13 things you’re doing in conversations that people secretly judge you for

Are you self-conscious when it comes to talking to other people? Do you think they secretly judge you while you’re talking to them?

Well, to be honest, they actually could be. You see, we all have different communication styles, and some of them aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

That’s why today, you’ll learn what you’re doing in conversations that people secretly judge you for.

This will help you improve or make you even more self-conscious. 

1) Exaggerating or embellishing stories

I’ve had a friend who would always “spice up” his stories. He’d exaggerate, add extra details, or outright make stuff up to make the stories more interesting.

Did we all know he was doing it? Of course, we did. Did we care? Not so much. Yes, it would get annoying sometimes, and there’d be eye rolls, but it was all fun. 

I’m not sure how the people who first met him reacted when they learned about his machinations, but I’m sure they didn’t think favorably of him. 

Fabricating details in stories to make them more interesting simply erodes trust in your storytelling. 

Even in today’s world, authenticity is valued in conversations, so it’s better to stick to the facts and let the story speak for itself.

2) Being overly critical

Regularly criticizing others, whether it’s their choices, appearance, or actions, also creates a negative atmosphere and leads to strained relationships. 

For example, watching a movie or reading a book solely to find faults in the plot, characters, or production instead of enjoying the experience for what it is.

Or attending social gatherings or events and criticizing everything from the decor to the choice of music, making it challenging for others to enjoy the occasion.

Why not give constructive feedback instead and show empathy to maintain a more positive dynamic?

If you’re constantly criticizing others, they won’t just secretly judge you for it, but they’ll simply start avoiding you, too. 

3) Talking too loudly/Using offensive language

My cousin loves speaking (very) loudly and shouting at people, dogs, kids, whoever. He’s always been like that. 

As you might have guessed, that’s not his only problem. Naturally, he also curses a lot, makes uncomfortable innuendos, and makes you crawl out of your skin when you have to talk to him. 

There’s really no one else like him, which I kind of admire as that’s not something you can say every day about someone. 

He embodies all the worst traits of all the characters in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Needless to say, speaking at a high volume is disruptive in all settings, apart from a busy and loud factory floor. 

Offensive slurs and humor, discriminatory language, or profanities can also be deeply hurtful and offensive to others.

You should be aware of your audience and avoid humor that may be inappropriate or offensive in a particular context.

It also makes others feel uncomfortable or even embarrassed. As does the following:

4) TMI

People doing what I just mentioned above typically also share too much information about themselves, but also about others. Do you think they’re good at keeping secrets? 

Oversharing personal details, especially intimate ones, are great if you want to create awkwardness in conversations. 

If your goal is to make people blush and wish they were deaf at that moment, then sure, TMI is an awesome conversational tool. 

In all other situations, you must gauge the appropriateness of the information you share based on the context and the level of intimacy in the relationship.

5) Ignoring social cues

Not picking up on non-verbal cues like someone looking disinterested or uncomfortable regularly results in misunderstandings. 

But this works both ways.

Being distracted by your phone during a conversation also signals disinterest and disrespect

To be more present in conversations, put your phone away or on silent mode and give your full attention to the people you’re talking to.

It’s the least you can do. 

6) Monologuing

Talking extensively without allowing others to contribute makes you seem self-centered and disinterested in other people’s viewpoints. 

Talking too much about yourself without showing interest is also self-centered behavior that people will judge you for. 

Another friend of mine always refuses to change the subject or listen to what others are saying. He simply keeps coming back to his thing.

Of course, that’s very frustrating for everyone involved. 

If you have issues with hijacking the convo, practice engaging in two-way conversations where everyone can participate. That might be difficult if you have zero self-awareness, though. 

So start by asking questions and expressing genuine interest in others’ experiences.

7) Excessive self-deprecation

phrases narcissistic use 13 things you're doing in conversations that people secretly judge you for

While self-deprecating humor can be endearing in moderation, constantly belittling yourself can make others uncomfortable and doubt your self-confidence. 

For example, constantly drawing attention to your perceived flaws or shortcomings, whether in your appearance, intelligence, or abilities. 

Saying things like, “I’m terrible at this; you should find someone better,” or, “I’m so clumsy, I’m surprised I made it here without tripping,” are incredibly cringeworthy, especially after a certain age. 

Strike a balance between humility and acknowledging your worth. Also, don’t humblebrag.  

8) Being overly competitive

Always trying to outshine others, even in casual conversations, is another thing people will secretly judge you for. A lot!

Constantly trying to top someone else’s story or achievements comes across as competitive and dismissive. Ultimately, it’s pointless and only serves to inflate your ego. 

Instead of trying to outdo others, focus on sharing your experiences without overshadowing theirs.

You don’t always have to be the best at everything, do you? 

9) Playing the victim

Constantly portraying yourself as a victim is another thing that’s emotionally draining for others. 

When you constantly complain about your life circumstances, making it seem like you have it much harder than everyone else, it starts getting old quickly. 

For example, you might say, “I can never catch a break. Everything always goes wrong for me,” or, “I can’t lose weight because my genetics are terrible. It’s not my fault.”

Yes, you should seek support and empathy when facing challenges, but taking ownership of your actions and decisions is also important for personal growth.

10) Not showing appreciation

Neglecting to express gratitude when someone helps or does something kind for you is often interpreted as ungratefulness. 

For example, kids, even when they’re older, often don’t acknowledge the efforts or resources provided by their parents and assume they’ll always be available without any recognition or reciprocation.

But many people also don’t respond to messages, calls, or invitations from friends or family, making them feel unimportant or undervalued.

A simple “thank you,” or an acknowledgment can go a long way in promoting goodwill.

11) Lack of empathy

Apart from failing to acknowledge and appreciate others, many people also fail to understand others’ emotions and experiences. This makes them appear detached, cold, and uncaring. 

For example, when someone shares their problems or concerns, responding with phrases like “You’re overreacting” or “It’s not a big deal” shows a lack of empathy. 

Instead, you could say, “I can see why that’s bothering you. How can I help?”

Show empathy by actively listening, validating feelings, and offering support when needed. 


12) Ignoring cultural differences

Failing to consider cultural norms and customs in conversations, especially in diverse settings, often results in misunderstandings and unintentional disrespect. 

Discussing or joking about religious matters without considering the beliefs of others can be highly offensive. 

For example, making light of religious customs or traditions can unintentionally disrespect someone’s faith.

Simply be open to learning about and respecting different cultural perspectives. And again, know your audience!

13) Bringing up controversial topics without consideration

And lastly, delving into sensitive subjects without assessing the comfort level of your conversation partners can result in heated arguments and strained relationships. 

Should we avoid sensitive topics altogether? In most cases, no. But if you know someone has a completely opposite stance on something than you have, the only thing you will accomplish by bringing it up is conflict. 

For instance, I’m a vegetarian. Besides my wife, who is the same, everyone else in my social circle is a meat eater. 

Apart from initially discussing the topic when we just ventured into this “lifestyle” more than 10 years ago, almost no one has ever brought it up again. 

Final thoughts

And there you have them – 13 things you do in conversations that people secretly judge you for.

What you will do with this new-found knowledge is up to you. Will you adapt your conversation style? 

Do you even care what others think about it and about you? 

Picture of Adrian Volenik

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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