This article is dedicated to helping you improve your social skills. Continue reading and you’ll find the tips and methods that will help.
A lot of people have different ways of going about their lives. Somehow though, people who are more active socially tend to be more positive in life. This doesn’t mean those who aren’t socially active are necessarily negative, they just aren’t as optimistic as a socially active person. So, if you want to improve your outlook in life, you’ll need to improve your social skills.
Why Social Skills Are So Important
People who have social lives lead incredibly smoother lives. Those who are sociable are more likely to get by in life easier and more smoothly. People who are more active socially and have more friends can rise to the top of their fields faster. Because they have friends to turn to, they have access to support, advice, connections, and great ideas.
In romantic relationships, couples who are a part of a bigger community of friends tend to be happier. If you’re single, meeting new people is easier if you have friends who can introduce you to others.
A lot of research has also proved that having the right friends can drastically improve your physical and mental health. You can literally make yourself healthier just by being more sociable. Achievements are more satisfying to celebrate because you’ll have friends with you to celebrate with.
On the other hand, tough times are easier to deal with because you’ll have friends present to help you solve and get through your problems.
You also have the chance to be more impactful as a person if your social circle is wide. Your ideas and visions will have a higher chance of reaching more ears because you’ll have people to talk to; who will then tell their other peers, making your voice have a wider spread.
The ideas that you have in your head are passed around from one mind to another. That makes the possibility of your idea come to fruition higher because you’ll have the chance to meet people who’ll help you turn your idea into a reality.
With that in mind, having the right social skills can improve your career, relationships, impact, and health. You can ultimately improve your way of living just by improving your social skills.
Best Way To Improve Your Social Skills
You now know that being more socially active and having more friends can very much affect your life positively. Now you need to realize where you are in terms of social skill level. If you believe you have much to do to improve it, then good. That’s why you’re here. You have to know that you can improve your social skills, and now you will learn the best way to do that.
1. Learn social skills the right way
I have spent the better part of two decades learning, unlearning, and relearning everything about being more social. I spent years compiling and fine-tuning the skills that actually helped me build more friendships. You need to learn everything I did, both the correct ones and the mistakes, so you can be more social faster and avoid doing the wrong things. It is both just as important to know what to do as to know what not to do.
After studying everything you’ll need to improve your social skills, you’ll then need to go out in the real world. You’ll need to apply everything you studied and see how differently people react to you then. You’ll realize how fun and right it can be to make friends whereas before, it was always something you found challenging.
Make no mistake; building friendships is not as easy as it seems. But if you do it right, it is also very fulfilling. Learn social skills the right way and you will make friends more naturally. The anxieties you once had in social gatherings will disappear and you’ll have more fun socializing.
Take everything I’ve learned and apply it to yourself and your social life will improve greatly. You’ll start making great friends and your way of life will start improving along the way.
2. Practice social skills every day if possible
The importance of practicing your social skills cannot be stressed enough. You will spend a good chunk of your time just staying at home and practicing in front of a mirror, or sitting down on a chair, or even out in public in front of other people. Treat every interaction you’ll have as an opportunity to grow as a social person. Talk more and listen more.
Understand the people you’ll speak with on a deep, emotional level. Don’t just focus on their words, focus on the emotions behind their words. Help others feel better about themselves.
You will also need to allow people to read you. Let them understand you as a person and they will relate to you more. If you have problems you can’t solve on your own, ask advice from others. Open up and express yourself. If there’s a mutual understanding between two people, the chance of a friendship being built is higher.
You also need to consider your sense of humor. Make people laugh by telling funny stories and jokes every once in a while. You’ll make the atmosphere lighter this way and people will enjoy your company.
On your journey to better socializing, you’ll meet a lot of people who have amazing social skills. They are people who are very natural at building friendships and are able to stand out from a crowd without breaking a sweat.
Maybe you’ll start thinking to yourself, “They are so great in public. They don’t need to practice social skills and making friends”, but that can’t be further from the truth. I’ve talked to many sociable people and believe me, they are still constantly practicing and learning how to be more social. If they are still practicing, you should as well.
3. Dare to try new social techniques
Don’t be afraid of trying out new things as you’re learning to socialize. You will learn a lot from me, but you’ll be surprised to learn a lot about yourself too if you start trying out new things.
