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How poor communication habits can damage your confidence

damage-your-confidence

Good communication skills are one of the strongest signs of confidence. They show assertiveness, positivity and sociability. When you have poor communication skills, they show a lack of confidence, and likewise can lead to the people you communicate with losing confidence. Ensure that your communication habits and channels are in good health, and you will avoid further damage to your confidence. Here are some bad communication habits you might have and how to solve them:

Put-downs & Being Impolite

While being on the receiving end of put-downs or impolite language can be an immediate and direct hit to your confidence, being the one making the put-downs will slowly damage your confidence too. The more you bring up negatives about others, the less responsive and open they will become with you, which can affect your social life and desire to talk with others greatly. [5 behaviours people don't respect] 

Different people have different boundaries regarding put-downs and impoliteness. Sometimes we don’t realise when we hurt others’ feelings or offend them, so it’s best to be cautious at first. Work on rephrasing your negativity completely, even if your delivery isn’t particularly harsh. Always, without fail, give constructive criticism with a negative to turn it into a positive. It shows that you care about the individual and don’t merely want to put them down.

Yes-man

Always agreeing with someone won’t necessarily make them like you. Often, people engage more in conversations when people offer different perspectives and arguments, creating a more interesting discussion. The more you become a yes-man, the less decisive and trustworthy you appear. People may also start to find you less interesting than you might be, which can damage your confidence.

It can be hard to get the confidence to have your own opinion on a subject if you feel intimidated. To combat this, ask the opinions of others if you struggle to think of an interesting point of your own. Instead of blankly agreeing with someone, show an interest in other people’s views and act as the moderator of discussion. If you’re not so willing to contribute, at least communicate that you’re willing to listen and learn from everybody. Eventually you may get the confidence to express your own opinions.[Download our confidence planner for daily guidance]

Boring Tone of Voice

It’s easy to fall into a trap of talking in a monotone if you want to get through a point quickly or feel you are repeating something you have said multiple times to different people. No matter how valuable the information might be, an disengaged tone of voice will fall on deaf ears.

The problem may not be with you: everyone should be able to vary their tone of voice and adapt it to a point, no matter their accent and natural sound. The problem might be in what you’re saying. If your work presentations don’t inspire confidence in you, then you aren’t going to sound inspired delivering them. Change the content of what you say to something more dynamic, and you might sound more dynamic. [Watch our Video Moods series for presentation tips and building confidence at work]

Giggling

Laughter can show agreement and friendliness, but giggling too much can cause people take you less seriously, read your nerves, or generally find you quite annoying!

Giggling is often a defense mechanism or nervous reaction when you’re not quite sure what to say, rather than a reaction to something funny. Try holding in the laughter and exchanging it for a nod or other tick, like a hum or a simple ‘yes’. You will sound more confident and it’s less distracting for the person talking to you and still shows engagement with what they’re saying. [Top tips to feel fabulous from women like you]

A lot of our worst communication habits develop from a lack of confidence, and keeping them up can lead to further damaging our confidence. As hard as it is to break habits, really work hard on engaging completely with who you are talking to and don’t just fall back into certain manners of talking. Everybody has a different personality and will need to be talked to differently in order to ensure good conversations. The more you adapt your tone of voice, the less you will damage their confidence and your own.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.

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