Avoid talking too much about yourself.
Talking about ourselves is natural, and in some situations, it’s necessary. However, in many situations, it can be important to avoid talking too much about ourselves. Whether it’s in a job interview, a first date, or a social gathering, being able to balance sharing about ourselves with listening and engaging with others can be a valuable skill. In this article, we’ll explore some tips for avoiding talking too much about ourselves.
Focus on the other person
One of the most effective ways to avoid talking too much about ourselves is to focus on the other person. Ask questions and show interest in what they have to say. This not only takes the pressure off of you to talk but also helps to build rapport and deepen the conversation. When you do speak, try to relate to what they’ve said rather than shifting the conversation back to yourself.
Active listening is a powerful communication tool that involves paying attention to what the other person is saying and responding in a way that shows you’re engaged and interested. This means making eye contact, nodding, and using verbal cues like “mm-hmm” or “I see” to show you’re following along. When the other person finishes speaking, summarize what they’ve said to ensure you understand, and ask follow-up questions to continue the conversation.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By practicing self-awareness, we can become more mindful of how much we’re talking about ourselves and adjust our behavior accordingly. This may involve noticing when we’re dominating the conversation or recognizing when we’re feeling anxious or insecure, which can lead us to talk more about ourselves.
Sharing about ourselves can be an important part of building relationships, but it’s important to be selective about what we share and when. Before sharing personal information, ask yourself if it’s relevant to the conversation and if it’s appropriate to share in the given context. For example, it might be appropriate to share your experience with a particular topic in a job interview, but it might not be appropriate to share personal details on a first date.
Use “I” statements
When we do need to talk about ourselves, it’s important to do so in a way that’s clear and concise. One way to do this is to use “I” statements, which focus on our thoughts, feelings, and experiences rather than making generalizations or assumptions about others. For example, instead of saying “People always tell me I’m a great listener,” you could say “I’ve been told that I’m a good listener, and I think that’s because I enjoy hearing what others have to say.”
Be aware of nonverbal cues
Our nonverbal cues can also communicate a lot about us, including whether we’re talking too much about ourselves. Pay attention to your body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. If you notice yourself leaning in too much or using a lot of “me” statements, take a step back and adjust your posture or phrasing.
Practice active silence
Active silence involves intentionally pausing before speaking, which can give you time to collect your thoughts and ensure that what you say is relevant and meaningful. It also gives the other person a chance to speak, which can help balance the conversation. Practicing active silence can be particularly helpful in situations where you’re feeling nervous or unsure of what to say.
If you find yourself struggling to avoid talking too much about yourself, it can be helpful to take breaks from the conversation. Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom or get a drink, or find a way to shift the conversation back to the other person.