How I have used my personal style of communication to build relationships with friends, family, and other adults
Talking may seem like the single easiest, most consistent aspect of our young lives. We might find ourselves talking to a teacher about how the homework made absolutely no sense. Sometimes we talk to a crush after school, asking them to go to the movies only to realize later your mother was also coming to the movie as well.
When talking to anyone in particular, you should always be polite Having manners really shows the other party that you have come from a good place and can invest some trust in you. Adults are a mixed bag. You have good and bad apples in the basket. However, adults are pretty cool. When you think about it, they can easily switch between talking in a professional and informal manner. Another cool trait about adults is that you can talk to them about literally anything and they’ll give their honest opinion. The teachers at your school don’t really have any reason to lie. With adults, find a common interest. Make an effort in the conversation and, if they return, they are worthy adults to have a conversation with. Learning something is the most valuable gift you can receive from another human being. And, you don’t just have to learn content from them. You can learn about their expression and their personality. Each perspective of life is unique.
Talking to adults in a formal manner is, admittedly, kind of boring. It’s mostly consists of clarification, small talk, and other miscellaneous thoughts. But, this can change. You can include a joke somewhere in a somewhat boring response in order to get a livelier reply. For instance, let’s say the teacher has asked you to run down to the copy machine to grab a couple of papers. Then, your witty mind could reply, “okay Mr. or Mrs. Whomever, wanna race?” The joke may very well be lame to some other crowds, such as your friends, but it is often a hit with teachers, supervisors, and other adults. Having a positive attitude towards a teacher can really resonate well with them, and it can strengthen the relationship between the teacher and student. Also, whenever you are around teachers it helps to be nice. There’s nothing bad that can come out of being nice and being nice to teachers gives you some benefits as well. One, they will definitely grade easier on your papers (as they have for me) and two, other peers will take notice. Even though you might not see it, there is always someone listening. One time, I was walking in the hallway with some of my friends and I was being loose with my words and used some very poor choice of words. A random teacher overheard me and addressed the issue with me directly. She just kind of popped out of nowhere like those ads about cool looking cars. Always, be mindful of where you are and what you are saying. You should self-check yourself frequently, because sometimes technology (phones and stuff) can deter us from the real world.
Some of y’all go way back with your friends. For instance, since kindergarten when you guys (and/or girls) would be playing on the playground, studying for the next test on the history of cream cheese in Switzerland, or even just hanging out in the backyard. Some of y’all met your friends at the beginning of middle school or high school. However, you met, y’all are friends. If you feel a need to say anything, you should say it. I personally love to tease my friends because I know they will regard it as a playful joke and nothing personal. But relationships can be broken because of someone in the relationship says the wrong thing or does something questionable. A fight can break out and the question is whether or not the parties really desire to get back together. Friends go through fights and disagreements all the time, but it’s all the times you voice your opinions and they voice their opinions and both of you find a common path, that really makes the best of friends. It has happened to me, so I advise y’all to think before you speak.
Sometimes it’s difficult to convey your message when a friend group is flowing through a conversation and you want to say something, but you don’t really get that chance. So, I recommend holding onto that thought and waiting until you get a chance to voice your opinion. For example, if someone’s telling a good story, listen to the story and have a reply or question in store. They may not directly show it, but people enjoy when other people are intrigued or show any sort of interest in what they’re saying. It makes them feel important, which they are. If you had to leave this article taking away at least one thing, it should be deciding who is really worth your time and effort. You should use your time with the people that matter most to you and give effort when trying to talk to you.
I am sure many of you have experienced the same emotions as I have and I am sure on some level you can relate to these experiences. But I am also a teenager! We all have different ways of working in the real world. In the end, I have found that being a genuinely, kind-hearted person has attracted many individuals at my school and draws good feedback. I find being able to talk to people and having a good ear for listening to your peers is extremely valuable in this day and age. I’d rather have a friend that listens and talks to me for a lifetime, than someone just wants to come over to play video games or be on their phone. Human connection is a gift; and this specific gift, lasts our entire lifetime.
Author: Dilanka Ranaweera is a Manhattan High School attendee as an incoming junior. His interests include basketball, long walks on the beach, tennis, and karaoke.