For example, if you get invited by a group of people who loves going on mountain trips and you haven’t done any, go with them. Go out on adventures and do things you’ve never done before. You will grow so much as a person if you step out of your usual “comfort zone”. Socialize in places you’ve never been to before and meet people who do things you’ve never done.
You will feel easier about behaving differently if you’re in a completely foreign setting. Thus, if you usually aren’t that sociable, you can “pretend” to be if you’re in a different place. Try out new things and your social skills will improve in the process.
Remember, you don’t necessarily need to travel in order to be a better social person. You can simply socialize better in the long run if your experience is vast. If you never try out new things, you’ll be living in a bubble and will have no new experiences. The more experience you’ll have, the better your social skills will be.
4. Set up weekly socializing goals
Create a schedule and a checklist for skills to develop every week and follow it strictly. Decide on places you can go, social events that are upcoming you can participate, list parties you can attend, so on and so forth.
If you have friends you haven’t spoken to in a while, reach out to them and reconnect with them. Maybe you can host your party and invite them over. Make it a habit to socialize at least once a week in any way you can.
Your social life is, like all other aspects of your life, important. You need to take the time to develop it and spend time with it. You wouldn’t expect to have a healthy and fit body if you only go to the gym once a year.
In that same way, you can’t expect to develop your social life if you hardly ever socialize. You can improve your social skills by socializing constantly. If you do it at least once a week, you’ll grow to be a better social person in no time.
5. Talk to people who are different from you
It is easy to build friendships with people who are very alike with you. But if you keep on doing things the easy way, you won’t grow as a person. If you want to be better at socializing, you need to refrain from using the easy route and start doing things differently. Talking to people who are different from you is a very good way of developing your social skills even more.
If you once purposefully avoided people you had nothing in common with, do the opposite now. Go out of your way to meet and approach people who you know are completely different from you. Try to understand them and put yourself in their position. Learn the ability to empathize with people who have nothing in common with you and you’ll be able to do it with anyone and anywhere.
For example, say there’s a person at a party who can barely speak English, surrounded by English speakers. You notice that almost no one is approaching this person because of the language barrier. Use this as an opportunity to “widen your perspective”. Talk to them and use whichever tools and skills you can to reach an understanding.
Facial expressions and body language can say things words can’t. You’ll need to pick up on that. Just by establishing a friendship with some because of understanding is a great way of developing your social skills. That person will be very grateful to you because you took your time to understand them.
Try to build friendships with people who are very different from you and building friendships with anyone will become even easier for you. If you are capable of breaking down language barriers, cultural differences, and interests to build friendships, imagine socializing with someone very similar to you.
6. Give yourself permission to learn and even make social mistakes
When you’re out socializing, you can sometimes get the feeling that all eyes are on you. If you’re on your A-game and are really hitting it off with every person you speak to, then that’s great! People get to witness that and see how comfortable and amazing you are at socializing. But, if something goes wrong, if you make a mistake, they’ll see that too.
If you make a mistake, say something stupid, or do something awkward, and it’s seen by many people, then it’s over. The music will stop, all heads will turn on you, and a guard will approach you and tell you to leave the building immediately, right?
Of course, not. I’m just teasing you. This is just all in our heads. We believe that all eyes are on us and therefore, everyone will judge us every single time we make a mistake.
The truth is, if you make a mistake in a social setting, they won’t care at all. People do it all the time! People go out to socialize and end up saying something goofy or acting awkwardly and people won’t judge at all. The most probable scenario is people will just shrug and laugh it off. This is good news. This means you pretty much have the freedom to experiment and try things out.
If you make a mistake, what’s the worst that could happen? Does it stop the conversation? So what? Just move on to the next one. If you make a joke and no one laughs, pay no mind to it! It happens to me all the time and I’ll still keep on telling my jokes! It’s not the end of the world.
If you do happen to make a REAL mistake, just apologize and go on. People make mistakes all the time and people will forgive a mistake or two. The important thing is, if it does happen to you, just allow it to happen and move past it. Learn from it. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake and your social skills will improve.
7. Try and build a social circle of friends
You can learn a lot by going out to social events and participating in the social circle of others, but you can learn even more by building your own circle and having a consistent s company. By going out with the same group of people on a regular basis, you can work on the same skill over and over until you master it.
