Great relationships require great communication and great communication is about more than just talking. It’s about being interesting. It’s about being interested. And, it’s about being able to read people.
Communication is such an important part of a great relationship that I devoted nearly three complete chapters to the subject in my book, Dating Backward.
Use these tips to make your communication better.
Just because you think something is funny, doesn’t mean someone else will.
Most of us have a pretty good sense of humor and many of us find the same things funny. But, every once in a while you’ll find someone that doesn’t share your sense of humor.
Some people are just socially awkward and may have no filter for things coming out of their mouth. You have two options. You can politely inform the offender that you didn’t see the humor in their comment or joke or you can politely excuse yourself.
If you happen to be the offender, you should learn to share your humor with only those closest to you. Spare the rest of us the discomfort.
Just because you think something is repulsive doesn’t mean that someone else will.
Just like a sense of humor, not everyone will share your sense of morals and values. Learn to pay attention to the conversation and if it’s not a conversation you want to take part in, politely excuse yourself.
Don’t get all bent out of shape just because they said something you found offensive. I could be offended everyday by people that disagree with me. However, I choose to try to not let them live rent free in my head.
If they are offensive enough to you then it is your responsibility to distance yourself from them if not completely remove them from your life.
Not everyone shares your interests or passions nor should you expect them to.
We all have things we are passionate about. Some things have a more universal interest than others. I have great friends that are very much into cars, restoring cars, showing cars, and generally talking about cars.
I’m not one of them just as I’m not that much into sports. I can talk semi-intelligently about many things including cars and sports. However, if I’m with someone that that is very passionate about something, I’ll spend my time listening and learning.
Does that mean you have to become passionate about it too? No. Just be a good listener and maybe learn a thing or two.
Recognize that when people are continually distracted during a conversation, they’re not interested in what you have to say.
We all know people that are as boring as the day is long. There’s just no intellectual connection and it becomes very difficult to carry on a conversation with them.
You’re not going to connect with everyone you talk to nor should you expect to. When you’re talking with someone that seems very distracted during your conversation, take that as a cue to end it.
It’s not a personal judgement or rejection. It’s just a sign the they aren’t into the conversation for any number of reasons including things that are going on in their life that you don’t know about.
Never make the conversation about you unless asked.
I’m sure you’ve met people that only want to talk about themselves and their opinions. How uncomfortable was that? I mean, it’s okay for a very short time, but there comes a point where it’s no longer interesting. Don’t be that person!
If you really want to connect with others, learn to ask open ended questions and get them to talk about themselves. Everyone likes to talk about themselves…at least a little bit and the only way to get to know them is to ask good questions.
Spend more time listening than talking.
Being a great listener makes you very interesting and attractive to others. If you think about it, it sounds counter intuitive, but it’s true. Science shows that the best listeners make the best friends.
Part of great listening is to be attentive and ask questions. When you are a great listener you will naturally be more attractive to others.
Learn to ask great questions to get people to open up about themselves.
If you are truly interested in getting to know someone, you have to learn to ask great questions and as just mentioned, shut up and listen. You can learn so much just by listening to someone.
Ultimately you will discover what’s truly in their hearts if you listen closely. Most of the time it’s in the words they use. Other times it will be in their body language or facial expressions.
Learn to recognize subtle changes in posture and facial expression plus the words they use, and you will often see deep into their heart and soul. When you get good at this, you’ll quickly be able to tell whether someone is worthy of your attention.
Opinions are like belly buttons…everyone has one. Don’t be offended if someone’s opinion differs from yours.
We are living in an ultra-sensitive society right now. Everyone is offended by something. I know I am, but I don’t necessarily share that with anyone other than those closest to me.
And even then I’ve gotten to the point that I choose not to say much. Maybe with age I’m becoming more jaded every day. I’ve reached a point in life that you have my permission to disagree with me.
Always be open to learning new things. The sharing of ideas is what makes us able to learn and grow as people. Just don’t try to force others to believe what you believe and they’ll usually give you the same respect in return. Remember, your opinion is only important to you.
Speak with confidence.
When you can speak with confidence you automatically become more attractive to the opposite sex. I’m not talking about bragging and egocentric conversations. I’m talking about losing the shyness so many people display.
When you’re afraid to talk or are very quiet when you speak, you’re telling the world that you don’t want to be heard. That may be okay for a while, but it makes dating much harder because you’re subliminally telling people you don’t have anything worthy to share or that you’re not good enough.
And of course, that’s just not true. You are valuable and you do have something to offer.
Today, I hope I’ll inspire you to think about how you communicate with others. Take this as a challenge. Let me know how you’re getting better at communicating. Leave a comment below or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.