Do you annoy people? Do you have a certain habit that really bears the heck out of family, friends, and associates? I have one relative who blows their nose at the dinner table every time they come over. Right in the middle of eating, out comes the handkerchief, and BAM, you know what's coming next. Every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, no matter what the occasion, you can count on the big blow. There are people who follow almost every sentence with the phrase, "you know" or "you know what I mean." You might know that person who uses the term "like" in almost every sentence; "Like, you know what I mean … Like, they really bother me … Like, get over it." Do you smack your food when you eat? I'm not real fond of the person who chews their gum so you get to see it quite often. The list can go on and on; talking loud on your cell-phone, wearing too much cologne or perfume, twirling your hair, biting your nails, always late.
I had a terrible habit of always stealing the punch line when my wife was telling a funny story. One day she finally said, "do you always have to interrupt me and tell the ending." I remember saying, "But I thought you had finished." Her reply was, "no, I just took a breath." I had not realized that I was doing it. I just got wrapped up in her story and was helping her finish. Now that's annoying. Having a fourteen year old son will also help to identify any annoying habits you may have. One day my son said, "hey Dad, you enjoying those peanuts?" I said, "yeah, why do you ask?" He said, "because I can hear you eating them all the way over here." I can not stand people who eat loud … but there I was … eating loud.
Being a professional speaker there are many times my program is videotaped. Each one of those tapes is a great learning experience for me when I review them. Tapes do not lie; they show you everything you are doing right and anything you may be doing wrong. The audience might not pick up on it, but I do. In fact, if I catch myself over-using a particular phrase, I will write that phrase out in large print on a 3 X 5 card and place it close by me when I speak for the next several weeks, to remind myself to not over -use that phrase.
It is most likely that you will not be videotaping yourself to help catch you doing those annoying things. You may not have that teenager who will help you change your ways. But it may behoove you to ask a few close friends or relatives if you do have any annoying habits. Do not take umbrage with what they say. Remember, you asked. Now, you may think you do not have any annoying habits … and my response to you would be … think again!