Having poor social skills is fairly common than you think. Nevertheless, it’s still something you need to handle if you want to make friends better. In this article, we’re going to discuss what it’s like to have poor social skills, the probable reasons behind those, how it can affect you, and how you can fix it.
Signs You Have Poor Social Skills
If you feel like you walk the line between low social skill and decent social skill, there are signs you can watch out for. This will let you make sure if you really have weak social skills. That way, you can move forward properly and fix the situation you now know truly exists. With that, let’s talk about a few signs that point towards having poor social skills.
1. You feel left out in groups
Have you ever had those moments where you’re surrounded by people and they’re all engaged in conversation? All of them seem to know what to say and how to jump in to the group conversation, everyone else but you. If this has ever happened to you, then you most likely have poor social skills.
The inability to connect within groups is a good sign of social skill deficit. That’s why you often feel left out in groups. You just end up standing awkwardly in the corner. Even if there’s something in your mind that you can say out loud, you just can’t seem to do so — or you don’t know how and when.
2. You often accidentally say and do the wrong things
Whenever you’re in social situations, you somehow have the tendency to be aloof and clumsy. You also become tactless and reckless. These are all unintentional, yet they just keep on happening.
You say the wrong things in conversations, you end up saying something that offends someone, or the thing that you do is seen as weird or odd by others.
Once again, this isn’t something you do intentionally. It’s almost like you end up doing these things out of mind. This is due to you having poor social skills, and maybe even social anxiety. The less you know about social interactions, the more mistakes you make. In the same manner, the more nervous you are around other people, the clumsier you tend to be.
3. You experience a lot of awkward silences
Have you ever had an awkward silence moment with someone? It’s frustrating isn’t it? Does it happen to you all the time? If so, you may have poor social skills.
Constantly experiencing awkward silences is a clear sign of having weak social skills. This happens because your ability to handle conversations is low, or you lack the proper knowledge to make conversations meaningful.
The art of conversation is heavily tied to social skills. If you keep on experiencing awkward silences, this means you don’t know much about conversations, therefore have poor social skills.
4. You get emotionally exhausted very fast when socializing
Socializing is something you probably don’t do very often. You only do it sometimes because you get dragged along by a friend, or you whenever you feel waves of loneliness. It’s not something you do on a regular basis. You’re not used to it.
So when you do socialize, your tolerance for it seems very low. You get exhausted fast and just a few hours in, you already want to go home. Every time you socialize, you always end up wishing you were home instead.
This is normal if you aren’t used to socializing. Unfortunately, feeling this is a sign of having weak social skills. Your interest towards socializing is something that is also tied with your social skills. If you’re good at it, you enjoy it more. If you’re not, then it’s the other way around. That’s why people with low social skills tend to find out more exhausting than someone who socially adept.
5. People don’t seem interested in listening to your stories
Whenever you try to share something you’re passionate about, whether a dream or just a plain story, nobody seems to be engaged in it. You don’t get the attention that you want. Your stories don’t receive the interest you feel they deserve.
Are you just constantly surrounded by people who are bad listeners? Are they just awful people?
Maybe. But then again, maybe not.
Maybe, you just need to shape your stories better. Maybe you need to be a better story teller.
Not being able to draw other people’s attention is something that’s common with people who have low social skills. People are always keen to learn more and hear interesting stories in social interactions. However, the stories and the way they’re told have to be interesting for others to pay attention to it. A lot of stories can be told in every social interaction. People will only pay attention to those who are interesting and/or told by an interesting storyteller.
With this in mind, if people don’t pay attention to you and your stories as much as you’d want them to, then you may have poor social skills.
What Causes Poor Social Skills?
There will always be a reason as to why a person, why you, have low social skills. Whether it be nurture or nature, it is important for you to know this as well because it will help you fix this situation better. If you know the root of your lack of social skill, then you can start working from there.
With that, let’s discuss different reasons why a person can have weak social skills. Do your best to figure out which one fits you the best.
1. Your upbringing
If you didn’t have much exposure to socializing growing up, then it could be the reason why you have poor social skills today. A lot of the most socially active people today are the ones who spent their childhood running around with their neighbors or were very socially active in school. If you were reserved as a kid, chances are, you’re still reserved now.
This is where nurture comes into play. You didn’t have much exposure to other people as a kid so you aren’t used to that environment now. This is also amplified if your self isolation is extended to your teenage years. If you’re someone who’s like this, learning how to be better at socializing can be more tough, but it is much more satisfying.
2. You may not see the value of socializing
There’s a fair chance that if you don’t see the importance of socializing and creating valuable connections, then you don’t care much for your social skills. That’s why whenever you do socialize, you don’t always approach it with an optimistic point of view. You even fear and dread it.
If you start with seeing the value of socializing, being better at it becomes so much easier later on. So first, understand why it’s so important. Know the value of friendships. Understand the amazing benefits of having real friends. Once you understand all of those, your motivation to be better at socializing will increase.
3. You haven’t had enough information
Another reason why you might have poor social skills is simply because you don’t have enough information about socializing. Being socially skilled may seem simple on paper, but there’s actually a lot of factors that come into play there. There are unspoken rules that people follow when socializing. If you’re unaware of those, then that explains why you have weak social skills.
Educate yourself of the unspoken rules of socializing. Know what’s okay to do and what’s not okay to do. Once it becomes familiar, socializing becomes easier.
4. Your natural personality
Finally, another reason why you could have weak social skills is because of your innate personality. If you’re naturally introverted, then that could explain why you lack the proper social skills. It’s not because you don’t want to, but it’s just how your body and mind handles the environment.
