HOW TO BE SOCIAL - HOW TO NEVER RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY
How to Become Sociable
While it may seem like some people are naturally more sociable than others, the fact of the matter is that all human beings are social, and as with any other skill, it is possible to train oneself to become more social. Read this article to learn how to break out of your comfort zone and improve your social life.
Be less critical.Some of the people who call themselves "antisocial," tend to constantly criticize both themselves and those around them. They avoid social interaction because they are on the one hand afraid of being judged by others, and on the other hand (ironically) themselves extremely judgmental toward others. In order to become a more social person, it is important to accept that everybody, no matter how they may seem on the outside, has both positive and negative qualities. What separates the confident people from the insecure people is the attitude that they have toward themselves. Confident, social people tend to focus on the positive qualities of themselves and those around them, whereas unconfident, antisocial people focus on their own shortcomings and the shortcomings of the people they know.
- Make a list of your own positive qualities. Be sure to include both internal (intellectual, emotional) and external (physical) qualities. Get in the habit of reminding yourself of these positive qualities on a daily basis, and counter each negative thought you have toward yourself with two positive ones.
- Stop referring to yourself as shy, timid, or antisocial. The more you use these words to label yourself, the more you will reinforce the idea that you are incapable of social interaction! If the idea frightens you, remember that your perception by others depends not on them but onyou. If you want to become a more social person, you have to start by actually believing that you are and can be a social person. Remind yourself that being sociable is achoice, not a predisposition.
- Accept that human nature is good. While there are plenty of bad people out there, it is important to accept that humans can be loving, kind, and accepting creatures. Believing this will make you look forward to meeting new people rather than avoiding it.
Don't over-analyze your interactions.Over-thinking is usually what prevents people from enjoying social interaction. While it may seem difficult, it is important to break the habits of anticipating what social interactions will be like before they happen, and of over-analyzing them once they are over.
- Rather than focusing on what may go wrong or how you may embarrass yourself, approach every new social interaction with a clean slate and a positive attitude.
- When reflecting on past interactions, focus on the positive things rather than the negative ones. Even if it wasn't the most eventful or exciting interaction of your life, try to identify one good experience from each interaction you have, even if it is as simple as having been able to make somebody laugh.
Realize that you're not that big of a deal.Interestingly, shy people who feel invisible and unwanted also tend to feel like they are constantly under a spotlight, being watched and criticized by others. This strange paradox of shyness is what prevents people from feeling comfortable being themselves in front of others. This doesn't mean that you should feel like an unimportant person, but rather, that you should acknowledge that you are your own worst critic; other people are simply too busy to constantly judge and criticize you.
- Remember that people are so caught up in their own lives and interactions that they have little time to notice if you embarrass yourself, say something stupid, or don't look your best. Even if they do notice, it is very unlikely that they will care very much, as they have their own issues to deal with.
- Recognize that everybody, to some extent or another, feels exactly the same way you do. Even the most social people still feel insecure and worry about embarrassing themselves; the only difference is that they choose to take the risk and enjoy themselves rather than worrying about how others will react.
Improving Your Social Life
Get practice.Just like any other skill, being sociable requires consistency and practice in order to master. This means you will have to get out of your comfort zone and force yourself to interact with other people on a regular basis. Avoid compartmentalizing your life and separating your "social life" from the rest of your life. If you truly want to be a social person, you will have to be social in all aspects of your life, from work to school to family.
- Get in the habit of striking up casual conversations with the people you meet on a daily basis, including bank tellers, baristas, and cashiers.
- Spend your free time with friends, when possible. If you are the type of person who spends a lot of time partaking in a certain hobby or physical activity alone, then consider inviting a friend along next time.
- Always accept social invitations. Avoid making excuses like being too tired, having to wake up early the next day, or feeling unattractive. While some excuses are legitimate, others are simply used to avoid interaction. Learn to differentiate between honest excuses and dishonest ones.
Be positive.Everybody wants to be around people who are optimistic, upbeat, and happy. Even if you don't feel positive all of the time, you should at leastactpositive when talking to other people. For example, if somebody asks you to tell them about your life, focus on sharing the positive qualities of your life rather than complaining about the negative ones.
- Making your life sound positive will instantly spark peoples' interest, and they will want to hear more about you.
Be fully engaged.If you want to seem interesting to others, you will have to show interest in them, especially when you are in the middle of a conversation. When you are talking to somebody, listen to what they are saying rather than worrying about what you should be saying. Make eye contact, nod your head, and ask them follow-up questions.
- Avoid constantly checking your phone or looking around you while you are in the middle of a conversation. These types of things come across as rude and suggest that you are uninterested in the person and conversation.
Watch your body language.If you are at a party or other social function, how you position your body sends a message to other people. If you want to be approached by others, you should avoid standing in the corner, crossing your arms, staring at your phone, and frowning.
- Making eye contact with others and smiling shows them that you are friendly, open, and non-intimidating. Plus, everybody looks more attractive when they smile.
Initiate interactions.If you are constantly waiting around for people to call you or invite you places, then you are wasting your life. Relationships are built upon a mutual effort; if you want to show people that you value their friendship, you will have to reach out to them and initiate opportunities to spend time with them.
