Do you consider yourself a social person? I think on some level, we all are. Or more correctly, we all need to be once in awhile. Even the most introverted and independent of us, has certain social commitments they have to deal with at times. If you find that you struggle in these situations, you can certainly use these nine powerful tips to help sharpen your social skills.
- Start Small
One of the best ways to sharpen your social sills is by starting small in your day-to-day life. Small talk is a great way to sharpen your social skills, and it doesn’t take much extra effort. The next time a neighbour says good morning, be willing to engage in a short chat.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions are a great way to enhance your social interactions. Instead of asking questions that end with a quick “yes” or “no”, ask questions that require more thoughtful answers. This will help keep people engaged and you won’t feel like you have to carry the conversation on your own.
- Seek Like-Minded People
If you struggle in social situations, why not try to make things easier for yourself? Try to find like-minded people that share similar interests as you. You will naturally feel more at ease when you are talking about the things you already love.
- Develop Your Active Listening Skills
Social skills are just as much about listening as they are about speaking. You should ensure that you are a good active listener. Active listening means making eye contact, using other non-verbal cues and otherwise seeming interested in the person speaking to you.
- Become a Better Storyteller
Being able to tell a great story is one of the best ways to sharpen your social skills. No matter how awkward or anxious you might feel, if you can tell a story that gets everyone on the edge of their seat or busting a gut you will be remembered. A great way to practice storytelling is actually by writing them.
- Learn to Read Body Language
You don’t have to be a master of body language yourself, but you should learn the basics. When you know what to look out for, you will know how people are responding to you. You will know when to stop talking, as well as when to continue. You will know if people are engaged, or annoyed.
- Plan a Few Good Conversation Starters
If you struggle in social situations, make sure you have a couple good conversation starters or stories in your back pocket. To begin with, this will make you more confident in your social interaction. It will also ensure you have something to say when the conversation dwindles.
- Shut Down The Distractions
This is going to be hard to hear for some people, but you should probably turn your phone off. It’s impossible to have meaningful social interactions if you are constantly checking your phone. If you can’t bring yourself to turn your phone off, at least keep it in your pocket.
- You Get What You Give
Like most things in life, when it comes to social interactions, you get back what you put in. If you want people to be interested in you, then show interest in them. If you want people to be kind, then show them kindness first. Social interactions are most pleasant when they are reciprocal.