5 Easy Ways to Improve Social Skills
I’ve always been a very social person. One of those people who my friends know they can take anywhere and I’ll just blend in without insulting anyone or making them look bad. You can throw me into a room of a hundred people I don’t know and I’ll walk away with 100 friends. (Well, maybe not 100 – but you get he old cliché point I’m trying to make).
I started Smudged Lipstick Events to help people improve their offline social and communication skills. So, here are things I’ve learned over the years that definitely help when it comes to meeting people for the first time. Enjoy.
ONE: Put Your Phone Away
It’s just so easy use our phone as a crutch these days. Come on, who hasn’t walked into a bar or event, not known anyone and immediately pressed their face against their phone? We’ve all done it. What this does is completely close yourself off to everything around you. You don’t hear, see or invite anything in. By putting it away you’re able to look around you and completely immerse yourself in the environment. You’ll then be able to see the types of people you might be able to strike up a conversation with. I have started to ban phones at our events and it works wonders.
TWO: Work On Your Eye Contact
OK, it can sometimes be a bit awkward holding eye contact with somebody you don’t know, but at least try and look at them for a little while. Especially at key moments during conversation. When answering a question it’s really important that you do as it shows honesty and trust. When listening to somebody talk there’s nothing more off-putting than someone scanning the room. So, even if you’re not interested it will show that you’re listening.
Listening to what someone has to say should be a given. But, we’re so often crossing paths with people who would much rather talk over the top of us. Others might just be waiting for their turn to speak. To improve social skills, just stop for 2 seconds and give that person your undivided attention. Once they’ve finished speaking or ask you a question – by all means talk. There’s nothing more embarrassing than someone tell you they already told you something important recently and that you weren’t listening. Listening shows you care – so do it.
FOUR: Keep Up to Date
There is so much going on around us that’s it’s hard sometimes to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world. To improve social skills, having something interesting to say about current affairs always opens up a conversation. Sure, you’re not going to watch the news every morning and evening. But, improve social skills by being able to converse and have an opinion on what’s happening in today’s world. It’s a really good thing to have in your locker when it comes to conversation.
FIVE: Avoid Hot Topics
There’s that old rule about the “Bermuda Triangle” of topics to avoid when meeting someone for the first time: Religion, sex and politics. It can sometimes be really tough to avoid speaking about them, so if they do come up you’re hardly going to put your fingers in your ears and go “la la la la la la la la”. My advice is to help improve social skills – avoid a really fiery, emotionally-charged debate if you disagree with what they have to say. Remember – this is the first time you’ve met them. I always keep my cards close to my chest if I know it’s going to ruffle someone’s feathers and just agree to disagree. We’re all different people and have our own opinions whether we’re right or wrong.
STOP! If you feel you got something out of this and other people can benefit and improve social skills – don’t forget to share it on Facebook and or Twitter. Thanks for reading as always. Jordi.