3 Habits That Kill Friendships

  1. Interrupting.
  2. Complaining.
  3. Gossiping.

Do any one of these regularly, and no one will want to talk to you.

Do all of them, and people’s heart will sink when they see you coming.

The scary thing is that these behaviors are very easy to do—in fact, they feel great in the moment—and once they become habits they become invisible. But they’re only invisible to you. Others can see them, and if they don’t, they can feel their effects. They have a general feeling that they don’t want to be around you, that you will bring them down, and that they shouldn’t be open with you.

Interrupting makes people feel unimportant.

Complaining shrivels a person’s capacity to empathize with your feelings.

Gossiping informs people, not just of the juicy details of others, but of the fact that their secrets will never be safe with you.

To complicate matters, complaining and gossiping seem to build friendship at first because there’s a certain camaraderie that goes with griping and sharing what you know about other people. Yet, the friendship is built on sand. It will make you worse until the day it finally crumbles.

If you want good friends, you should vigilantly watch for these behaviors in yourself and refuse to use them as a means of connecting with people.

Instead, listen, talk about what you love, and keep all the juicy information about those who are absent to yourself.

Restraint

Restraint is a key factor in all the art that really moves me.

Example: music. If a guitar player goes nuts for an entire song and pays no attention to dynamics, I don’t care how technically good he is or how much he shreds, my emotions are dead.

It’s not just art. When a person tries too hard to make a good first impression and smothers an organic conversation with self-assertion, I start looking for an exit.

Underdo it. Leave people wanting more. When you leave it all on the table, you take away the suspense and people lose all reason to pay attention.