If you’ve ever wished for more confidence, to be more assertive, to say and do the right things at the right times, these tips on improving your social skills will help. You can easily learn how to be the type of person everyone wants to be friends with and enjoys being around.
Stretch your comfort zone:
What types of situations do you feel uncomfortable in? Talking to members of the opposite sex? Job interviews? Speaking in front of people? Being in charge of a project? Whichever circumstances leave you feeling insecure and unconfident you need to practice more. Purposely find situations like these and throw yourself into them. The more you become accustomed to living outside of your comfort-zone, the better you’ll get at handling all situations.
What about people though? Do certain types of people or certain things others say really set you off and have you feeling uncomfortable? Look inside yourself and try to find out why this is so. Odds are, some old wound from the past is being opened and you need to address this. Like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Own up to your mistakes:
We all make mistakes and stick our foot in our mouths. One of the surest signs of someone who’s socially immature is the person who never admits they’re wrong. We all know people like this! Don’t be one of them. If you made an error in judgement, uttered a phrase that was out of line, or committed a faux pas, owning up to this makes others respect you more.
The eyes have it:
When speaking with someone, be certain to make eye contact. Don’t stare them down, but look them in the eye for a few seconds before letting your gaze drift around their face, over their shoulder, then back to the eyes. People feel important and that you’re truly paying attention to them when you make eye contact. Studies have also shown that people who maintain eye contact are perceived as being honest and more attractive than those whose eyes dart all over the place or refuse to look into the other person’s eyes.
The art of listening:
If you want to win instant friends and be known as someone who’s intelligent and compassionate, learn to be a good listener. Everyone wants to talk about themselves, and giving the other person the opportunity to take center stage while you listen intently makes them feel validated. Also, be certain they’re finished talking before replying or offering suggestions. It’s normal to want to finish someone’s sentences or jump right in with good-willed advice, but that’s not what most people are looking for. They simply want to be acknowledged and feel as if what they’re saying is important.
Learning to improve your social skills won’t happen over night. By being a great listener, apologizing when necessary, maintaining eye contact, and widening your comfort zone, you’ll soon be the type of person everyone wants to be around.