How can you tell that your utterly fascinating tale of your Christmas holidays is boring the living daylights out of your friends? Or you might losing the sale to a potential buyer because you’re so booooooooooring!!
Yup, we’ve all had those experiences. A few years ago a friend of mine went on a trip through South America. He came back enthused with the memories and so happy to show me the 1,700 photos he took. Yes, you read right!!! One Thousand Seven Hundred! Sigh. No, scratch that… YAWN. He did not notice my disinterest after an hour of flipping through eighteen photos of exactly the same thing.
Why do you become bored? Why are others bored with you or your conversation?
Well, there are a few reasons:
- Disinterest in the topic – self-explanatory.
- Excessive information – as proven above. This unfortunately often happens with sales people when they oversell their product as well. Or you might be ‘overtelling’ your story.
- Lack of involvement – this you will see very quickly with little children. Unless daddy involves them in building that remote control car, Johnny will quickly lose interest in his Christmas gift and let daddy play with it (as was originally intended)
- Lack of understanding – also self-explanatory.
Okay, so how do we spot boredom in nonverbal communication?
Immediately most people thing of ‘obvious’ signs like yawning, sighing, looking at one’s watch, picking cuticles, etc. Well, watch out! Sometimes these are signs of boredom and sometimes not. Remember that all body language should be read within context.
- They are looking for something to distract them (read: interest them). They will play on their phone, page through a magazine, doodle, disassemble a pen, anything that will be more interesting that 1,700 photos!
- Signs of fatigue: This is where the yawning, drooping eyes and slouched body show up. When people are not mentally or physically actively involved in an activity, delayed exhaustion quickly catches up. That is when the past week’s hard work falls on them like a tonne of bricks.
In my next post I will list even more specific nonverbal cues that you can watch out for. In the meantime, please prune down the holiday pics to a maximum of, say, fifty. ;-)