The Most Annoying Mistake Anxious People Make Every Day

Get your communication skills on point and lose the worry weight!

Posted Jul 27, 2015

Jan Vašek/
Source: Jan Vašek/

For the love of Pete, stop explaining yourself!

There’s no need to provide so many details about your experience, your relationship, or why you bailed on CrossFit yesterday.

Time is money. And mental energy is finite. When you over-explain, you squander precious emotional and mental properties, and waste other people's, too.

I get you. I used to do this. A lot.

Talking too much is a boundaries issue.

It’s also an anxiety issue.

Anxious people have a strange relationship with the spoken word. On the one hand, talking gives you something to do and somewhere to channel your nervous energy. On the other hand, words drive you crazy with regret after meetings, conversations, dates, and arguments. Listening to chatterboxes feels like emotional vomiting, plus people tune you out.

The good news is your anxious mind can catch a break. However, before you find your Inner-Decisive you need to know why you do what you do.

Common Reasons You Over-Explain

  •     You weren’t allowed to express yourself growing up
  •     You don’t trust that others will “get” your message
  •     You equate brevity with curt and dismissive
  •     You’re ambivalent about what you want
  •     You can’t stand the word ‘no'

Communicating Clearly in 8 Steps:

1. Breathe. Breathe slowly and deeply. Try the 4-4-4-: Inhale for a count of four; hold for a count of four; exhale for a count of four. Do this at least three times in succession, and before meeting with people or situations which make you anxious.

2. Give your vernacular the axe. A great way to trim the language fat is to spend time on Twitter. Check out how clever and clear conversations coexist inside this 140 characters parameter. Twitter is awesome, and so much more than just sharing your steel-cut oatmeal breakfast. While trolling, make sure to follow me, too!

3. Write short, punchy email messages. If you typically send five paragraph messages, cut it down to three. I promise, recipients will appreciate you. And if they don’t — pass along this article.

4. Take two beats before responding when you’re caught off guard. You’re not competing in the Talking Olympics, so take it slooow.

5. Believe you’re worthy of accolades, luxuries, and most importantly, healthy relationships. When you intrinsically value yourself, others will follow. If they don’t, it’s a sign to leave ‘em behind.

6. Get your message on point. Instead of vague language like ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ tell us what you really mean. “Mind-blowingly awesome,” and “eye-scratchingly awful” stand out. “I’m having a bad day” could mean your cat needs cataract surgery, you have a killer ear ache, or you’re hungover.

7. Become BFF with ‘no.’ ‘Tis a beautiful word which is essential to every relationship. Click here for a most awesome boundaries resource.

8. Write it down. Preparation is crucial. Because your mind races when you’re stressed, recording the main points of your message guarantees clarity and your end goal.

In summary, slow down, breathe, befriend brevity, and focus on your most important points when communicating.

The beauty of brief is less talk means more action. And more calm, too!



Click here for FREE resources to stress less + feel calm and in control.

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Copyright 2015 Linda Esposito, LCSW