You can be smart, successful, and generally believe that you’re a ‘nice’ person. But maybe, without realizing it, you have habits that drive other people crazy. These are some of the social faux paus that could be hurting your relationships. We know you don’t mean it, but the fact is, these habits could be pushing other people away—or creating obstacles in your relationship.
‘I say it like it is.’
There’s a huge difference between being honest and sincere, and being purely tactless. Your honesty is hurting other people, and though you may wish to help ‘other people grow’ trust us—cutting their confidence into shreds doesn’t help your cause. There’s a right way, and a right time, to deliver constructive criticism without hurting their feelings. And if you really had the other’s best interests at heart, you would also want to say what you need to say in the most helpful and effective manner.
‘If I were you, I would…’
Are you always offering solutions? Stop. Sometimes (make that ‘most of the time’) people just want someone who will listen to them, as they air their fears and frustrations. So before you give your suggestions, no matter how fantastic you think they are, hear the other person out. Ask questions, nod sympathetically, make eye contact—all body clues that show him that they have your 100% attention. Offer advice only when asked, or when he’s obviously reached a sense of catharsis.
‘That’s a stupid thing to do.’
Maybe they are doing something stupid, but being a judgmental know-it-all doesn’t make you any better. Arrogance is annoying. Putting other people down, or making fun of their ideas or their choices, only makes you look like the bigger loser. Are you so insecure that you need to put others down to feel better? Are you so close-minded that you attack any idea or lifestyle that’s different from yours?
Oh stop bossing other people around. You get more things done by empowering others and developing their leadership skills than trying to be the Big Guy on Campus.
‘Talk to the hand.’
Being aloof, snobby or unresponsive alienates other people and frankly makes you about as interesting as a concrete wall.
And another version of snobbishness is self-centeredness. You talk to other people, but only so far as they are willing to talk about you or cater to your needs. (Like the friend who monopolizes a conversation with all of her problems and ideas…then zones out when it’s your turn to talk.)
‘Woe is me…’
Are you always complaining and dragging everyone down with your negative energy? You’re being an emotional vampire, a total drag to be around. Read our tips on how to radiate positive energy all the time.