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How to Improve your Social Skills in Five Steps

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Social skills are not gifted; they are skills that need to be practiced and honed over time like any other skill. Since building good and strong relationships with other people plays a great role in reducing stress and anxiety in your life, it is very important to pay attention to your social connections to improve your social support.

For some people, entering conversations and building relationships with new people is a piece of cake; for others, however, it can increase their anxiety, which, in turn, leads to avoiding social gatherings, and prevents them from building relationships. As such, if you feel that every conversation is like a battle that you exert too much effort to enter, try the following simple steps to improve your social skills.

1)   Do Not Control Yourself All the Time

Enjoy being with people without this auto-censorship that holds you back. Try to identify your negative thoughts that are likely dragging you down and replace them with more realistic ones; not all people are the judgmental creatures you think they are. Detaching this censorship from your thoughts will help you talk to others instead of trying aimlessly to filtering your thoughts.

2)  Expand Your Comfort Zone

You can behave more like a social creature even if you do not feel like it; do not allow anxiety to hold you back. Make the decision to talk to new people and to enter conversations even when you are feeling nervous about it. Start small conversations and do not jump into large groups at the beginning; with time, it will get easier and you will quickly start improving your social skills.

3)  Encourage Others to Talk about Themselves

The most important thing in this step is to show that you are interested in what others say because many people really enjoy talking about themselves. Ask a question about a person’s career, hobbies, or family, and listen attentively. Compliments are also a great way to keep the conversation going, as they simply show others that you are friendly. In addition to encouraging the other person to talk freely as s/he feels her/his words and actions are really appreciated.

4)  Find a Social Hobby

People who share similar hobbies and interests are easier to get to know. Find people in your area with similar interests to share with them your hobbies as it will be easier to share your passion with them and widen your social circle.

5)  Pay Attention to Your Body Language

Non-verbal communication is very important; they have a good share in coloring your words with efficiency. As you pay attention to your words, you should do the same to the type of body language you use. Try to appear relaxed without clenched fists; make eye contact and appear open to conversation.

In short, your social success will partially be determined by your attitudes; how confident you are and how positive your self-image is. Helpful attitudes have to be built up over time. They are quite abstract and psychological, but they still have to be earned through real-world experiences and successes that support feeling that way.

References

anxietycanada.com
succeedsocially.com

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