Top 12 Relationship No-No's
How you conduct yourself has a lot to do with how popular you
are. Forget TV ads that imply only the young and the pretty
have lots of friends and an active social life! If you can avoid
the 12 things below, chances are high that you will not spend
your Saturday nights watching telly.
1. Not listening
Talking and listening should be a 50/50 thing. If you always
do all the talking and only listen to someone when what they
are saying is somehow to your advantage, don't expect to be
popular. There is a big difference between listening and waiting
to talk. Worse still, is interrupting someone. When you do this,
what you are basically saying is that what they are saying is
of no importance and that which you are saying is so much more
important. This is no way to endear yourself. On the contrary.
Being a bad listener could spell the end of your social life,
if you have one, that is.
If you've just picked up $10 in the street, this person will
tell you how he once picked up $50. If you've just broken your
leg, you're no match for their cousin who is in a wheelchair
after a diving accident. You name it, they can go bigger and
better and you can't help sometimes to wonder about the truth
of all these stories. Or about how low their self-image must
be never to be able to simply be happy for someone else when
things go well. Or just be there for them when they don't, without
having to denigrate whatever's just happened to them.
3. Constantly arriving late
Making people wait for you, especially if it is in a public
place, is simply unforgivable. Sometimes it is unavoidable,
such as when a tree has fallen across the road or your car has
broken down, but if it is simply because you couldn't be bothered,
think for a moment about what message it is sending to the other
person: your time is not as important as mine and I don't care
if yours is wasted by standing around waiting for me. Do this
to someone a few times and watch how quickly you disappear off
their Christmas list.
4. Not respecting confidentiality
If things are told to you in confidence and you spread them
around - usually under the guise of concern, of course - don't
expect people to trust you again. You are not being a friend,
you are just collecting repeatable snippets. Don't be surprised
if you're left off the dinner invitation lists next time.
5. Being moody
Everyone has days on which they feel less than great. But there
is a huge difference between withdrawing quietly and somehow
holding those around you responsible for your state of mind.
You are responsible for your own happiness. If you don't accept
that, others may quickly tire of the burden of being with you.
That goes for spouses too.
6. Being racist
This is a real turnoff, whatever the situation. Making racist
remarks only reveals your own ignorance and lack of insight
and sensitivity. It also makes you a social liability. Who wants
to be seen in public with someone whose boorish remarks might
get you involved in a fight? Or worse?
7. Being prescriptive
All people hate being told what to do. Even if they have asked
for advice. Telling someone what to do, takes their power away
from them and makes them feel as if you want to take over. No
one likes feeling that way. Most people do not follow advice
they have been given, and rather than face your reprimands,
they will choose to avoid you instead. Be wary of ever giving
advice - ask people what they think is best in the circumstances.
Most of the time people have the answers inside of them - they
just have to think about it for a while.
8. Being thick-skinned and oversensitive
These two things usually go together, oddly enough. Some people
will be unbelievably insensitive to someone else's feelings,
but be hypersensitive when it comes to some slight they think
has been passed their way. Generally, if someone is insensitive
to your feelings and oversensitive when it comes to their own,
people simply find it easier to avoid this person.
9. Applying two sets of rules
This is a deadly one. If you expect a friend or a spouse or
a colleague to adhere to certain rules you have made, you have
to stick to them yourself. Otherwise you are invalidating them.
If you're not sticking to something, how can you expect others
to do so?
10. Moaning Minny
This is the one who constantly whines about everything - usually
things about which no one can do anything. There he goes again
like a chainsaw - the weather, the government, the movie you
chose, the food in the restaurant. The list is endless, but
unfortunately your patience is not. Hit the road and do it fast.
11. Mine, mine, all mine
Being possessive about your friends is a sure way of getting
rid of them quickly. If you have a problem with the fact that
your friends also have other friends, it may be an idea to get
help, while you still have any friends left. We are all naturally
a bit possessive, but when it gets to the point where you throw
tantrums when your friends see other people besides you, the
red lights should be shining on bright. Just don't go down this
12. Centre of attraction
Me, me, me! Some people will do anything to get attention. Even
negative attention. People who are attention junkies are socially
exhausting, because they require all your energy, without giving
you anything in return. People who become moody when they are
not the centre of attraction are best avoided, as they are tiresome
and their company is unrewarding in the long run.