We’ve all had the experience of meeting somebody that is totally toxic, nasty, rude, or just a little too abrasive. Well, what if that person is YOU? Are you sometimes viewed this way by others? If so, here are a few tips to becoming less abrasive:
People may sense that you are not interested in them, especially their feelings. Ask people how they are feeling and what their concerns are. If that bores you, try to look interested (lean forward, open your eyes wide) and try to repeat in your head what they are saying. Keep this in mind: people do NOT communicate just to give information. If you think this way, people will view you as arrogant — you are only interested when there is vital information for you. Does that sound like you? Instead, realize that communication has many other, often more frequent, purposes: to lubricate or smooth uncomfortable moments, to greet and acknowledge another human’s existence, and to build relationships. You may not value these things. However, your future will depend on your ability to use communication to accomplish all of these things. They make living with other human beings smoother. Give it a try. Notice better reactions from others.
I suspect that the only emotions that show on your face are negative ones: impatience, annoyance, and boredom, for example. If this is true, check how you are talking. Is it always critical and negative? Try rewording in a positive way, and inform your face to follow suit. Again, communication is not all about information — most people use communication to connect and relate. Your "relating," if always negative, will make people avoid you. It constantly reminds them that their lives aren’t perfect. Make positive comments. Force yourself to try to say things that will make others feel good about themselves and about you. Notice your reaction to this kind of exchange. Trust me, you will start to like this more and more!
Get Outside of Yourself
"Arrogance" is often ascribed to people who fail to ask questions about other people. They just make statements and demand information. Talk, talk, talk, talk … talk all about themselves! Start asking people about their work, interests, and lives. Ask genuine questions that relate to your interests. Find common points to build upon and show that you want to know about them and not just put yourself on display. Be open-minded.
Communication is a pattern of behavior. It is the way we portray ourselves to the world. It is the vehicle for establishing and maintaining relationships of trust. Choose to be a powerful communicator. Abandon ineffective communication habits and try each day to connect with others.