10+ Ways To Improve Social Skills

By Aaron Love 10 months ago

Always Help People

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One of the best ways that you can show you are socially aware of what's going on is by always being aware when people need help. Not only will you understanding that someone needs help improve your relationship, but you will also be able improve your social skills when it comes to needing to ask for help yourself within the future. We all need it!

Become More Confident

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Okay, well this is obviously a little easier to type on a document than it is to put in to practice in real life, I understand that. But the bottom line is that if you are able to keep confident with everything that goes on in your life then your ability in social situations is always going to improve tenfold. Just look at all the outspoken people in the world, it's all down to confidence.

Talk To More People

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Practice makes perfect right? I know there'll be a number of people reading this that struggle when it comes to talking to new people over and over again, you might shy away from conversations. But let's be honest, if you're often anxious when it comes to communicating then it might be worth practicing talking to anyone whenever the opportunity arises.

Make Friends With Your Co-Workers

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One of the best ways to improve your social skills is by creating social groups in all aspects of your life, you'll obviously talk to your friends and family regularly but why not add some more? Many people struggle to create meaningful relationships at work, but those that do will agree it only improves their social life at work in the long run.

Communicate When You're Happier

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Improving your social skills gets a whole lot easier when you start conversing with people during periods of happiness within yourself. If you're the sort of person that finds it difficult to communicate when unhappy then don't! You'll only see improvements when other people are also invested in the conversation you're having and that gets more likely when its light-hearted.

Think About Your Social Capital

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Social capital is a concept that is widely studied by researchers, although it goes seemingly unknown amongst pretty much everyone else in the world. Essentially, it's the study of the networks and relationships that you have and how necessary that they are order to allow someone to function. Your social skills are important, as are the people you choose to socialise with.

Boost Your Emotional Intelligence

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If you are able to understand how other people are feeling, without really having to sit down and think about it then you'll find your social skills improve rapidly. Try and imagine if you were them, you might be able to read these situations in a much better light and seeing things from other people's perspectives can be enlightening for so many reasons.

Understand Yourself

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Not only can it benefit you to understand how other people are feeling its also incredibly essential that you also understand exactly how you're feeling around people. If you can work out what it is within you, like your thoughts or your behaviours that makes you more socially available then you'll only be doing yourself a massive favour really!

Practice Communication Skills

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Although most people think of social skills as how you talk to someone, it actually encompasses the entire scenario of a conversation, including how well you can choose to listen to other people. You see, it isn't all about how confident you are at talking to other people, showing you have the ability to listen is just as important, you can do this by demonstrating your understanding.

Ask Lots Of Questions

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If listening is something you find harder than actually talking to other people (you might have some attention disorders!) then try to practice being the inquisitor in conversations by asking some open-ended questions. Just like practicing your speech with other people, it can also improve your social skills to give listening attentively a go too!

Compliment People

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We all thoroughly enjoy receiving compliments, it gives us that little ego boost that can help us get through the day. And the best part about compliments is that they can be about pretty much anything! So if you want to create a social relationship with someone why not give them a compliment regarding how they look or something they've done recently.

Use Your Manners

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If you're like me then you'll hate people who refuse to say their please and thank yous when asking for simple requests. It doesn't take much to be polite to one another and you'll definitely notice people being more appealed to your requests if you choose to politely ask instead of demanding. No one wants to come across as arrogant do they?

Open Up Your Body Language

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It isn't just about the way that you're talking to someone, but it's also about how you look and what you do during the conversation that's important to making an interaction seem genuine. Try to always face the person that you're talking too and use body language like hand gestures or facial expressions to show your interest in what they're saying (even if you're not).

Keep Up To Date With The News

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Smalltalk can be one of the most difficult conversation techniques to master, we've all been in those situations where we're left standing around aimlessly trying to think of something to say right? Well keeping up to date with what's going on in the news can be a great way to avoid those moments of awkwardness for the rest of your life.

Relaxation Techniques

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Some of us find it a lot harder to communicate with people than others and although it might seem silly to need to calm ourselves down before talking to some, it's definitely useful. If you're the sort of person that finds anxiety taking control of you amidst conversations then practice relaxation techniques like breathing to calm you down.

