Social skills represent the tools we use to interact with one another. They are learned and developed through all stages of life, from childhood to schooling and workplace settings. However, some people might find human interactions more difficult than others.
Isolation, negativity, a change of scenery, and physical and mental illnesses are some of the most common factors preventing people from socializing. If you want to overcome these issues and improve your social skills, here are some simple tips that will help you become more confident and outgoing:
Don’t use your phone so often
Staring at your phone in public and using headphones all the time can have a negative impact on social interactions, and might be the reason behind your issues. Before smartphones, we simply had no choice but to converse with the people around us. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to bury our faces in our phones in an effort to avoid interacting with others.
But if you wish to connect with people and show them that you have an attractive personality, you simply have to put your phone and headphones away. It may seem difficult at first, but sending a clear signal that you’re open to a conversation is the first step to developing social skills.
Do more activities in person
Our phones and other devices aren’t only used for hiding in public. We also leverage them for reading and streaming, ordering takeout, and shopping for everything from clothes to groceries. While this is incredibly convenient, it can be quite isolating as well. Your social skills simply can’t develop without actual human contact.
For that reason, it’s recommended to do more activities in person, such as shopping in grocery stores, eating out instead of ordering in, going to the movies, or buying books in bookshops. These activities will force you to interact and chat with other people, even if it’s just cashiers and tellers, helping you come out of your shell.
Consider online dating apps
If in-person activities seem too intimidating, online dating can be an excellent compromise as well. It enables you to communicate in a way that’s comfortable for you, gives you time to think before you speak, and doesn’t force you to interact with the rest of the world if you’re not ready.
What’s more, it might help you find someone to share your life with as well. For instance, you can download a great sugar dating app and find a prosperous man or gorgeous woman to talk to. This is a brilliant solution as it allows you to build mutually beneficial relationships with like-minded individuals who share the same goals.
Look for structured activities
In case you’d like to focus on in-person interactions, however, but still find it difficult to talk to strangers, consider finding more structured social activities. This can mean joining a small gym, pub quizzes and game nights, local sports leagues, workshops and classes, community bands, church groups, etc.
Find an activity you enjoy, which will also give you the opportunity to meet and interact with similar people. Structured activities provide a common interest and give you something to do when you don’t know what to say, rather than being too open-ended and focused on conversation like most day-to-day settings and activities.
Pay attention to body language
Body language can tell you a lot about a person’s thoughts and feelings, saying more than words ever could. Knowing how to spot, understand, and utilize these cues will be incredibly important when enhancing your social skills. If you’re trying to be more confident and outgoing, using “open” body language is recommended.
This helps you appear friendlier and more approachable, and like you’re truly interested in interacting with others. Some components of open body language you should consider include uncrossing your arms and legs, sitting or standing up straight, relaxing your shoulders, turning towards people, and smiling more often. Pay attention to these cues in others as well.
Aim to embrace the awkwardness
Social situations can often be awkward. Whether you get stuck for words or go for a fist bump when the other person attempts a handshake, awkward situations are nearly impossible to avoid. When attempting to be more social, it’s not uncommon to put too much pressure on steering clear of any awkwardness. But if that is your main focus, you might give up on socializing altogether. Instead, try to embrace the awkward moments, as they are a clear sign that you are stepping out of your comfort zone and pushing your limits. They could also make for a funny and charming situation if you manage to make a good joke out of them.
The tips mentioned above can be great starting points, but the main thing is to keep practicing and trying. The more comfortable and confident you get, the better your social skills will become over time.