I suck (at least I used to) when it came to saying the right things to anyone.
I think of something and subconsciously utter something that adds absolutely no value to my conversation. The stupid stuff I say has many times even put my relationship in jeopardy.
Words matter. Pens really are mightier than swords. One bad comment, one miscued remark can change the complexion of any relationship.
Learn to empathize
Develop habits of empathy. Put yourself in your friend’s shoes and think how you would feel if he/she said the stuff you’re about to say.
Would you feel pleased or taken aback by the words that come out of your mouth?
Many times we don’t say what we really want to say simply because we let our emotions do the talking. When you practice empathy, you will realize just like I did, that every person’s situation is unique and over time, you will start to respect that.
That co-worker who shouted at you or that pedestrian who gave you a rather obnoxious facial expression are all going through things you have absolutely no idea about.
The least you can do is brighten up their day. When you reply something kind in a really warm tone, this will make them wanna pause for a moment and think about what just happened. This moment is enough for them to feel thankful or peaceful amidst their chaotic routines.
This is why habits are so important in your life.
Do a bit homework and try to find out when it is that you go on “autopilot” (saying things without giving any prior thought) mode.
Can you find a pattern adhering to it? At what time of the day do you start talking mindlessly?
After gathering some details about your tendency to go autopilot, the next time you find yourself in that situation, try to kinda slow things down.
I had this problem with my girlfriend a couple of months ago. I would say super mean things so shamelessly. But in reality, I would be just kidding her. My girlfriend works these long shifts, and naturally would be in no mood to kid around with me. I didn’t understand that and that hurt her a lot.
So, I got the time and the victim of my mindless talking. So the next time I talked to her after work, I started to breathe slowly, and simply think how she would perceive what I was about to say.
You may ask, “But Josh, I lead an already hectic life, slowing things down will only make me more frustrated.”
“Learning to say the right things to anyone at any given point of time is an essential skill that will take you a long long way.”
Here’s an ultra-easy way to create habits.
The HARE Criteria
HARE stands for:
I created this acronym to make it easier for me to think and decide what sort of stuff I can say. If what’s in my head agrees with HARE, I say it with full confidence. If it doesn’t, I ask myself how I can make it comply with HARE and after having made the necessary changes, I go on to make that comment or statement.
Let’s consider that you feel like showing off your progress at something to someone who’s struggling with the same task. You might notice that your comment (which you want to pass) does not encourage that person. You can quickly choose to say something motivational and this will make him/her feel inspired to try out something different.
When I started doing this with my girlfriend, she started feeling special and that really helped cheer her up.
Now you may wonder about the people who really do wish you harm, and who you think is evil.
Here’s how you can learn if the habits you developed are gambits or bandits.
I’m not asking you to let unfair things happen to you. I do agree that there is a lot of stupidity in the world we live in. But what would be the difference between you and that guy who screams for nothing, if you scream back at him?
Join me in changing the world, one word at a time 🙂
Using the above methods, you can not only craft the right words but develop meaningful, long-lasting relationships with anyone.
Here’s how I learnt to win the social game.
Procrastination held me down for years. Here’s how I learnt to procrastinate on procrastination.