12 Communication Errors We Make All the Time & How to Prevent Them

how to get out of awkward situations

This new article will show you everything you need to know about how to stop miscommunication. Check how (not) to speak so that others can listen and understand us.

“It must be interesting to hear the same stories from several people,” I once told a friend who worked with six conflicting managers at one company. “Of course! Their versions of events are sometimes very different – ​​they pay attention and only focus on what is important to them. It made me realize how random we see reality.

Each of us sees the world differently, has its own map of reality. With this map and our vision of the world, we try to meet and mix with other people. It doesn’t work when we close ourselves off to other people’s messages, put up barriers and don’t want to know other people’s views on the matter. Then conflicts arise and communication becomes more and more difficult.

What must be done in order to get along even though different experiences, views, attitudes and feelings? First of all, we need to become aware of and remove the barriers we create in connecting with other people. And second, you must learn to recognize and communicate your own feelings and needs.

So what kinds of expressions and reactions should we avoid in order to communicate constructively with others?

12 Communication Mistakes We Make All The Time

1. Criticize

Expresses negative opinions about other people, their actions, opinions, values ​​and feelings, for example “You brought this on yourself, you cannot blame other people for your problems”. Many of us seem to think that we need to evaluate and be critical in order to comment on and influence the improvement of the behavior of others.

Some parents believe that criticizing children will improve their behavior, teachers believe that critical appraisal helps students to learn and stimulates their ambition, and employers believe that critical appraisal motivates employees to work more efficiently. Willingness to accept or reject what others say is a frequent and powerful mechanism in nearly every one of us, and it is also one of the strongest barriers to interacting with others.

2. Labeling

Labeling, shaming, or stereotyping someone: “How stupid”, “Well, typical woman”, “You’re the same insensitive man as the rest”. Labels close the way to know other human beings and make it impossible to understand them. We often label people negatively based on their appearance, behavior, or first few sentences – we have a quick opinion, but we miss opportunities to form valuable relationships.

3. Make a diagnosis

Analyze why someone is behaving the way they do, i.e. play the role of an amateur psychiatrist, for example “You did it to piss me off”, “You did not answer my phone because you do not care about me”. Some people, instead of listening to the essence of what others are saying, play Freud and find ulterior motives, guessing other people’s emotions and thoughts. Do you know the feeling of helplessness and frustration when you try to explain your behavior, but other people know better what drives you? The path to understanding ends in an abyss.

4. Praise is combined with assessment

Make positive judgments about other people, their actions or attitudes, for example “You are very brave”, “You are a wise man, I’m sure you’ll find something for my problem”. This kind of communication barrier can be controversial because it goes against the belief that compliments are always good. Compliments coupled with rewards are dangerous for communication for two reasons. The positive evaluation of others can be used to achieve hidden benefits and make people change their behavior.

This abuse of praise makes others feel manipulated, no longer trusting us and no longer trusting our words. In addition, praising others often creates a series of contradictions, such as “I don’t think it’s that good”, “I could have done better”, “It’s not my fault, I’m very lucky”, which makes it more harmful than helpful to people to be praised.

When people hear about the dangers of praise and evaluation, they often think that behavioral scientists believe that all forms of encouragement are harmful. That’s not the case at all. Instead of judging, you can express your own positive feelings in response to someone else’s behavior or messages.

5. Orders

Telling other people to do what they want to do, for example “You must do your homework!”, “You must fix it right away”, “Come here instantly! Many people strongly believe in the effectiveness of a message based on strength and power. However, in the long run, that only had bad consequences. On the one hand, it can lead to rebellion, resistance and conflict that’s difficult to resolve. On the other hand, it can force a person to conform, but it also shows the obedient person who his opinion is useless, which lowers his self-esteem.

6. Threatening

Trying to control the other person’s actions by threatening them with negative consequences that could affect them on your part, for example “You will do it or…”. Threats cause the same negative results as orders.

7. Moralization

Telling other people what to do, for example “You can’t get a divorce, what about the children?”, “You have to apologize to other people.” Often such advice is accompanied by support from the authorities, moral or social notions and the abuse of words such as “should”, “this is how you do it”, “this is right”. Such messages cause anxiety and guilt, and make it impossible for people to express themselves honestly.

8. Too many questions

Asking too many or the wrong questions, e.g. “How was at school?”. – “Good”. – What are you doing today? – There is not anything. A quite common dialogue where the anxious parent is trying desperately to keep in contact with the child and asking more and more questions, which makes the relationship even tougher.

The biggest obstacle in everyday conversation is asking closed questions, which can be answered “yes” or “no”, and to asking questions and creating an environment of interrogation. Such attempts to reach out to other people have the opposite effect – they cause anxiety and stimulate a defensive reaction.

9. Giving advice

Giving the other person a recipe for their problem, e.g. “I would if I were you…”, “Easy, first you have to…”. What’s wrong with counseling? Providing solutions to others is explained as an expression of caring for them, but in fact it’s coupled with an absence of confidence in their intelligence and skill to overcome difficulties. Another problem is that counselors barely understand a situation as a whole, because people who share concerns are often just the tip of the iceberg. It is a big risk to take responsibility for solving other people’s problems in this situation.

10. Distractions

Get rid of other people’s problems, for example “Don’t come back there”, “Do you think you have a problem? Listen what happened to me. This communication barrier is placed particularly in situations when there’s a subject that causes tension between people – anger, danger, sickness, misfortune, sorrow, etc. – and when there’s a problem with the person. This can be because of an absence of ability to listen actively, but also a refusal to accompany others in their worries.

11. Logical argumentation

Trying to convince others by referring to facts or logic, without considering the emotional aspect of the situation, e.g. “If we didn’t have a car, we wouldn’t be in debt.” When there’s stress or conflict in a relationship, the worst thing we can do is use logical arguments.

Cold distance and a focus on the argument are ways to escape bad feelings, but they can make the other person angry. When a couple has problems or when there are problems in interpersonal relationships, the main problem is feelings. When logic is used to avoid emotional involvement, you leave people at the most inopportune moment.

12. Soothing

Asking to stop the negative emotions the other person is feeling, for example “Don’t worry”, “Everything will be fine”. This type of blockage often concerns people who have good intentions but are unwilling or unable to seek compassion for others. Thus, they block relationships, stopping and preventing others from experiencing situations in their own way.

Thank you for reading this article on how to stop miscommunication and I actually hope you take action on my suggestions. I wish you good luck and that I hope that its content has been a good help to you.