We all have our bad habits. We’re human, after all! However, another great part about being human is the fact that we can decide to work on our bad habits and grow out of them. One of the areas in which people have the most bad habits is in social interaction. Here are five of them you can start working on today.
1. Having Your Phone Out During a Meal
In this age of technology and instant gratification through tech, we all have at least one device on us at all times. One place these devices don’t belong is on the table while you’re enjoying a meal with family, friends, your significant other, or colleagues. We know, it’s hard to be without your phone, but think about the message that sends to the people you’re spending time with – that whatever text, email, or notification that comes through is more pressing and more important than the conversation you’re enjoying with them.
This one has a simple fix: just put your phone away during mealtime with others. If you think you’ll be tempted, turn it off completely. That was you won’t get curious when it vibrates or dings. You might be shocked about how freeing it can be to be unreachable for an hour or so. Your conversations will be deeper when you’re giving your company your full, undivided attention, and intentional, curious conversation is one of the keys to building lasting relationships.
2. Complaining About the Negative Parts of Your Life
There is a word in the English language, “Sonder,” which means “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” Everyone has their own victories and problems, and chances are, when you’re meeting up with your friends, family, colleagues, or significant other to hang out, they don’t want to be dragged down by constant negativity.
You may be thinking, “But, I need to vent about my problems sometimes!” Yes you do, but there’s a big difference between venting to those close to you in order to find a solution to your frustrations and constantly complaining about only the negative things in your life. The people who love and care for you also want to know what’s going right in your life, and hearing your positivity can lift their day up as well. Plus, the more you train yourself to speak positively, the more you’ll think positively and create a healthier mindset overall.
3. Dodging Compliments
It’s ok to accept a compliment when it’s given to you. We’ll say it again: It’s ok to accept a compliment when it’s given to you. In fact, it can be frustrating to your friends and family when you respond with self-deprecating remarks or denial. This basically forces them to repeat the compliment and assure you that it’s true.
You likely did something to deserve the compliment, and letting yourself be recognized for an accomplishment will buoy your perception of your self worth. If you’re worried that people will think you’re cocky for accepting their nice sentiment, dont; When you accept a compliment, you don’t have to brag or expand on the positive remark. A simple “Thank you” will make the compliment-giver feel great.
4. Thinking Instead of Listening
Have you ever found yourself clueless to what the person you’re talking to was saying? Perhaps because you were too concerned about thinking of what you wanted to say next? It’s embarrassing to you and disrespectful to your partner in conversation. Imagine your feelings if you knew someone wasn’t listening to you at all.
This habit can be a challenge, especially if you’re having a deep, interesting conversation that’s making all of the electrons in your brain fire. Instead of fixating on your own ideas, work toward making a mental note when thoughts pop up, then switching back to listening mode. Your turn to talk will come around and your ideas will still be there. It can be difficult to get out of your own head, especially if you worry about having something to say when it’s your turn, but people will be able to tell that you’re really paying attention.
This will vastly improve your personal and professional relationships. Plus, in the professional arena, it’ll differentiate you from the crowd. Everyone wants to be heard, but few people understand the value of truly listening.
5. Being Unresponsive
No communication is also a form of communication. Imagine someone is giving you the silent treatment. Think of all the times that you haven’t heard back after a job interview. Silence speaks volumes, and being unresponsive is one habit you’ll want to drop quickly to be successful in personal and professional relationships.
One path of reasoning behind remaining silent is that the other party knows what you’re thinking. It’s always better to err on the side of caution, avoid this assumption, and lay out your thoughts clearly so that there’s no confusion later. Another time many stop communicating is after an issue has been resolved. Try to make a habit of acknowledging the resolution and thanking all involved parties. That way, again, there’s no confusion and everyone is on the same page. Plus it’s always nice to send a thank you.
Want More Tips on Building Quality Relationships?
Are you ready to take the deep dive into cultivating real, meaningful relationships in your personal and professional lives? When you sign on with Future Image Group, you’re giving your employees, your higher-ups, your company, your friends and yourself a gift that will serve you for decades to come. Not only are you investing in the careers and lives of those you employ, but you’re also setting up the legacy of your business for long-lived success.
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