your product or service, this phrase is very commonly used to back up claims. However, this often sounds quite vague. Instead, you can give actual names of sources that prove your claim, to gain more credibility in the eyes of the customer.
10. “I told you so.”
This one is a no-brainer. In any kind of relationship, this can only end up causing harm and is never helpful. Instead of saying ‘I told you so’, you can figure out what else can be done and share it. In fact, a small gesture of kindness is much better than proving your wisdom.
11. “It’s up to you.”
Saying this, again, indicates a lack of care or interest in what the other person is bringing to you. If you are asked for your opinion on something just give it, whatever it may be.
12. To your partner, do not say, “You’re such a (insert some kind of insult here)”
This can hurt your partner and make them feel less loved. This person holds a special place in your life and you need to treat them with more respect and regard than that. There are always ways to handle a situation calmly without over-reacting and using insulting words or phrases.
You don’t necessarily need to possess the gift of the gab to excel in social conversations. Just remember the above mentioned cardinal rules and you’re sorted!