6 Bad Habits to Ruin Your Relationships

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Category: Articles

And how to react when someone else is guilty of these

It is quite obvious that good relationships are an important for one’s sense of happiness and fulfillment. People in positive relationships live longer and are healthier. In business and professional success, our network of relationships is critical. If you want to succeed, your relationships will help you even more than your skills.

Everyone knows how to improve our relationships: rapport, goodwill, honesty and EQ. You know what to do. Now, here are 6 things that you should not do! In addition you will see the best way to react when someone else is guilty of these. Read on…

Six typical bad habits that undermine interpersonal skills and important relationships:

1. Dominating conversations:

You all know someone who does this: the one-way conversationalist who turns everything into a personal platform to talk about themselves. We can hardly get in more than a few words before the dominator takes over; so, we fight or give up. Yes, people do love to talk about themselves. Remember, one sure way to make someone interested in you is to be interested in them! Ask someone about themself and witness the magical transformation.

2. Insisting on the last word:

The typical last-word dominator takes anything you say and goes one step further, in order to undermine you and your point. This is a specific form of domination, demonstrating that whatever you say, the dominator knows better. Avoid being like this at all costs! You can finish the issue in the form of an open statement: “So let’s leave it at this and see what happens.” or a question: “How about we continue next time?” If your counterpart retorts with something caustic, just nod and say “I remain optimistic.”

3. Why it won’t work:

This is a bad habit, a negative display of power. Any idea, suggestion, or improvement offered is immediately discounted with a description of all the reasons it won’t work. It may even be veiled as a compliment, as in, “That’s a good idea, but…” Whatever you do, do not play devil’s advocate unless you get explicit permission from the other person. If you need to shoot down their ideas, first ask if they mind. If you get the green light, then, by all means, be negative. If not, then smile and say “good luck.” And, if the other person insists on shooting down your ideas, then simply mention: “I don’t remember asking you to play devil’s advocate. When I’m ready for that, I will be sure to ask you.”

4. Making Excuses:

When someone points out a mistake or an annoying behavior, it’s easy to make an excuse, to blame someone or something else. Or, even worse, responding with: “Well, that’s just the way I am, I’ve always been that way.” This is a display of weakness, of not being in control of the situation. Instead of making an excuse, simply say “Well, I’m going to do it differently next time.” If you’re up against someone who makes excuses, you can remind them that “I’ve heard that the most assertive and successful people don’t make excuses; instead they fix the problem and learn from their mistakes.”

5. Showing off:

This is a variation of dominating conversations, where your sole purpose is to impress the other with your knowledge or experience. This is a turn off! No one likes a show off. Instead of showing your true greatness, you should veil your message with the disclaimer “I’ve heard/read/seen…” Now you don’t seem like you’re bragging. If the other person insists on showing off, go ahead and let them. Remember, if the other person feels good, they are more likely to help you.

6. Passing judgment:

Of the six, this bad habit may be the most damaging to relationships. This is the habit of playing God. You try to label people according to your own classification system and set the standard for all to live up to. Passing judgment is just plain disrespectful of others. Best to keep your opinions to yourself, if they are going to damage the other’s self esteem. And when your counterpart passes judgment on you, just smile and say “thank you for your opinion. Now, back to the matter at hand…”

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