If you want to understand how to improve your social skills, you’ll love this article.
Humans are social creatures, so we have an inherent need for social interaction. It is due to this need that we can share with others what is on our minds.
However, there are people who prefer to just listen rather than share their thoughts; and this isn’t considered a communication.
After all, communication involves discourse between two or more people, and it will not continue if the other party does not have something to say.
One of the reasons for passivity is their shyness as a result of their lack of social skills. Therefore, it is vital for people to find out how they can overcome these deficiencies so that they can interact well with others.
How to Improve Social Skills:
1. Criticize less
Learn how to enjoy social interactions. Most shy people aren’t in fact shy. In fact, they’ve their own ideas about the subject being discussed.
However, they chose not to speak out for fear of being criticized by others. This is particularly true in auditions or shows; they can criticize but cannot accept criticism. Therefore, one should criticize less. Thus, a person will be free of the guilt that somebody else might do the same to you.
2. Take negative criticism as a challenge
Another thing about criticism is that you should not let it go over your head. Some people think that only negative criticism exists.
Never take it as a hindrance; instead, take it as a challenge to improve yourself. From their comments, you’ll know where to start polishing.
3. Don’t think too much
Shy people tend to overthink things, or in some cases, they all the time consider things differently. This should not be the case, because many people may not be capable to clearly convey the message they want to convey.
They all the time think that they might as well say something wrong, and the same overthinking can occur to them, which in turn leads to self-limiting interactions.
Remember that some things must be interpreted as they’re.
4. Don’t give your grammar too much trouble
Some people may be overly critical with regards to pronunciation or grammar. Unlike writing where someone can proofread what was written before letting someone else read your work, speaking has no downtime.
After all, speaking should be spontaneous and natural. While one should watch out with what one says, checking that everything is correct before saying it won’t keep the conversation going.
5. You aren’t all the time in the spotlight
Shy people feel that they’re continually on other people’s radar, watching everything they do. So, they’ve to be perfect.
We all want to feel acknowledged; however, it shouldn’t limit us in what we want to say. To get better at interactions, they’ve to think that foolish comments or funny moments tend to just slip past listeners’ ears.
The essence of the message is more important than the mistakes.
6. Learn to enjoy and find pleasure in interactions
Even the most self-confident and sociable people are afraid to do something embarrassing (1).
Again, remember that people will not all the time focus on your mistakes, because they remember the message more than your mistakes. And even if you mention a mistake, let it pass and learn to laugh it off.
This can serve as a icebreaker between you and your listeners. Enjoy the conversation through jokes while learning something about the person’s ideas.
7. Motivation can help
One way to gain confidence in speaking is to be motivated by people you know who believe in you. Surround yourself with people who can persuade you to do something you are hesitant to do.
If you know that somebody believes in you and your abilities, it is quite likely that somebody will be capable to continue with you. Their motivation and words of encouragement will be an enormous boost to your self-confidence.
8. Practice speaking while standing in front of individuals
Another thing that can be done is to practice on purpose. Talking to your friends with them seated and you standing can help you get the idea that you’re delivering a speech or a piece of work.
This may be awkward at first; however, getting used to these situations will help you develop your speaking skills, confidence, and even your posture.
9. Enrich your vocabulary and knowledge
This can be done through reading, listening to conversations, and even watching movies. This helps you to understand more ideas, and at the same time learn other words you can use in conversation.
It can even help improve grammar and pronunciation, making you more confident in sharing your thoughts and making fewer mistakes.
10. Avoid unnecessary movements
Being more social isn’t just having the ability to express yourself well. It also makes other people interested in interacting with you. And one of the things that can affect it’s by making unnecessary movements.
It distracts the listener, making them focus on your moves rather than what you are telling them. If this is a big no-no in regular interaction, what if you are going to be presenting in front of other people or in a job interview?
11. Learn how to assert
Interaction won’t progress when only one person is working to maintain the conversation. You must find out how to show interest in the speaker, and one way to try this is with affirmations.
An easy phrase like “Yeah, carry on” or “So what happens next” conveys the message that you want them to continue what they were saying while you were listening.
12. Learn how to ask probing questions
These are different from affirmations, as questions are based on their message.
This is proof that you’re analyzing their situation and you want more from what they’ve said, to keep the conversation going. The expressions “You said earlier that …” or “What did you do when …” are examples of these questions.
13. Look at other people
The nonverbal method is also a way of conveying a message without saying it. It also gives the other person some cues while you are listening.
The most significant thing is to all the time look at the person you are talking to. This is a way to show them that you have an interest in the subject and searching forward to what comes next.
14. Stop watching the clock
Don’t continually look at your watch. This will give the impression that you’re giving him a limited amount of time. You can do it when he is taking a break from telling stories like going to the restroom, or even when he is finished his story.
15. Focus on the person in front, not on your phone
Another ban is checking messages on your phone. This conveys the message that the person on the other line is more important. Don’t reply to text messages in front of him, and you can cancel phone calls unless it is urgent otherwise you’re expecting someone to call you.
16. Learn to initiate interactions
If there’s someone you have not seen in a while, this might be a good time to put your phone to use by calling them. Don’t all the time be on the receiving end of your relationship.
It also builds a relationship and provides them the idea that you have an interest in what’s going on with their life. It might even be a bridge to a long awaited reunion with your friends and relatives who live far away.
17. Greet and smile at people
An easy greeting like “Good morning!” or “Hello!” while smiling is another way not only to show interest in interacting with them, but can even start the day on a positive note (2).
Being in a good mood can give a person the confidence to face anything. Make sure you know the person you are going to greet and smile.
18. Introduce yourself to new people
Starting with an easy greeting and introducing yourself is an excellent way to start a conversation, particularly with people you are meeting for the first time.
Making acquaintances with people introduced to you by friends or members of the family is also an excellent way to get closer to them.
19. Attend events
Seminars, parties, and lunch or dinner gatherings are all good places you can attend to add to your acquaintances. You never know when you’ll meet someone who can help you in business or work.
This network of individuals can help one way or another, so make the most of the event by meeting new people.
20. Learn how to work with others
Choose a variation. Get out of your circle of friends and try to be with other people, whether at work or at school. It lets you learn something from them, particularly about how they handle things.
Learning how to work even around people you do not normally work with gives you flexibility and helps you find out how to slot in.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article on how to improve social skills.
I actually hope that its content has been of good help to you.