Most common mistakes when starting a conversation

Do you know that you make mistakes when starting a conversation? You may not be aware of them. That is why we are going to do a self-critical work to detect and solve them.

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz on 02 November, 2021.

Last update: 02 November, 2021

Communicating with other people is something we do regularly. However, we do not usually stop to analyze whether we are doing it right or wrong. This can give us clues as to why sometimes our relationships with others are successful, while other times they end up being a disaster. Don’t we connect or do we make mistakes when engaging in conversation?

Perhaps we should remember a phrase that the philosopher Plato left us to reflect on the possible mistakes we make when starting a conversation. He said that “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something “.

The importance of proper communication

Although we have a valuable tool, such as being able to communicate with words, we hardly pay attention to it. Therefore, it should not be strange to us to analyze in which we may make a lot of mistakes when engaging in conversation.

Communicating well is positive for work relationships, for the couple and for transmitting information in an effective way. Can we imagine a salesperson who doesn’t know how to communicate well?

It is very likely that, over time, you would have to change jobs, as you would not have the expected results. And what can we say about the couple. How many arguments would be avoided?

Some of the most common mistakes when starting a conversation

Now that we can understand how crucial it is to improve the way we communicate, we must begin to be aware of the most common mistakes that we commit. Surely we will feel identified with some of them and this is a first step to take.

Communication is very important at work. Without an assertive attitude the objectives would not be achieved.

Not listening to the other person

We may think that what we are saying is very important and we find ourselves so excited that we do not listen to the other person. This creates a communication problem. It does not flow, it is not bidirectional.

We could be talking to a wall and the result would be the same. Learning to listen requires a lot of effort if we have not learned to do it before.

Choose inappropriate topics

At this point we are not referring to topics that can be considered taboo, but to choosing topics that do not fit a certain time.

For example, controversial ones or those that are very negative. This may not please our recipients. It is even possible that awkward silences are created. To avoid this, you have to adapt the topic to the communicative situation.

Interrupt the other person

This is a common mistake when striking up a conversation. Sometimes, we don’t wait for the other person to finish talking to communicate what we think.

We do it ahead of time and this is not pleasant at all. If we have never been on the other side, the truth is that it can be uncomfortable to talk to someone who does not listen to you and who does not let you finish the sentences.

Body language is not correct

Non-verbal communication is just as relevant as words. In fact, it weighs heavily on what we say.

Not looking into the eyes of our interlocutor, gesturing excessively, moving from one place to another without stopping. All of this can cause discomfort and it is essential that we control it.

Tips to communicate successfully

Now that we know the importance of engaging in conversation and avoiding some common mistakes, how can we start communicating successfully from now on? Well, these are some recommendations that will be very useful if we put them into practice.

1. Show interest

To be successful when starting a conversation with another person it is essential to show interest. Ask you questions about your work experiences if we are in a work environment, for example. Here we can apply active listening to discover that our conversations improve.

2. Be yourself

Another successful conversation starter tip is to be yourself. This means that we must be natural, without trying to give an image of a person with whom we do not really feel identified.

The other will notice that we are trying hard to pretend and this will be negative for communication. Therefore, sincerity is very important.

3. Take care of non-verbal communication

As we have already said that non-verbal communication is of great relevance when having conversations with other people, we must take care of it. If we gesticulate a lot, let’s try to control this with a pen in hand or crossing our arms, for example. In the event that we do not know where to put our hands, an object is of great help.

Exaggerated gesticulation is a common mistake. We can control it with objects that we grasp when we speak.

4. Be relaxed and calm

Finally, It is convenient that we are relaxed and calm when starting a conversation with someone. Many times we believe that we are not going to like each other and this insecurity will be noticeable when we are in front of each other.

Therefore, it is essential that we relax, that we be natural, that we do not try so hard. In this way, we will realize that everything flows in a more natural way.

Little by little we can solve the errors of the conversation

It is not easy to start a conversation with someone and take into account all the advice. Sometimes there are problems of insecurity and self-esteem behind that must be treated with a professional.

However, being aware of what happens to us when we are in front of other people is vital to start making certain changes. All those mentioned will act in our favor from now on.

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