Communicating with people is not exactly my forte. Naturally, there are a lot of awkward moments where I don’t know how to start a conversation, carry it forward or just put an end to it. Recently, however, I’ve been setting some rules for myself. Here are six rules everyone should follow when stuck in awkward situations.
Stop saying sorry for everything
‘I’m sorry I got caught in traffic.’
‘I’m sorry I am sick.’
‘I’m sorry my battery died.’
None of the above is exactly your fault, so why apologise? Save it for when it really matters, when you actually did something wrong. Saying sorry for everything makes the word lose its meaning and significance. It becomes more of an expression than an apology.
Learn to say NO
This has been said by so many people so many times but it doesn’t seem to be enough. If someone wants you to do something for them and you are not in a position to help them out, just refuse instead of making excuses or grudgingly agreeing. Unless, of course it’s someone who would put everything on hold for you. Then say yes.
Stick to your decisions
Like Salman Khan sticks to his commitment. I come across many people who are dillydallying between decisions. Even once they take one, they keep trying to justify their reasons for it. I honestly don’t understand why. If you think your decision will offend people and you feel sorry about that, you either shouldn’t have taken it in the first place or should have been prepared to face the brunt. And, if you realise your stance is wrong, admit it.
Don’t hold back appreciation
When you see someone working hard, doing something worthwhile and excelling at it, applaud their efforts. Often this is the only way you can show your support and it means a lot to the person who is already under a lot of pressure.
Be polite but don’t be Roohafza
Being polite is good, going overboard with it is not. Too much sweetness can be nauseous. People who are extra nice just come across as phony and insincere.
Stop beating around the bush
Let me tell you a story here. So I had, or if you insist on calling someone on your Facebook friend list your ‘friend’, have a friend who I hadn’t talked to in sometime. There was no fight or anything, we just drifted apart, got busy with our lives. One day she messaged me and told me off for around five minutes for being mean and never bothering to contact (was not to to be petty or anything but it pretty rich coming from her because she didn’t even invite me to her wedding).
Anyway she managed to make me feel bad and I apologised. Next thing she says is to give her brother some career counselling. And once I did, she had nothing to talk about anymore. The reason it pissed me off was she could have asked me that straight away instead of dragging me on a guilt trip.
Moral: if you want a favour from someone who you haven’t been in touch with for a while, kindly just tell them you need help without trying to act as if you care about their lives. The attempts are transparent and annoying. You can’t stay in touch with everyone but you might occasionally need their help and it’s ok to ask for it.
Do you have any tips to help people communicate better? Do share them in the comments. Or you can even write a compilation of the ways you interact with people as a guest blogger for my site. Click on the button below for details.
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