Don't Push Yourself

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Like I said earlier on, you'll probably find yourself comfortable in social situations involving your friends and family. And if you feel as though you need some help in regards to social situations then things as simple as ordering food or coffee at a café can be a great way to test your confidence in conversation outside of your comfortability zone!

Put Your Phone Down

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Now that we can use our phones to communicate with people 24/7 and have all information at the click of our fingers, many of us choose to keep them glued to our hands. The thing is, this can come across extremely rude and you can look arrogant. Instead of using all the listening techniques we've discussed you'd be throwing them out the window.

Avoid Using Earphones

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There's nothing wrong with using your earphones during the day, who doesn't enjoy listening to all of their favourites songs whilst they waste the day away. But if you begin talking to people then it would be best to take them out; no one wants to think that they aren't worth enough to you that you need to keep your earphones in whilst you talk to them.

Speak Face To Face

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Technology, for all its great advancements and helpfulness to all communities around the world, has killed much of the face-to-face contact that people have. Instead of meeting up to talk, it's so much easier to just fire off a text instead. With this, you lose a load of social activity that might benefit you if you're looking to improve your skills.

Don't Be Inappropriate

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Sometimes we can choose to try and cut the air by using humour to make things feel a little better, but with the awkwardness, we might end up saying things that we really wish we hadn't. And if there's something that you really don't want to do its say something so inappropriate that they no longer want to keep the conversation going with you anymore.

Make Eye Contact

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One of the most obvious signs that you might have poor social skills is being unable to maintain eye contact for prolonged periods of time. You obviously don't want to stare in to the soul of the person you're talking to, but by making eye contact it can show that you're really interested in the conversation and relationship that you might be forging.

Visualization

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This might seem like quite a weird one, but people in a whole range of jobs use visualization as a way to make themselves feel better about themselves. Some athletes visualise their success in order to help them achieve their goals and you can use this in your attempt to improve social skills.  Just imagine yourself with elite social skills and it might work, who knows!

Read Other People's Body Language

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Not only is it important to learn how to control your own body language, it's just as important to be able to read other people's body language too. Sometimes people might be too awkward to explain what they're feeling so use their body language to help. Body language signs like eye contact and hand gestures can unveil a person's true feelings.

Develop A Firm Handshake

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One of the most important things that most businessmen look for when they meet a potential partner or important person in terms of their work life is a firm handshake. It's the first step in many professional relationships and can be way more important than you might think. Don't let it last too long and most of all, be confident in what you do.

Don't Waffle On

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Although smalltalk is important as part of your social skills, if there is a specific reason for the conversation you are having taking place, then you shouldn't beat around the bush. You should always try to be direct with your communication as an honest relationship is most important. Don't be rude though, just get the point your trying to make across.

Stick To Your Personality

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You might be aware of the Myers-Briggs personality test, it essentially determines what kind of person you are based on the answers you give to certain questions. What I'm trying to get at is that some of us are introverts and some of us are extroverts, and you should always protect what it is you need to keep yourself healthy in terms of social situations.

Apologize For Your Mistakes

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If you make a mistake, just know that you are alongside every other person in this world, we have all made at least one or two in our lifetimes. The problem some people have is getting across their regret and being unable to apologise properly. Never ignore the problem, ultimately people will respect you more for being able to own up to your mistakes.

Join Activity Clubs

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Another way to gain some practice with your social skills is by attaching yourself to group activities; this can be something like sports, arts and crafts or something like an organization company. Not only will you develop a new hobby, something you can talk about in the future, but you'll also be able to communicate with the people around the hobby too.

Don't Worry About What Others Think

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Although our own social problems might be at the forefront of our minds during conversations, the likelihood is that other people really aren't paying that much attention to what it is or what you aren't doing. If someone is enjoying talking to you then you won't need to worry about what it is you're showing, just join the conversation as you'd want them too.

Set Some Targets

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If you're the sort of person that works better when they have something to strive towards then it might be worthwhile setting some social targets for you to try and achieve. Some people choose to try and talk to one randomer a day or one a week, whilst others choose to go to events more frequently in order to feel more confident. You can increase these goals as you progress too!