Thought Catalog
April 14, 2017

12 Shocking Mistakes People Make When Talking For The First Time

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While talking may seem effortless and simple to most of us, it’s easy to forget how difficult it was the first time we tried it. Here are the 12 most common mistakes people make when having their first go at the art of speaking.

1. Saying “high” instead of “hi.”

A lot of people mix up these similar yet different words. Saying “hi” to a stranger is a great way to start a conversation. Saying “high” to a stranger could sound like you are accusing them of being on grass or that you are passive-aggressively telling them that they are too tall.

2. Spoiling the twist in M. Night Shayamalan’s ​The Village.

This one should be obvious, but a lot of vernacular virgins manage to muck it up. The Village has one of the greatest twists in cinematic history (some would argue it’s better than Shayamalan’s masterpiece The Sixth Sense). Don’t be the asshole who ruins it for everyone because you have nothing else to say.

3. Asking “Can you use it in a sentence, please?”

Honestly, this sentence is only appropriate if you are participating in a spelling bee, which, if this is your first time talking, is doubtful. Save this for when you’ve had a few years experience.

4. Telling people that you are Mark Ruffalo.

Assuming you are not Mark Ruffalo (if you are, thanks for reading Mark! I consider myself a fan), why start off your talking career with such a blatant and obvious lie? Be yourself. Be true to who you are. Just be.

5. Making guitar noises instead of words.

Don’t get me wrong, guitars are cool. Especially if we’re talking Jimi Hendrix; that man can play! But non-classic rock fans simply cannot understand guitar tones as a form of communication. Bust out a dictionary and choose some classic English words instead.

6. Asking “How many dads are there?”

Very few people know the answer to this question. It’s a very difficult statistic to measure. Plus, some dads don’t like the term “Dad.” They prefer “Father” or “Uncle” or “The New Sheriff in Town.”

7. Promising someone that you’ll lend them your copy of ​Girls ​Season 4 on Blu-Ray and not following through.

Your word is everything in the speech game. If you pull some bullshit like this, you risk never being trusted again. And if that person is forced to skip to season 5, they will miss key developments in the relationship of Hannah and Adam.

8. Saying “Don’t blame me, I voted for Bernie.”

The 2016 election is a touchy subject, and probably not the best way to break your silence. Plus, there is no statistical evidence that Bernie would have won. We need to move forward as a country and stop playing the blame game.

9. Proclaiming “God is dead.”

This should be obvious, considering how personal a topic religion is, but this is a very common first phrase that people choose to utter. Rarely, if ever, does it go over well. God means many different things to many different people, so to say that he is dead is a futile proclamation.

10. Asking “Are you Paul Walker?”

Paul Walker passed away over three years ago. Whoever you are talking to, they are most certainly not Paul Walker. Show some respect.

11. Cussing.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing is cooler than a well-timed “God Damnit” or “Hey, Asshole!” But you have to know your audience, and not everyone is down with potty-mouths. If it’s your first time, “Gosh” or “Shoot” are fun ways to fill the cuss-void.

12. Talking to the Queen’s Royal Guard.

These. Guys. Do. Not. Move. They will not speak to you or bat an eye. You are wasting your time by talking to them. Find someone who will engage you in a fun and meaningful conversation.

So there you have it. I hope this guide has prepared you to take the leap into the fun yet challenging world of talking. TTYL! TC mark