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We’ve all had those cringe-worthy moments of not knowing what to say and doing something awkward in public. Feeling nervous and wanting to make a good impression that we get so stuck in our head causing us to then do something we can’t get stuck out of our head.
The good thing is that most of the people you suffer through these moments with soon after forget the experience anyway. Individuals with pretty good social skills also understand these things happen, and even if they were the ones to do something they’d like to be forgettable, they soon move on as well. Having good social skills has a positive impact on career and life satisfaction.
Understandably, not everyone is naturally good at socializing. If this happens to sound like you, don’t worry. You can use these 12 tips to improve your social skills and radiate confidence.
Shift Your Mindset
A lot of times it may just be all in your head. You might think of yourself as socially awkward and others might not view you that way at all. The best thing for you to do is to get the negative thoughts out of your head and begin to tell yourself “I am a very sociable person”, “I am a very confident person”, “I am a very approachable person”, “People enjoy talking to me”.
Positive affirmation works really well when it comes to changing the way you think and boosting self-confidence and overall life satisfaction.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Never ever look at others to see how you stack up to them. This will only have the opposite effect you intend it to have because you will predominantly notice things they are better at and feel more self-conscious and anxious in social settings.
Instead, always look at your self as a unique individual that brings distinct value to every interaction. This will enable to become confident because you’ll see that you offer perspectives that nobody else has.
Be Aware and In Control of Your Emotions
Pinpoint what situations trigger certain emotional responses. If you know that you have a hard time staying calm when discussing certain topics then avoid talking about those subjects.
Maybe being apart of a big group makes you very anxious and overwhelmed, in this situation, you could focus on being more relaxed in smaller group settings before you transition to larger ones.
Understanding what situations are the cause of each emotion you feel will allow you to take control of them.
Pay close attention to what is being said when others are speaking to you. This might sound simple but often when others speak people are only half listening or listening to respond instead of listening to understand.
Sincerely understanding the points people are trying to get across will allow you to develop a deeper understanding of their interests and what kind of people they happen to be.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
This is an add-on of listening attentively. Asking open-ended questions, which is just asking things that require a more detailed answer than yes/no/maybe, gives conversations a bunch more substance and encourages other people to talk in depth about themselves.
Fostering a deeper connection between you and the person you’re speaking to causing you to feel less intimidated by talking with them because you’re beginning to understand them at more than just a surface level.
Make Goals For Yourself
Set specific goals to remain motivated to see yourself achieve. It can be to get better at a specific skill or to attend more social events where you can meet more people. Creating goals allows you to benchmark your progress and hold you more accountable to continue improving.
Actually going and stepping out of your comfort zone can feel daunting, to say the least, but setting goals is necessary to achieve success
Use Better Body Language
Try to maintain body language that conveys approachability. The more approachable people see you as being, the more likely they are to actually talk to you and want to be friendly towards you. Keep your posture open and more relaxed/calm.
This shows that you’re relaxed and probably easy going. It also indirectly shows that you more than likely have good social skills due to the fact that you are comfortable being around others you do not know. When you are speaking to others also make sure to keep good eye contact and smile with your eyes.
Keep Up With What’s Trending
When you know what is currently transpiring in the world it gives you PLENTY to talk about. When you think about what makes you nervous to speak to others a huge part of it is probably you not knowing what to say. Knowing current events can give you a bunch of RELEVANT things to discuss.
And that doesn’t mean just the news either because a lot of people don’t always want to discuss or deal with the topics it leads to. Stay up to date in fashion, entertainment, dining, culture, and whatever else is trending and slightly more lighthearted (and agreeable) than politics. This, in turn, will make you a lot more interesting.
Check out these great books to help improve your social skills below:
- How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
- Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ
- People Smart: Developing Your Interpersonal Intelligence
- How To Win Friends & Influence People