The Must Know Gateway To Master Your Social Skills

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The Must Know Gateway To Master Your Social Skills

“As an introvert, interacting with other people feels like exercise. I feel better about myself every time I do it; it makes me stronger and healthier. It also exhausts me, and if I do it too much I feel sore and cramped. But if I go too long without it, I feel sluggish and stifled. Ultimately, it is the space between that energizes and sustains me. And some days, I just don’t feel like working out and would rather sit on my ass and read a book by myself.” –Daniel Miles

If you’re already amazing at socializing and exhibiting the sort of charisma that brings everyone towards you, congratulations! What I have to say will be no good to you and you can go back to your next public event to captivate the crowd.

The most you will get out of this article is a know-it-all lecture from an introvert who’s randomly blabbing their mouth. (Or keyboard technically.) You might pick up a fact or two you didn’t know or maybe you will have a fact or ten you can add to this article.

If you’re just starting your path to better your social skills, you might be wondering what you’ve been doing wrong this entire time. Maybe you freeze at the sight of another human being or can’t think of a single word to say when it’s your turn to speak during a conversation.

I know I used to hide from people who sorta knew me to prevent a boring conversation from happening. (I sometimes still do this.)  When I was a teenager, I hid from the telephone whenever it rang to avoid the obligation of answering it.

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To start you off with some tips on what not to do, don’t hide from them.(Or at least make it obvious.) Ignore every tip you received about having to be confident, build your self-esteem, and dressing like a champ.

Yes, those are major benefactors if you follow those simple rules. But two people approach towards socializing are rarely the same. You may struggle with speaking to people because you’re too concerned about how your face looks as another person is too scared about their speech impediment. What may help Bob may not help Jill. A new pair of pants might make you feel comfortable, but a new hairstyle might make another person feels like a champ.

The most common mistake that loners make is assuming new relationships won’t make any difference in their life. For instance, you might make the assumption that keeping yourself off the radar from other people will make you more comfortable.

It makes sense. The less people in your life, the less likely you are to be bothered by someone else’s worries. All you really need is maybe one or two people in your life.

However, here’s where the dark shadows come into play. Back in a time where I was super introverted, I always assumed that I didn’t need friends or anyone close. I had my hobbies and I was comfortable being by myself.

But my mentor taught me that it was crucial to never believe that I can live a life just to myself. Humans need social interaction on a daily basis just as much as they need food and water. Or else, they begin craving for greater affection and question their own self-worth. There’s nothing wrong with isolation, but such as overeating, it can negatively affect you.

social skills

My mentor was the type of person who had a few close friends in his life, but the majority of people he kept in contact with were at best considered associates. And you know what’s the crazy part is?

Those associates were perhaps the pillar that made his closest relationships worth wild. They were used to create small, but different conversations that he had throughout the day. Whether he spoke to his work colleagues, his neighbors, or the same merchants, he always ensured he kept in good terms with everyone.

The key to keeping any close relationship fresh is the ability to come up with new content to tell them. Or else, even your closest relationships will crumble into a boring routine. You use the information you gained from the 10 small previous conversations you had with your associates so you can redirect them to those closest to you. That’s the key to making yourself and your relationships exciting.

As shallow and void as it sounds, humans are intrigue by gossip, news, and the lives of other people. They want to know what Bob said about Shelly’s hairstyle. They want to know what someone did because of what reason. My mentor made it possible to grasp nearly anyone’s attention because he was aware of how to catch someone’s interest.

Does this mean the secret to building your social skills is gossiping about other people behind their backs? Certainly not. It’s how you go about spreading what you learned from other people.

For example, when I began practicing his form of socializing, I spoke to my colleague about strange events occurring in our neighborhood. Though me and my colleague weren’t best friends, we were comfortable speaking to each other about the small things that were in our minds.

I picked up some new facts about local festivals as he picked up new facts about new books. Next, I briefly spoke to a cashier I normally saw and discovered new job opportunities as I told her about new restaurants that opened up. As I continued exchanging small, but meaningful blocks of knowledge, it accumulated into something big. I now had a pool of interesting facts I could share with my best friend.

social skills

But most loners don’t think it’s necessary to build a relationship with anyone as long as they already have a best friend or lover. They’d rather ignore the irritating pitfall of socializing with complete strangers and possibly picking up small blocks of knowledge.

After all, socializing at any given point takes time and energy. Two resources everyone is limited on. I’ve had several moments where I was only comfortable with only a girlfriend or best friend. And each, and every time I made that same assumption, I found myself falling into the same trap.

When I kept my relationships very limited, it started off as exciting and full of enjoyment. But overtime, the passion slowly drained, the conversations became repetitive, and there was no longer that excitement.

For example, when I only wanted one best friend to be in my life, it was exciting at first. And yet, after every passing day it began becoming the same with the same conversations taking place. Months later and I’m wondering if there’s any reason to continue a boring friendship.

Forget about only settling for only one person to talk to, and increase your associates list. You don’t have to take them out to dinner or even buy them a gift. Just stay in friendly terms with anyone you see on a normal occasion. Get to learn about them a little more with each passing visit. Don’t limit yourself to the amount of associates you bring into your life. It can be 10 associates or 100. 

