You can become the socially adept person you want to be by improving your social intelligence. Social intelligence is an aspect everyone has. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what it is.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about this aspect, starting from what it really is and how you can achieve it.
What Is Social Intelligence?
Social intelligence refers to a person’s knowledge that pertains to social skills and social behaviors. In essence, the higher a person’s social intelligence is, the more knowledgeable they are about socializing. When a person is more knowledgeable about socializing, the more socially adept they are.
To that end, if you want to be more socially adept, you’ll need to vastly raise and improve your social intelligence.
How To Improve Your Social Intelligence
The following 22 tips will help you improve your social intelligence. Keep these in mind and you’ll become more knowledgeable about socializing, thus making you become more socially adept.
Since this aspect refers to knowledge, the best thing you can do to improve your social intelligence is to study. Socializing is much more nuanced than most people think. There are a lot of topics and considerations one needs to bear in mind. Conversations, social anxieties, personality spectrums, and so much more.
That said, if you want to increase your social intelligence, it’s a good thing you’re already here. This site has an abundance of articles that discuss various social skills for you to learn. Once you’re done reading this article, be sure to check out the other articles as well.
Take note that although this is one of the best things you can do, it is merely one of the things you should do. If you only study without applying, it will all be for nothing. Be sure to also apply everything you’ll learn here out on the field. After all, learning through experience is still immensely effective.
Always surround yourself with other people
This is one way you can apply the things you’ve studied. Always surround yourself with other people, whether they’re people you already consider friends or people you don’t know yet. Whatever it is you’ll learn from this article and this website, use it then. You can also treat this as an opportunity to learn from others. See how they socialize and interact with others.
If you’re not used to getting surrounded by people, take things slowly. Attend events that you get invited to. Hang out with your friends in a crowded place. Do it every so often until you slowly get used to the environment.
Speak to the most socially adept people you know
Think about this one. Who, in your opinion, is the most socially adept person you know? Who in your social circle, or amongst your co-workers, is the best when it comes to socializing with other people? Don’t just consider how they interact with their friends and acquaintances, but also with people they haven’t met before.
This is the person that has the highest social intelligence in your circle. Once you figure out who this person is, begin observing them. Get to know them better. If you’re not friends with them yet, try your best to befriend them. Given their level of social skills, they’ll be more than happy to be friends with you, as long as you treat them properly.
You should then do your best to absorb as much information as you can from this person. They can be your best mentor throughout this process.
Try hosting a party
One of the best ways to engage with people, friends or strangers, is to host a party. Being the host of the party means that you’re the person responsible for the night of fun the people will have. You’re the person who’s making that happen. As long as the party goes well, everyone at the party will feel grateful to you.
This is an incredible way of meeting multiple people and getting the chance to interact with as many of them. Since you’re the host of the party, most of the people attending will feel the need to at least interact with you.
Hosting a party isn’t easy, though, especially if you’re someone who’s not used to this. It can be taxing and socially exhausting. However, as long as you can invite the right people to your party, all you’ll really need to do is to sit back and watch the fun unfold. If you can make that happen, you’ll have an awesome party in your hands.
Engage with the people you encounter on a regular basis
There are people you always come across but never really interact with too much outside from quick glances, change that. Engage with them more. Elevate your interactions from simple glances to fun conversations.
Begin by greeting them instead of just glancing at them. A “hello” or a “good morning” is more than enough. In time, start asking them how they are or how their day is going so far. Keep working your way up until you get to the point where you’re learning more about each other already.
Be this friendly to those you encounter on a regular basis. Your neighbors and workmates are great examples of this. Since these are the people you spend most of your time with, it’s much better if you can at least become friends with them.
Learn from your mistakes
Making mistakes is one of the things people with low social intelligence are highly afraid of making. Socially intelligent people, however, almost welcome them. They don’t purposefully make them happen, but when they do arise, it doesn’t bother them at all. This is because they know exactly what to do whenever they happen. Most importantly, they know that mistakes are learning opportunities.
Have this kind of mindset as well. Don’t overthink mistakes. While it’s good to do your best to not make them happen, you also shouldn’t spend every waking moment worrying about them. Take it easy. Just bear in mind that when they do happen, you can do something about it and you can learn something from it. That’s what’s most important here.
Learn from your mistakes. Know where you went wrong and what you could have done differently to avoid that mistake. Then, internalize that so that it will never happen again.
