5 ways to ruin any conversation

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1. Interrupt the interlocutor and pull the blanket over yourself

It’s very nice to talk about yourself. This process, as revealed in a small study at Harvard University, “turns on” the dopaminergic system in the brain and causes the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter of pleasure. The same mechanisms work when a person, for example, eats delicious food or has sex. That is, the effect is such that it can be really difficult to resist.

And yet, if we are not talking about an interview or a psychotherapeutic session, a conversation is an activity in which at least two people participate, and they participate on an equal footing. And everyone wants to tell about themselves, share news, express their opinions and be heard.

If someone constantly interrupts, switches attention to himself and does not give the rest a word to insert, the conversation for the interlocutors ceases to be pleasant. A couple of times this can be tolerated, but on the third time you will no longer want to communicate with an eternally “yaking” person.

So, even if you really can’t wait to cut off the interlocutor in mid-sentence and “climb onto the podium” instead of him, it is important to “slow down” yourself and give the other side the opportunity to completely finish the thought.

2. Devalue other people’s problems

“Imagine, my vacation is canceled again, I’m in such a disorder, even cry!” one person says to another. And the second replies: “Pf! Is this a reason to be upset? Me too! Nobody died. You’ll go next year.”

This is what devaluation can look like in an exaggerated form – a type of emotional abuse in which someone’s problems, achievements, experiences, qualities or characteristics are artificially belittled and made insignificant.

Sometimes a person does this with others out of envy, sometimes out of habit, because such a format is accepted in his social circle. Sometimes devaluation can even be a kind of psychological defense, a desire to isolate oneself from unpleasant emotions. But whatever the reasons, the interlocutor is unlikely to like this manner of conducting a conversation.

Devaluation is at least insulting and unpleasant, and for someone who is going through really hard times, it can be quite traumatic. Therefore, before dismissing the interlocutor and saying that his troubles are not so terrible, and his achievements are not so significant (“Just think, you found a job! It could have been earlier, and not in four months”), you should pause and remind yourself that support and praise are better than barbs and criticism.

3. Constantly Complain

On the one hand, complaining helps to let off steam and ease your worries a little. But on the other hand, they lead to the fact that a person, instead of acting on his own or asking for real help, closes in problems and no longer sees the “light at the end of the tunnel.”

This is how chronic complainers appear, who torment themselves and those around them. Over and over again, listening to stories about an inadequate leader , ungrateful children, an indifferent spouse, low wages, lack of strength and mood can, perhaps, only very close and loving people.

Sharing your problems with another person is completely normal. But, first, it is important to take into account the context: how appropriate it is, whether the interlocutor is ready to listen or is he himself full of trouble.

And secondly, it does not hurt to estimate the percentage of complaints among other topics and conversations. If he is tall and endlessly talking about his problems does not help solve them, it is probably time to sit down and think over a specific plan of action and, if necessary, seek help.

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4. Arrange an interrogation with passion

“Well, why did you do this?”, “Is it really impossible to take care of everything in advance?”, “Why didn’t you consult with me?”, “And how do you think now to correct the situation?”. Such questions are not a sincere interest in the interlocutor and not concern for him, but poorly veiled accusations and claims. They will not help a person cope with a difficult situation, but will only make him make excuses and feel worthless. And perhaps they will cause natural aggression and provoke a conflict.

If you want to help, it is better not to try to find out who is right and who is to blame, not to put pressure on the patient, not to hint that it was necessary to act differently, but to sympathize and offer your support.

5. Diagnose and give advice

“It’s all because you are very private and scare people away!”, “It’s just that the past breakup is pressing on you, and you can’t start a new relationship”, “You have low self-esteem, this is all the trouble”, “Oh, well, you’re right typical Capricorn in the phase of Mercury retrograde”, “I also had a similar experience, I just drank a course of vitamins, and everything worked out. Go and buy today!

The desire to put a label on another, to quickly reach a verdict and “prescribe treatment” is understandable and natural. This is a way to feel important and show how well you understand the issue. But if the interlocutor does not ask for such an assessment, it is not a fact that he needs it and he will not be offended or discouraged.

In addition, medical or psychological “diagnoses” can send the suggested person down the wrong path and end badly: low self-esteem, new complexes, rash decisions and health problems.

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