Conversation Blunders and How to Avoid Them
By Michael Lee, Author of
How To Be An Expert Persuader

The major blunders in our conversations are, naturally, the violation of the general principles of communication. Such include talking about topics that are considered taboo, talking behind somebody else's back, and basing stories on exaggerations, or worse, lies.

However, these are not the only blocks we can stumble on when we engage in conversations with other people. There are so-called mechanical blunders, as well, which often result from not thinking seriously about what we are talking about, carelessness, or not keeping a close eye on our own conversation techniques.

Below are some of the most common technical conversation blunders.

Blunder 1: Using pet words regardless of their suitability to the topic or the situation.

There are people who call everything they like 'fabulous', 'cute', or 'darling', and call things they don't like 'weird', 'dull', or 'lousy'. There are appropriate words to describe certain things.

A building is not cute; a movie cannot be ghastly; a book cannot be weird; a restaurant cannot be a darling. Use words properly.

Also, if you are one of these people who use pet words a lot, try to reduce their usage to a minimum. Be aware of the things that are coming out of your mouth. It can be annoying for some people.

Blunder 2: Using big words inappropriately.

You've encountered people like this already - those who like using superfluous terms and phrases (probably to make a good impression).

There also are those who seem to enjoy using words like 'basically', 'actually', 'so to speak', 'you know', and especially the most irritating word - 'whatever'.

Get them out of your system. Not only are they unnecessary, they're also time and effort wasting.

Blunder 3: Exaggerating.

A lot of us are guilty of this. We tend to introduce our stories with "Let me tell you about the weirdest thing I've ever experienced" or "This is the most amazing thing I've ever seen."

While these kinds of statements are subjective and you are entitled to them, you should also think about the other person in the conversation. It might not be so for him or her, and by being so, the momentum you tried to create did not have the effect you were expecting. Get real.

Blunder 4: Getting too personal.

You don't need to dish out all the dirt about your life just to get attention at a party. People will naturally listen to you if you make sense, not because you're giving fodder for gossip.

Telling too much about yourself is like baring your soul to a group of strangers. It's okay to be real about your feelings, but it's awkward to get too revealing, because you don't know how other people will react to your stories. It could lead you to your undoing and you have no one to blame but yourself.

Blunder 5: Too much slang.

If you're conversing in English, use proper English. Don't bastardize the language and pepper it with slang. You can only use slang if the people around you speak the same way.

But if you're in a group with people of diverse backgrounds and interests, slang is not appropriate. Speak in a manner that is understood by all to avoid possible conflict.

Proper style of communication can enhance your relationships, boost self-esteem, and help you achieve lifelong success. On the other hand, continuous use of conversation blunders may hinder you from attaining your goals; so be very careful and aware of every word coming out of your mouth.

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