Conversational Habits That Kill Conversation

By Ange Fonce

Dressing for "success" may "create" a good impression... and people judge your "intelligence" and "credibility" based upon what comes out of your mouth. 

Here are 8 conversational habits that immediately mark you as somebody who is either foolish or shifty...

1... Jargon... 

Jargon consists of hijacking normal words and using them in odd ways to make them sound "super intelligent." 

Example... This is from an actual person who sent me a massage...

"what how now---changes*** person/group DYNAMICS ARE ALLOWING MOMENT BY MOMENT ABSOLUTE  AS SUCH INSTINCTUAL INTENT... .... ...*****which will precisely accord with presenting essence****"

While others who speak fluent "jargon" might take notice or care... everyone else cringes and rolls their eyes.

Fix... Use words as they are defined in the dictionary. 

That way you will sound more like a "real" and "approachable" Human Being and less arrogant.

2... Cliches...

These are those "metaphors" that have been used so frequently that all the juice has been leeched from them. 


"Out of the box thinking."

"Hitting one out of the ballpark." 

Cliches are not just unoriginal... they also reveal a lack of "respect" for the "listener." 

If you "really care"... you would not trot out these creaky phrases.

So avoid "metaphors" completely or use original ones. 

If that is too hard... tweak the wording of cliches to make them less clichish. 

Like my use of "leeched" rather than "squeezed" in the paragraph above. 

Worst cas... adding "proverbial" can refresh a cliche with a pinch of irony.


"Out of the proverbial ballpark."

3... Prolixity...

Using big... impressive sounding words rather than smaller and more common ones can leave your "listener" with the "impression" that you are "pompous" and "pretentious." 


"Assess strategic options and tactical approaches"...
were you can use "plan." 

"Implement communications infrastructure"... were you can use 
"add wireless."

 Fancy wording adds bulk and extracts clarity.

The core problem here is the need to "feel" as if you and your activities are more important and impressive than they really are. 

Fix... Is a big dose of "humility." 

Communication is neither rocket science nor brain surgery... it is in fact... a place where "plain talk" is both "valued" and "appreciated."

4... Hiccups...

This is when... insert a "word" or "sound" into a "sentence" when... like... you are pausing to "think"... um... exactly what you are going to say. 

I once heard a man say "um" over 100 times in a five minute presentation. 

By the end... the audience was practically tearing their collective hair out in annoyance... including me.

Fix... This one is easy... simply "eliminate" the hiccup word and "pause" instead. 

When you simply "pause in silence"...  rather than trying to fill the "thinking space" with the hiccup... you end up sounding "wise" and like you are "choosing" your words carefully. 

You may need to record yourself a few times to break the habit though.

5... Upticks... 

An uptick turns a "statement" into a "question." 

The uptick can be a raise of pitch at the end of the sentence or worse... can be signalled by an actual phrase like a statement... "you know?" or  "eh?"  

Upticks "communicate" that you are not "confident" of your "ability" to "communicate clearly"... hence the constant checking.

If you are unsure whether the other person is following your "statements"... ask a "specific question" such as... 

"Are you following me?" 

"Does that make sense so far?" 

In other words... either ask "questions" or make "statements." 

Do not try to fudge them together... right?

6... Weasel Words...

These are attempts to fool people by disguising ugly facts as "bloodless abstractions." 

Like using "development opportunity" when you mean "drudgery" or saying "I love you" when really you mean "I want sex." 

Weasel words mark you as a "coward" who is afraid to face the "social stigma" of making an "unpopular decision" or saying as it "really" is.

Show some "courage!" 

You will get more "respect" and "credibility" in the long run for telling "unpleasant truths" than for "pleasant sounding lies." 

Because here is the thing... everyone "knows" anyway and you are not fooling anybody.

7... Fake Apologies...

This is what people do when they feel "socially obligated" to "apologize" and they are not really sorry. 

Such as... 

"I am sorry if anybody was offended." 

Such "apologies" add the insult of blaming the other person for being offended to the injury of the original offence.

Real apologies are like...

"I apologize for doing Y... I was not thinking clearly and I will not do Y again." 

They are "genuine."

 If you cannot "apologize" genuinely... then do not bother... because you are not really "apologizing"... your are just being an "insincere creep."

8... Spray and Pray...

This consists of blurting out a stream of "facts" or "observations" or "assumptions" before finding out which ones... if any... might actually be of "interest" to the "listener" and are actually TRUE! 

Probably 95 percent of all conversations fall into this category and when it happens in conversation it makes you look like a blathering fool.

Always think "conversation" and building "connection" rather than "me... me... me." 

Ask "questions" and respond to "comments"... figure out "what is needed"... and only then trot out "facts" and "observations" that are "immediately relevant" to your "conversation" and will be useful to your "listener."

And that is the REAL art of "conversation."


And that is another subject.

Thank you and may you enjoy a Prosperous and Dynamic day!

Yours Sincerely

Ange is an  Author... Speaker... and Dynamic Peak Performance Personal Development Consultant... and Humanistic Counselling Psychologist who works with men and women on line and real world who desire to "personally develop" themselves and their "relationships" to become Dynamic Lifers... "creators" of their own life and wealth!

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