And if you have no friends at all, this points to you just as much. There’s a high possibility that your next best friend or lover will come into your life when you least expect it. You just don’t point at someone and declare them as your BFF. You build a slow relationship with someone by learning what they like as they learn about you. The more similarities you two share, the more compatible you are.

Your best bet is to keep building up your associate list and taking notes of those you find exciting to speak to. Make a notion to interact with them more than your other associates. Maybe it’ll build into a meaningful friendship or maybe it won’t. You won’t know until you test the waters.

One of my closest friends is a natural extrovert. He loves speaking to a variety of people with a giant smile and full of positive attitude. He can get nearly anyone to fall for his natural charms and charisma when they’re around him. It’s easy to fall jealous to his personality because it’s a skill I normally have to work hard to maintain.  However, a major weakness he has is being alone with himself and dwelling on his thoughts.

Why do I mention him? My friend may not be aware of it, but to dispel the ocean of facts and knowledge he picked up from the 100 people he spoke to, he would spill it all to me (considering I was his best friend.)

It’s easy for an Extrovert to make friends with a crowd of people, but difficult to find one trustworthy enough to dump it all too.  In fact, because of the amount of information an extrovert can pick up from their daily routines, it makes keeping it all to themselves a problem. There has to be a balance between speaking to a wide array of people and maintaining your closest relationships.

What’s the target you should aim for? If you have someone you trust, make them an associate and build a social time with them. If you don’t have a best friend, still build your outer social layer and dig deeper into any associate that has similar interests to you. You might come across a few inconvenient moments with them, but don’t let your ego get in the way. Or else you’ll find yourself in Game Over mode and start from the beginning.

social skills

As for myself, the natural introvert, though I had a friend, I lacked the outer social layer to keep things interesting. I became too dependent on my friend to act as my socializing outlet.

My plan was to locate nearby people who I can have small, but meaningful, chats with so I can build my social circle and learn from others. So one of the first trips I made was at a park near my place. There, I met a group of people who normally hung around there. I never considered them as my best friends, but they were friendly and welcoming. We exchanged conversations and spent small bits of time together.

Therefore, by the time I met up with my best friend, a majority of my social outlet was already released so I didn’t seem as needy as before. I had more topics to contribute in a conversation based on what I heard from other people.

Socializing became nearly effortless because it became natural for my brain to grasp. I wasn’t focusing on what to say or how I can make myself interesting. I was merely reflecting what happened to me that day, what I heard from someone else, and the topics related to those subjects.

If you look back on anyone who’s mastered their social skills, you’ll discover that it took building a habit out of talking to a variety of people.

People forget the importance of speaking to the cashier they meet daily, the mailman who greets them at the door, or their coworkers who’s been act strange. However, those are the people who help you master your social skills. The more people you make into an associate, the more types of personalities you understand.

Remember, everyone’s different with their own little peaks and curves. But the more you familiarize yourself with the different types of people in the world, the more comfortable you become with yourself and others. You can’t control how others behave, nor can you force friendships into your life.

The most you can do is take what you learn from a relationship and apply it to the next. Keep to heart what you like about people, who makes you comfortable, and what you enjoy. Keep bringing associates into your life and don’t push anyone completely away.

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As an introvert, I enjoy being alone. I take walks around the neighborhood and listen to my own thoughts. I like to stay at home instead of going to parties. I like the comfort of my own self rather than a crowd of people. But I don’t like isolation for long periods of time. I hate being alone for so long that I begin questioning my own thoughts.

I socialize to keep my mind balanced and to prevent negative thoughts from flooding my head. It does require extra work because socializing requires energy in putting up a positive attitude, and genuinely expressing yourself. But such as exercising and eating healthier, incorporating a normal routine of socializing is necessary for the mind. 

 



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About Author

Besides being random and dealing with ADHD from time to time, Michael Gregory II is the CEO of the Self Development Workshop. He’s traveled to over a dozen countries, counselled a variety of people, and continues furthering his knowledge in self-development, depression, and mastering your happiness. On his lazy days, he enjoy watching people, reading in Starbucks, and speaking to random strangers. (Yeah, he’s weird.)

3 Comments

  1. This article is excellent. I have never had very good social skills, partly because I get bored with petty conversations about the weather and other mundane topics. My mind works very mathematically, so when you talk about the snowballing effect of such conversations, I immediately thought of it in terms of how compounding interest works. Suddenly those little conversations make a lot of sense to me. You have to focus on the long term outcome of the interaction, not the conversation itself. You’ve made it all click into place in my head.

  2. Thanks for enjoying the article Aaron!! I really appreciate the support. I had a ton of times where I had a hard time just trying to speak to people. So I have to keep pounding myself in the head to speak to other people the same way I exercise in the morning or eat a salad. I may not enjoy it too much but it builds a healthy lifestyle.

  3. I appreciate the information in this post. It’s good, well-written and easy to comprehend.
    You have my attention on this subject. I will be back for many more informative
    articles or blog posts.

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