Be open to criticisms
If you want to improve your social intelligence, you’ll need to start being open to criticism. Don’t be afraid of them. Talk to your friends and the people who know you best. Ask them about how they think you do in social interactions. Ask them about the things you do wrong. Ask them what you can do better.
If you take the advice pointed out earlier stating to befriend the most socially adept person you know, ask them for advice too. Have them criticize you. This is one of the best ways for you to learn.
In addition to being open to criticisms, you should also embrace compliments. Give yourself credit when it is due. Allow yourself to feel good. After all, if someone is complimenting you, that means you’re doing something right. You’re on the right path. Use the compliments you’ll receive as motivators to move forward even further.
However, the one thing you should keep in mind is that you should never seek them out. Don’t do things for the sake of garnering praises and compliments. Instead, keep doing what you’re doing and embrace them when they come. This is just a bonus to what you’re doing. It shouldn’t be the ultimate goal.
Experience new things that involve socializing
Be a lot more open-minded and adventurous when it comes to activities that have you socialize with other people. If it’s not something you’re familiar with, but it’s safe and doesn’t really make you uncomfortable, consider giving it a shot.
For example, if someone you know is going on a hiking trip with other hiking enthusiasts and they ask you to come along, give it a shot. This is an activity that makes people engage with one another.
Any activity that’s similar to this wherein socializing is involved, don’t be afraid of giving it a try. You might just develop a new interest and might just make a new friend or two.
Attend events when you get invited to them
You should also start attending more of the events you get invited to. One of the tips here is to surround yourself with people more often. If you keep declining events, you won’t be able to make that happen.
This isn’t to say you should say “yes” to every single invitation. This just means you should stop making excuses to not attend them from now on. If you get invited to an event or party and you know you can attend it, do so. Look forward to it. It’s a learning opportunity for you since attending parties and being around others can help you improve your social intelligence.
Meet like-minded people
Meet like-minded people and interacting with people you don’t know yet becomes way easier. These are people who share your interests, among other things. This means you already have a common ground with them. You can simply work your way up from there.
This is just a way to make things easier for you. As long as you can interact with someone new, you’re already improving your social intelligence. Take advantage of this.
You can meet like-minded people by joining groups and clubs dedicated to an interest of yours. You can also join classes. This way, you’ll be learning and meeting like-minded people at the same time.
Get to know people who are different from you
This is something you can do down the line when you start to feel comfortable with it.
The nuance of meeting someone who’s different from you compared to meeting a like-minded person is very different. Adjustments and considerations need to be made since you both aren’t really compatible from the get-go. However, you’ll be surprised to learn how many best friends there are in the world who are two completely opposite people.
They say opposites attract. This isn’t true all the time. However, once they do attract, that bond can be immensely strong. When two fundamentally different people become close friends, this means they found something outside of interests and personalities they can latch on to. The level of attraction here is strong enough that a bond is present despite the difference.
This is the kind of thing you should look forward to. It will greatly improve your social intelligence if you can learn to befriend someone who’s different from you.
Be a better listener
From now on, practice active listening. Not only will this allow you to get to know someone more intimately but it will also allow you to learn things faster, thus improving your social intelligence.
Active listening is very different from the average. If you’re someone who casually listens to someone talk, you’re hearing their words and what they mean. You’re hearing stories, but you’re not fully internalizing them. Misinterpretations also happen more likely.
When you’re an active listener, on the other hand, not only are you hearing the words they’re saying but also what they’re exactly trying to convey to you. A person can say one thing but completely mean another. This is something you’ll be able to easily catch if you’re an active listener.
A casual listener listens to words, while an active listener listens to tone, message, and emotions. It sounds complicated but it isn’t. Listen with intent and always remember to maintain a level of interest towards the person you’re listening to.
Make long and meaningful conversations, as well as small talks
If you want to improve your social intelligence, you’ll want to be skillful in every aspect of making conversations. Not only do you need to be excellent at making long and meaningful conversations, but you also have to know how to make small talk.
Both have their places in everyday interactions. A lot of people see small talks as a nuisance but they can be very meaningful as long as they’re done properly.
It’s best if you treat small talks as gateways from casual interactions to long and meaningful ones. Ask about things that are relevant, not things that only make for passing conversation.