If you have a circle of friends that you can call your own, you get to have conversations with people you’re comfortable with regularly, you get to do activities together, and your social skills will be constantly improving.
Getting together and having social gatherings will also become easier if you have your own social circle. With just one text, you can invite them to hang out and have fun—all the while developing your social skills.
Here’s a very good way of building your own social circle:
Go to a social event that has a good environment. A social event that is perfect for meeting friends. Once there, have conversations with as many people as you can. You don’t have to force these conversations to be longer than necessary, but every so often you’ll encounter people you’ll have many in common with. These are the people you can really build friendships with.
Make sure you end those kinds of interactions by exchanging contact information. By the end of the night, you’ll have done many interactions and may have collected 5 – 8 numbers. You say farewell to everyone, and then you go home.
After a few days, start contacting those whose numbers you collected. Ask them how they’ve been doing and emphasize how much of a delight it was to meet them. And then, ask them to a social gathering. Say something like “Hey, next week I’m meeting a couple of guys from the event we went to. Would you want to come along?” As soon as one of them says yes, inviting more people should come easier.
Creating a social circle this way has a very high guarantee of success. First, you have lots in common with all of them. Therefore, they must have a lot of common with each other too. Second, you already have that party you met them all as a common ground. Just follow the steps here and you should be able to create your own circle of friends; friends who have many in common and can have a greater understanding with one another.
8. Build social skills as an introvert
Extroverts may have the advantage in social settings by being more naturally outgoing, but building up your social skills as an introvert also has its perks. One thing a lot of people misunderstand about introverts is that they “hate” being around many people. That’s not true at all. Extroverts simply can feel energized from being around other people and introverts feel energized from being alone.
If you’re an introvert who wants to develop your social skill, just think of extroversion as a switch that you can flip when necessary. It’s not a mask that you put on your face, it’s a suit that you wear proudly. People still see you for who you are, but what you’re wearing is perfect for the occasion.
In social settings, you will need to interact with many people and that can be tiring for an introvert. Socializing is very fun if you make it fun. It’s more fun if you treat parties the way an extrovert does. Put on your extroversion suit and start mingling. Practice your socializing abilities constantly and in time, the suit will become your skin. You’ll be a natural at extroversion and be more outgoing at social events.
9. Adjust your expectations when socializing
When you’re developing your social skills, don’t expect every single social interaction to be smooth. You always need to manage your expectations. If you do so, when the interaction goes great, then great! But if it doesn’t, it won’t affect you as much.
Don’t think “If I go out there, socialize, and make friends, everyone will like me. Every person I meet can and will become my friend”. That’s a good outlook, but a bad expectation to have. Don’t set the bar too high. It will be much painful if you happen to fall. Instead, be careful with your expectations. Do your best at every social interaction, but don’t expect the best from everything. As mentioned earlier, mistakes can happen and you should just allow them to happen.
Instead, you can go out and have “average” expectations. To get you started, think of the following mindsets:
- I’m going to go out and I’ll make the most of it.
- If things go right, then good. If things go bad, then it’s okay.
- I’ll focus on making conversations. If it doesn’t go well, I’ll just move on to the next one.
- I’ll do my best to make every interaction meaningful.
- The main objective is to have fun.
By thinking something like these in social interactions, your expectation is managed. Wrong things happening can be unavoidable. Don’t get discouraged if they happen to you. Keep your expectations to a level of realism. Just focus on improving your social skills.
10. Don’t stop learning
No matter how much you’ll learn, there will always be more. Even the most social and outgoing people are still learning how to be more social in public. You will be the same too. But, you will finally reach a level of comfortability and ease of being out there and meeting people. When that happens, you will build friendships more naturally. Most importantly, you’ll have fun doing so. But even then, you will still keep on learning. Just be sure to apply every single thing you learn and allow yourself to unlearn a thing or two. Things change and you should be able to do the same.
Speed Up Your Social Skills
If you’d like to boost your social skills, so you can meet new people, build friendships, and have a great friend circle, then make sure to check out my eBook, Get The Friends You Want.
In it, I share with you my best techniques for building a social life. It took me years to compile, organize, try out, and polish the most effective social skills. And I share those with you in my book.
– Paul Sanders