12 Bad habits that prevent you from developing exceptional people skills

Chances are, if you’re not very successful at dealing with people, you haven’t had the chance to properly educate yourself. Learning to deal with people is like learning to walk except it requires a lot more work!

Now imagine if your whole life you had been taught to walk backwards. Would this make your life much more difficult? Of course it would. Just like anything else, you need to learn exactly how to interact with people the proper way.

Here we go: here are the 12 dirty habits you should always avoid when interacting with people.

1. Looking down at the floor when speaking to someone. You must learn to look at someone directly in their eyes when speaking to them. If you were taught that staring at people was impolite, you’re absolutely right. However, this does not mean you can’t look at someone in his or her eyes.

2. Slouching when you’re standing or sitting down. Stand up straight. In our society being tall is a good thing. When you slouch you appear much shorter. Not only will standing straight make you look taller but it will also give you a confident look.

3. Frowning and not smiling enough. No one likes to spend time with someone who’s in a bad mood. If you’re not feeling too great then try to keep your distance. People love to spend time with upbeat, optimistic people. Make an effort to smile, not frown.

4. Avoiding strangers. Since the day you were born, your parents have taught you never to speak to strangers. Well, you’re a grown up now and things have changed. In order to develop exceptional people skills you need to be comfortable speaking to all types of people. You need to meet as many people as you can.

5. Making a poor first impression. Did you know that people will judge almost everything about you just by your first impression? Make an initial effort to get along with the person you are meeting and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.

6. Not making an effort to speak well. In order to develop great people skills you need to become a great conversationalist. This doesn’t mean you need to speak a lot; this means you need to speak well. You need to articulate and choose your words wisely. Basically, you need to listen to what you’re saying and not just blabber on about whatever you feel like.

7. Not being a good listener. Have you ever noticed how you tend to fall into a mind drift as soon as the other person begins to speak? Okay, well if you really don’t care about the person, then fine. But if you do, make an effort to listen and let the person speak. It will only help you further on in the conversation.

8. Not staying in touch with your acquaintances. To make sure you have the best relationships with all of the people you know, you must stay in touch with them. You need to regularly check your contact list and remind them all that you still exist. I’m not saying to call them up twice a week but an occasional check up is always nice.

9. Not being proactive. When there is not enough action and things are looking dull, it’s up to you to make a move. If you aren’t satisfied with the current situation don’t blame others, do something about it! Let’s face it: no one really cares if you’re unhappy, except maybe your mom…

10. Not enjoying your (social) life. If you want people to enjoy your company, you need to let them know that you’re a fun person to spend time with. If you’re a hard worker, then I congratulate you! However, you need to occasionally go out and be known for your excellent nights out! Go out and live your life to the fullest!

11. Not facing your fears. Actually, this relates to all aspects of your life but in this context I’m talking about meeting new people, career promotions, etc. If you need to do something logical but your emotions are getting in the way, then you need to analyze

12. Refusing to be open minded. There are all kinds of people out there. There are different religions, different races, different cultures, and different languages. Learn to accept others for who they are not who you want them to be. Give them your full respect and work out your differences unless of course you aren’t receiving the respect you deserve.