Marc and Angel talk about:
1. Focusing on your inner monologue instead of the dialogue in front of you.
When someone is talking to you, you might be thinking: “What can I say that will sound smart and clever? I really hope they think I’m intelligent. I could make a reference to post-modernism. Wait – what did they just ask me?” Stay focused on the other person’s words and points. People rarely mind when you say, “Hmm. Let me think about that for a second.” Quite the opposite, since it shows that you’re taking the conversation seriously. If you compose your answers while someone else is speaking, you’re really only having half a conversation.
2. Multi-tasking while you chat.
Even if you are a professional multi-tasker, if you’re talking to someone, talk to them, and that’s it. Don’t browse online, don’t watch TV, don’t update your to-do list, and please, don’t eat while you’re on the phone. Whether they say so or not, it really annoys the person you’re talking to. If you really don’t have the time to talk, be honest and find another time, or cut it short. I know I get irritated if someone checks their phone in middle of my conversation with them. It devalues my conversational worth!
3. Not paying attention to the people you care about most.
Pretending to listen while your mind wanders to your work day, etc. Do you really think your loved ones can’t tell? They can. And even more importantly, they need you to listen sincerely and thoughtfully. There is no greater gift of love and no greater expression of caring that you can offer the special people in your life, than your undivided time and attention. You need to remember that ‘love’ is listening, and everyone wants to be heard.
4. fishing for compliments or feeling self-conscious
“Oh, I look terrible today.” – after someone compliments you. “I just threw it together at the last minute.” – when you obviously dressed up. “I’m really not good at things like this.” – when the people you’re with know you are. Please. Stop. It is ok to accept a compliment, and you don’t need to put yourself down because you are feeling self-conscious. Just follow the next step.
5. De-emphasizing compliments with self-effacing remarks.
It’s okay to say “thank you” when you’re complimented. By making a self-effacing comment, you nearly force the other person to repeat their compliment, which is not a gracious thing to do. Acknowledging a compliment isn’t snobby – like you’re admitting that you think you’re just grand – it’s a simple courtesy. Besides, you earned it.
6. Cutting people off mid-sentence.
The only time this is okay is when you’re in an intense brainstorming session. Or you’ve got an urgent situation to attend to. Or you haven’t seen your best friend in months. Okay, so this habit is kind of elastic, but you get the gist. Most of the time, interrupting just means that you’re missing the best parts of the conversation. Plus, you’re showing your chat partner that you value your own thoughts over theirs.
7. An unsupportive attitude.
The greatest compliment you can give to someone is to believe in them and let them know you care. When you see something true, good and beautiful in someone, don’t hesitate to tell them that you appreciate it.
8. Trying to please everyone.
This one is about keeping your sanity. No matter how loud their opinions are, others cannot choose who you are. The question should not be, “Why don’t they like me when I’m being me?” it should be, “Why am I wasting all my time and energy worrying what they think of me?” If you are not hurting anyone with your actions, keep moving forward with your life. Be happy. Be yourself. If others don’t like it, let them be. Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.
This ideas are sometimes hard to remember as we often slip into well-oiled bad habits again, so to keep them fresh in your mind, print them out and have them in your diary, spaced apart in weekly or thrice dailyintervals. This is what helps me.
I will ponder over whether Marc and Angel’s ideas will be helpful for you.