- Keep in touch with friends, even if you don't live in the same town. Pick up the phone and call them, send them a text, or e-mail them asking how they've been.
Embrace opportunities to meet new people.The best way to make new friends and expand your social circle is to say yes to new opportunities to meet others. Accept invitations to parties and social gatherings, take trips to new places, and talk to strangers in cafes, on the bus, at school, on airplanes, etc.
- While meeting strangers may seem intimidating, think of it this way: if you don't know them to begin with, then you really have nothing to lose if things don't work out. On the other hand, you never know when a stranger can turn into your new best friend, business partner, or love interest!
Make notes of what people may like.It is hard to remember what each and every person you have met so far likes or what he or she is interested in. So, when you go home make notes of what this person likes. Research it properly and when you meet them again talk to them about it. You will be surprised by the number of friends you will make by just learning what each one of them is interested in It may seem hard and time consuming at first so start by your classmates or colleges.
- Remember to not get carried away. For example, do not go as far as stalking the person on social networking sites. Just knowing by how much points did Barcelona won with and the next time they are going to play in a match is enough. Even that person will continue the conversation so you don't have to worry about reaching a dead end.
QuestionHow do I keep a conversation going when there is nothing we have in common?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAsk them more about what they like or enjoy doing. If you don't have a lot of things in common, then it's highly likely that you'll learn something new from them! Also, don't be afraid to give your opinion; it is an opportunity for the other person to correct or expand it.Thanks!
QuestionWhen I try to talk to people, they either don't respond or cut off the conversation with their response. How can I make myself more interesting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf anything, they're being rude by interrupting you. Find someone else to talk to who appreciates what you have to say. Those who don't aren't worth your time.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I keep a conversation going?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMost people like to talk about themselves, so ask them about their life, hobbies, etc. Also, remember to be relaxed and confident.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I be socially involved and active during a conference or meeting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerEnter the discussion by commenting on anything you know about. You can even ask a question about the topic being discussed.Thanks!
QuestionHow can home schooled kids be more sociable?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTake the kids to events, such as faires and carnivals. If there is a community center close to you, sign the kids up for classes, summer camps, or plays. They will be able to interact with other kids their age, and become more sociable as a result.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I overcome my shyness?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerStop caring what other people think about you every turn you take. Caring about what people who matter think about you is important but never to the point of suffocating your true self. Once you achieve this, you can achieve almost anything. See further: How to Overcome Shyness.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I'm too shy to call people?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can always text people instead. This will allow you to plan out your words before you say them.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I do to become more trusting?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMake the person you want to be trusted by feel good. Help them to feel happy when they are sad. Be there in times of need. Give them gifts. Talk to people more so that they can trust you better.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I be more sociable with ladies?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to understand body language. If they seem tense and defensive, maybe talking to them won't be your best bet. Compliments are key to a good conversation, but don't be excessive with them, and don't be misogynistic. Finally, practice some basic humor. If you can make a girl laugh, you're in good shape.Thanks!
QuestionI am an entertainer, how do I get the attention of other kids long enough to do what I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIncorporate a volunteer into your act. Kids love having a chance to participate and perform in front of their peers.Thanks!
To become more sociable, practice striking up conversations with people by talking to cashiers, baristas, and others you interact with on a regular basis. When you meet people, act friendly and show interest in their lives by smiling and listening to what they have to say. If you are invited to an event, don't make excuses to avoid going. Instead, look at social events as opportunities to meet new people.
- Avoid people who make you feel insecure about yourself. Rather, be around people who encourage you to progress.
- Being positive has a good impact on others.
- Don't be afraid to talk to someone new! They just might turn out to be a really close friend. Even though it may make you nervous to talk, just do it before you miss out on someone or something special.
- When talking with someone you don't know very well, start with something you have in common, even if the topic is about the school or work. Then as you start talking more, you can branch out to other topics.
- Being social does not necessarily mean being friends with everybody. It's impossible to please everybody, and it is more rewarding to have a small circle of close, meaningful friends than to have a hundred mediocre, superficial friends.
- It is best to keep your personal views such as religion, politics, abortion, etc out of the conversation unless the person you are talking with is genuinely interested. Even then, try to keep your extreme point of views to yourself. These topics rarely lead to a pleasant conversation.
- Try bringing a close friend along to whatever the event may be. Sometimes having someone else to support you, even if it's one person, can make you feel more confident.
- Remember to smile and say hello to anyone you pass. It will help break the barriers, make you stick out in their mind and encourage them to come talk to you later on.
- If you feel like you don't get enough social interaction, then consider picking up a new hobby, joining a local club or sports team, or volunteering. Be sure to choose something that involves interacting with others.
- Don't give up after meeting one person who may not like you. Talk to another one, you will soon find the right person and realize you are much more sociable than you thought.
- Don't avoid people who you dislike because you never know when you might need their help.
- If you have certain "unpopular" views (i.e., not supporting gay marriage rights or being against religion) don't bring it up unless you are directly asked.
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