5 Signs You're a Genuinely Bad Communicator

Ah, the art of communication.

I know what you're thinking: Isn't "art" a little dramatic? Isn't communication just talking to someone?

Well, my friends, there's more to it than that. Genuine communication is more than just saying how you feel—it's getting another person to truly understand what you're trying to say and making an effort to comprehend their side of things, as well. It's a skill that most people think they have, but very few actually possess.

Thankfully, we're here to tell you where your communication skills might be failing. Keep scrolling for five signs you're a genuinely bad communicator.

1. You Speak Before You Think

Part of being a good communicator is having a point in mind before you start speaking to someone. After all, if you have no idea what you're saying, how can you expect anyone else to understand you? Unfortunately, it's a fairly common occurrence to start speaking before you've actually thought through what you want to say. We often feel like if we don't say something right now, we'll miss our chance to have an opinion.

But sometimes it's more preferable to miss out on speaking your mind than to defend a half-baked position. Speaking before you think usually just results in a confusing conversation where both you and the person you're talking to are struggling to sort out what you mean. Being a good communicator means knowing when to speak out about something you care about, but also knowing when to be silent until you can put your feelings into words.

Riverdale: Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale

(Riverdale via The CW)

 

2. You Don't Listen

You've probably heard it before, but there's a big difference between listening and hearing. You can physically hear the words that are coming out of someone's mouth and still fail to comprehend the point of what they're saying. Being a good communicator is about more than just saying what you think or feel, it's also about genuinely listening to someone's response. If you're planning out what you're going to say next or simply waiting for your turn to talk, you're not really listening. Truly listening to someone means concentrating on what they're saying and only what they're saying, without inserting your own opinions and biases. It's an incredibly difficult skill to master, but it's also one of the pinnacles of being a good communicator.

 

3. You Hide Your Real Feelings

Being a good communicator means being open with how you feel. If you find that you're constantly playing down your emotions or hiding your real feelings under sarcasm or rude comments, you're not being a good communicator. Someone can only understand your opinion if you're honest about how you feel, so any attempt to mask your true emotions automatically eliminates the possibility of genuine communication.

 

4. You Disregard Differing Opinions

While good communication requires you to be honest about how you feel, it also demands that you listen to opinions outside of your own. It can be really difficult to get out of your own head and see another point of view, especially if you're discussing a topic or situation that you feel strongly about. However, if you only care about your own opinions, you might as well be having a conversation with yourself. Genuine communication means that you have to take other people's opinions and try to understand them, even if they're completely different than your own. You might change your mind or you might double-down on your own position—that's not really the point. The point is respecting someone enough to take the time to hear them out, instead of tossing their viewpoints aside just because they're different.

New Girl: Cece and Schmidt fighting

(New Girl via FOX)

 

5. You Interrupt Often

Perhaps the biggest hallmark of a bad communicator is constant interruption. Not only does it show that you value your voice and beliefs more than anyone else's, it also prevents anyone else from participating in the conversation. If you're constantly interrupting the people around you, you're not engaging in communication, you're monologuing. It doesn't require connecting or conversing with anyone else, which means that you may as well be alone in your room for all the actual communication you're doing.

 

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