When you try to meet some new people and it doesn’t work, are you inclined to say “people are weird” and that “you don’t have time for this stuff?”
Sure, telling yourself something like that can certainly make you feel better in the moment.
But you probably know that there are actually cool people you’d actually want to get to know and befriend. So let’s polish up those social skills, let’s learn three tips to improve your social skills, so when you meet the right people… you’d be ready.
The Rule Of Thumb For Better Small Talk
In order to make friends with the best people around, you gotta actually talk to some of them, get to know them, and then see if they’re a fit. And, yes, you have to actually *talk* to people.
And, if you’ve been dreading small talk for a while, but now you want to get back; it can be hard to start from scratch. But, armed with the following rule of thumb / exercise, you can warm up very quickly.
The exercise is very simple: try and talk just 5% more than you’re used to. Wherever you are, and whomever you’re talking to, try and put a few sentences more than you’re used to into the conversation. It could be as simple as asking a question, rather than just accepting what is said, or expanding on an answer that you give, rather than stopping at yes, or no, answers.
Try and talk just 5% more than you’re used to.
Challenge yourself to expressing yourself more. Even during small talk or a random conversation at the store. It doesn’t have to be mind-blowing, or world changing; that will come later, just express yourself in a bit more detail than you would normally. Put in one or two more sentences than what you’re used to.
Why is this exercise important? When you get used to withholding details, or expressing yourself (because you start from the assumption that others aren’t interested/ won’t understand), you lose your edge. You lose the precision, social acuteness, and quick wit that are necessary in social situations to gain, and keep someone’s interest in what you are saying.
The more you do it, the more your socializing comfort zone expands, and the more you’re able to mingle, and get to know the friends you want in your life.
Avoid being Forgotten By Friends
Have you ever wondered why people can be friendly to you, but always seem to gather and make plans with others without including you in them? While it is frustrating, it is most likely not being done to insult you in any way. In fact, chances are that you never even crossed their mind when they were planning to meet.
That’s the problem: they did not think of you…
The primary reason why this happens is that people forget individuals (esp. low-key ones), but they do remember remember groups. If they know you in the context of a group, they are more likely to remember to invite you. They remember to meet “the group” and hence, everyone part of that group is invited/contacted. If you aren’t easily recognizable as part of that group, then you need to change that. Focusing on groups of friends, instead of only one-on-one friendships, is a key social skill.
If they know you in the context of a group, they are more likely to remember to invite you
If this is happening to you, then you need to move from the outskirts of the group into the center. So if you only know one member of a group of friends, try to get to know the others as well. Talk to them while you are out, include another member of the group in a discussion or joke you are having with the person you know. Get other members of the group to see you as part of the whole thing. What will follow is more members of the group asking your friend to include you.
From there, you can start suggesting plans, and actually have more of a say in what the group does. You could even create a group-chat on a messaging platform, and always be plugged in to the group, so you never miss anything.
Captivate People’s Attention With Better Story-Telling
At school there was always that one teacher who could make even the most boring subject come alive. There was also the one teacher who could send the class to sleep as soon as they opened their mouth. The difference between the two was their approach; their ability to tell stories and to get you involved in them. The skills used by the exciting teacher are the same ones you need to keep your friends on the edge of their seats and hanging on to your every word.
The most important skill a storyteller needs is the ability to be emotionally invested in the story. If you don’t feel every word, then how can you expect your audience to? Use you tone of voice, facial expressions and body language to show the emotions you are feeling. Anyone can say they are scared, but it takes more to show that emotion and to make others believe it.
To get people emotionally engaged in what you’re saying, be engaged yourself.
The best way to get better at telling stories is to watch how the best do it. Which of your friends always captivates their audience? How do they do it? What is so special about their voice, their expressions and their body language? And remember, you have to believe in your story if you want others to do so.
Ready To Boost Your Social Skills?
These 3 tips are great, and you can start using them right now. If you want to go beyond those, and learn all the critical social skills you need, I recommend you get yourself a copy of the Get The Friends You Want eBook, and start learning today. You’ll learn many of the tips only the most socially successful people know of.
The secrets you’ll learn will make a huge difference in your social life, and speed up the process by which you make friends. Yes, you’ll actually learn the process of how to get from strangers to friends.
– Paul Sanders