8 Interesting Ways to Improve Your Social Skills

Okay. Before the preaching begins.

What are social skills?

Why do we need them and why are they important?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, social skills are the essential skills required for successful social interaction.

Society is what shapes who we are, most of the time. A person who has a good relationship with everyone around him will lead a happier life than someone else who doesn’t. To be able to have a good understanding and relationship with those around us we need to have a few skills. Here are some ways to improve and build inter personal skills.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo, CC0 1.0

1. Experiment Different Ways of Talking with People

Being sociable is all about communicating with everyone. A social butterfly is one who flutters around the entire room making conversation with everyone. Each person who we encounter in life is different. They will have varying levels of ego, different outlooks towards life. We need to know how to make a conversation with all of them and the easiest way is to experiment. Some people like listeners and some like chatterboxes. Mold your talking style to satiate the needs of the other person.

2. Prune Prejudices

Imagine you have a glass with some liquid in it. Someone else comes to serve you a drink and pours it unknowingly into your glass assuming it is empty. You will drink it, but it will not taste the same as they intended it to taste. This is the concept behind prejudices. Our mind is often filled with the preconceived notion of what the other person is like. Before talking to someone, clear your mind of all this and start with an empty slate. It will help you judge the person for yourself and also to talk to them better.

3. Communicate Without Words

Often our body language is what speaks much more than what we say. While approaching someone, be genuinely happy to meet them. Wear a smile and start speaking to them jovially and they will automatically reciprocate. While listening to someone, lean in, hold eye contact. This will show that you are interested in what the other person has to say, which will encourage them to speak to you. 

4. Encourage Others to Talk About Themselves

Everyone in this world is self-centered. It’s just the radius which differs. When we trigger someone to talk about them, usually they get a new-found energy and talk more. Ask questions which make a person talk about their lives, mainly their problems. When they talk about their problems to you they automatically become closer to you.

5. Offer Compliments Generously

Complimenting someone makes them feel extremely good about themselves. They will them associate that feeling with the person who made them feel that. Complimenting someone is the most fool proof way to make them like you.

6. Imbibe Qualities from The Social People You Know

We all know lots of people who are very social. Observing them will give certain insights into what characteristics they have which makes them so sociable and likeable. Imbibing those qualities will help us understand how we can change to become more like them.

7. Be A Bundle of Joy

Nobody likes people who crib all the time and have a negative outlook towards everything in life. They are the ones who suck the energy out of everyone they speak to. On the other hand, people who are happy and joyful all the time spread joy and happiness which everyone welcomes and enjoys.

8. Act According to The Surroundings

Being social with people who are from ethnically different backgrounds may be difficult. For this, we need to read up on their cultures and traditions and act accordingly. People in different parts of the world may have different social rules and to live among them we need to follow those rules.

Finally, be yourself. Nobody who is fake is likeable. Changing yourself is different from being overtly fake. Our minds can be played with and we can change our personalities if we really want to. Concentrate on what you want and you will be able to mold your personality accordingly.