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August 18, 2014

9 Easy Steps to Stop Being Socially Awkward.

conversation

This is the formula to strengthening our social skills.

Learning social skills is called socialization. Social skills are tools we use to create interaction and communication with others. Those born with a lot of charisma may posses the trait of being socially gifted.

Not everyone is this lucky. We may not come by social genius naturally, but social prowess is something we can strengthen if we practice some of these tricks.

The key to communicating lies in conversation. A conversation has two roles—speaker and listener. A terrific place to get started is to improve our conversational skills.

Steps to becoming socially engaging.

1. Find a waitress.

Find someone who possesses great social skills and watch them. Ask them for their best tricks. Take notes. Make them your unpaid social coach.

“Mimicry is the highest form of flattery.” ~ 19th Century proverbial expression

2. Eye contact.

If we’re looking the other person in the eye, we can more easily read their emotions. Maintaining good eye contact assures the other person that we’re attentive to what they’re saying.

3. Give compliments.

A sincere compliment is a powerful icebreaker. Spending a little time noticing what we like about someone and letting them know warms them up. A compliment is an instant conversation starter.

4. Engage the other person.

Ask questions. Find out about their interests. People love talking about themselves—just get them going. Listen—active listening is an acquired skill. Become absorbed in the conversation and nod our head frequently.

5. Be interesting.

Read. Travel. Pursue our passions. Volunteer. If we are interesting people, when the conversation turns to us, we have something intelligent to say. If the the person we’re talking to is not particularly well-versed in social merits, we can simply tell them an interesting anecdote from our day.

6. Use good manners.

Manners are the written social rules meant to make others and ourselves feel comfortable. If we understand and follow social norms, others appreciate that our behavior can feel somewhat predictable. Practicing good etiquette lets the other person feel like they are worthy of being treated respectfully.

7. Help others feel better about themselves.

Flirt. Flirting is simply being friendly. When we flirt with others, it helps them feel important in that moment. Giving someone our undivided attention is flattering. Flirting is a win/win where all involved receive a mood boost.

8. Lead with the heart.

Knowing ourselves is one of the most important parts of social engagement. Playing to our best gifts is always the best course.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

9. Body language.

Opening up our bodies in an inviting way can make us more approachable. Our facial expressions let others know immediately how willing we are to participate in a conversation. A smile is the gateway to getting the social juices flowing. Actually reaching out and touching the other person is an affectionate way to break down social inhibitions.

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Editor: Travis May

Photos: geograph, wikipedia

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