An introvert will naturally feel more comfortable and energized in more secluded and relaxed situations. Take being at home, for example. Introverts find it more relaxing to just stay at home, watch a movie or read a book, rather than to go outside. That’s the extrovert’s world.
Now, does this mean introverts can’t improve their social skills? No, it doesn’t. An introvert can have amazing social skills, even flip a switch and act like an extrovert if necessary. It does take studying, practicing, and willingness. If you’re an introvert but want to have strong social skills because you understand the importance of it, then yes, you can most definitely do so.
How Poor Social Skills Impact Your Life
Having poor social skills can have a lot of negative implications. These effects may seem very distant and unlikely. but they do happen.
When you have poor social skills, you’re more prone to loneliness. Loneliness happens when you crave legitimate connections. It’s essentially your mind’s defense mechanism telling you that you need other people in your life. Once that happens, it leads to other deeper and more serious problems. Loneliness leads to depression and depression is a door to a wide array of horrible things that you’d rather not open in the first place.
Another negative impact having poor social skills can bring is towards your professional life. Yes, it is important to keep up your social life as well if you want to bring a positive impact towards your professional life. Having more friends and being better at socializing will allow you to have better connections. It also allows you to have friends who will provide you with ideas or listen to your ideas. Other than that, it’s just good to have a good support system. Friends can bring that to you. Having a good social life can bring that to you.
So many things become much better if you add friends to the equation. Celebrations are more fun, vacations are better, tough times are bearable, and so much more. All of these things become available to you if you have good social skills. The worst impact of having poor social skills is it restricts you of having all of the aforementioned benefits.
How To Fix Your Poor Social Skills
Now that you know the causes and the effects of having poor social skills, I hope you’re now convinced that this is something you need to fix. You should also know that this is something you can indeed fix. That’s what this next section is for.
So now that we’ve finally discussed everything else, it’s time to talk about what exactly you can do so you can fix your poor social skills. Once you’re done with all of this, you’ll quickly realize how natural it can be and you’ll finally socialize easily and comfortably no matter where you are.
1. Acknowledge your weaknesses
The first step to this process is to know the root of the problem. In the section where we talked about what causes poor social skills, did one point stand out to you? Did you relate to any one of them? Do you have your own reasons that you realized just now?
Start with that. Know why you lack social prowess in the first place. You’ll be able to react accordingly and it will make the next steps easier.
For example, if it was because of your childhood, then you’ll know that you’ll have to work better to socialize. You’ll know that it’s not because of your nature but because of how you grew up. You’ll just have to work harder, knowing this time that the end goal is reachable.
If you know that the reason for your poor social skills is because of your lack of knowledge, then you simply have to educate yourself more.
Start with the root of the cause and work your way up.
2. Practice and know that this process will take time
Practice, practice, and study. Once you’re done with that, practice and study some more.
Yes, this process takes a lot of practicing and studying. If you really want to improve your social skills so it won’t be so weak anymore, you’ll spend a lot of time alone, learning the right things to do, and practicing all by yourself.
The things you can practice are the things you’ll say, your facial expressions, your body movements, so on and so forth. You can have an outline of the things you say to other people. Stories, conversation starters, jokes, whatever it is you’re comfortable talking about.
This process will not happen overnight. It might happen in a week, a month, a year, that depends on you. But you have to know that it does happen. It will vary on your level of commitment and learning pace. As long as you want to get there, you will. It doesn’t matter how fast.
3. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
Every once in a while, you’ll make a mistake or two. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just shrug it off and move on.
One thing you need to realize about mistakes is that not everyone is very critical of it. You might think that every time you make a mistakes, eyes will be glued to you and they’ll judge your every move from then on. That’s not the case at all. Chances are, people’s attention will be spent elsewhere or they’re just very understanding of mistakes.
The point is, whenever you do make a mistake, don’t dwell on it. Just smile, apologize if you have to, then move on. Mistakes happen. Learn from it instead of allowing it to control you.
4. Give yourself realistic expectations and goals
You also need to set proper expectations for yourself. Don’t expect this process to take very shortly. If you have a party to attend to tomorrow night and you’re just starting this process now, don’t expect that you’ll be great at socializing then. As mentioned, this will take time. Keep that in mind.
Keep other expectations in check as well. Don’t expect to befriend every single person in the room. Don’t expect to be the most popular guy in the office after all of this. Avoid going for the extremes. Keep your expectations realistic and attainable.
5. Apply yourself
After much deliberating, practicing, and studying, also make sure to apply yourself. Actually get out there, talk to people, and socialize. Use the things you practiced on other people and see their reactions. If one story works better than the others, then make use of that. If one joke works better, the same thing.
Practicing and studying is all good but that’s just one step of the process. Going out there is your best learning material. That’s where you can see other peoples reactions, that’s where you will make mistakes, so the actual socializing is where you’ll learn the most.
6. Celebrate your accomplishments
Finally, give yourself a pat in the back and be happy with yourself. No matter how long it will take you, how many friends you’ll make, the fact that you went out of your way to better yourself is already commendable in itself.
If you’re very keen on improving your social skills, know that you’re doing a good thing for yourself. Celebrate your accomplishments when they happen. It will make all of this so much more gratifying.
Fix Your Poor Social Skills And Get The Friends You Want
It’s not easy learning how to fix your poor social skills, but it will all be worth it in the end. Just be patient and remember all the steps here. You may have to do them over and over and over again, once you get to the finish line, you won’t even have to worry about how you got there.
If you want to learn social skills even quicker, you can check out my methodology for overcoming shyness and loneliness, master conversation and social skills, make friends, and build your social life. You get started here.