For example, instead of talking about the weather today, ask how their day has been thus far. Talking about the weather is standard small talk, but asking about someone’s day is small talk that makes someone think about their day and convey it to you. It’s much more meaningful this way.
Once you’ve broken that barrier, you can then start to make your way up to long and meaningful conversations. Be good at both of these and your interactions with others will become better. The more great interactions you’ll have, the more you’ll improve your social intelligence.
Be naturally curious about other people’s lives
As mentioned in the tip about active listening, you should also maintain a level of interest in the person you’re listening to. This is something you’ll actually want to keep in mind all the time. Be naturally curious about other people’s lives and you’ll be more driven to get to know them better.
You’ll be able to interact with people much better as long as you can be naturally curious about them. It will be more natural for you to listen to them more actively. You’ll be better at being empathetic with them. Most importantly, you’ll have the motivation to become friends with them.
Never seek approval
Seeking approval is one of the worst things you can do as someone who’s trying to socialize. Never go out there for the sake of seeking the approval of your peers. You’ll overdo things, you’ll overact, and you might take things a bit too far. Those who are socially skilled will be able to see right through this. They’ll see it as insincere and an act of desperation.
Be casual about socializing. It’s good to have the approval of others, yes, but it should never be a thing you seek. It’s simply something given to you if you can act appropriately and can socialize with skill.
Be aware of unspoken social rules
Your social intelligence will never be enough if you don’t remember unspoken social rules. There are things everyone knows they shouldn’t do in social interactions. These things aren’t the actions of a bad person, per se, but doing them when socializing makes you seem rude, socially awkward, or socially inept.
For example, you should never cut someone off when they’re talking. This is one of the most popular social rules. Every socially adept person knows this. Another example is to never stare at someone you don’t know if you’re not in conversation with them.
Think about this. There are a lot of social rules out there and you surely know a couple of them too. Think about things socially inept people do that make them seem insensitive and rude. These are the things you should never do in public.
Remember the importance of authenticity
Remain authentic. This is a very important aspect you should never forget if you want to be better at socializing. A lot of people turn to facades and masks because they believe their personality isn’t enough. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Be yourself. A lot of people will accept you truly if you remain true. A lot of people appreciate this, in fact. Be better, but never pretend to be someone you’re not.
Remember the value of making new friends
In case the going gets tough for you, remember why you’re doing this in the first place. You’re improving your social intelligence because you want to be better at making friends. Well, why do you want to be better at making friends? Because you know how important it is to have friends in your life.
Always keep this in mind. There may come a time when things become too tough. Things won’t always look up. You’ll have setbacks. You’ll have disappointments. Things may move slower than you want them to. It’s okay. Just keep going. Remember why you’re doing this in the first place.
Know your limits
It’s always good to try out new things and go out of your way for the sake of socializing. However, you should also know your limits. If you’re overdoing things, you’ll burn out much faster. You might end up hating this whole process instead of seeing how fun it can be.
If you want to stay home for a week after socializing for an entire weekend, feel free to do so. You deserve a break. Give yourself that every once in a while. Whatever it is you need, do it so that you won’t break down.
Always maintain an air of positivity
Everyone loves being around someone who’s as bright and warm as the summer sun. Be this kind of person. Maintain an air of positivity about you and people will appreciate you more. It’ll be easier for you to be around other people. As a result, it will also be easier for you to improve your social intelligence.
This can be hard, especially if things get tough, but always remember that things will always get better as long as you work hard to make them happen. Aim and strive for good things. Remember how good people can be. Remember the great things that happened to you and your loved ones. The world can be a great place for you if you make it a great place for you. Be this positive and you’ll draw people to you.
Treat everybody with respect and kindness
Most importantly, always remember to treat everybody with respect and kindness. Whether they’re your friends, strangers, people you see on the street, or anywhere else, treat them with respect and kindness.
Make sure to have this behavior no matter where you go. Make it a personality you can never let go of. You’ll be surprised at how vastly your social life will improve as you as you remain respectful and kind. You’ll also be able to make someone’s day just by being respectful and kind to them. Remember that.
Your social intelligence is directly related to your social skills. Strive to improve one and you’ll also improve the other. That said, do your best to improve both. Go out there and meet new people and stay at home while studying the articles you can find on this site. Keep getting at it and your social intelligence will be enough eventually for you to get the friends you want.