How to Improve Your Social Skills

Over the last 11 months I have written a whole bunch of articles on how to improve one of the most valuable skill sets; your social skills.

Some of you that have read this blog from the beginning might have already read these articles.

But since a lot of new readers have joined throughout this year I thought I’d collect and bring up the articles again in case you have missed some of them. I hope that they will provide you with at least a few useful tips.

And that you will give yourself a break.

Take it easy. Don’t beat yourself up if you at first fail when trying to improve a skill. And don’t try to improve everything at once. Focus on one or a few things for a month and try to work on them in your day to day life. If you fail, that’s OK and normal. Just brush yourself off and try again.

And if you want more in-depth training then join us in my 12-week, step-by-step Smart Social Skills Course where I share the very best things I have learned in the past 8 years about improving social skills and relationship habits.

Want better results? Take more action.

The most important part of improving your social skills is just to take more chances, show up at more social functions and to interact more with people. So a good place to start might be with these three articles:

  • 7 Ways to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone and Live a More Exciting Life
    “If you want to improve your life you’ll sooner or later need to step out of that zone. Because it’s there you’ll find all those new and exciting experiences. Where you’ll find freedom from boredom.”
  • Top 24 Tips for Making Your Self-Confidence Soar
    “Although we may not want to admit it publicly I think a lot of us feel like we could use an improvement in self confidence. Fortunately there are better advice out there than the often exclaimed “Just be more confident, man!” or “Have another beer!”
  • 5 Life-Changing Keys to Overcoming Your Fear
    “What is stopping you from getting what you want in life? Your friends? Your family? A sense that failure – or success – might change your life and that feeling uncomfortable? A sense that the people around you might disapprove of you aiming for what you want, of you succeeding or failing.”

Body language is a BIG part.

I think it’s pretty important to note early on that what you say is only 7 percent of communication. Body language is 55 percent and voice tonality 38 percent.

So if you are not getting the results you’d like, if something in general feels off about your people skills then it might have little to do with what words you are using. So, say that you’d like to improve your body language since it’s such a huge part of communication. Where do you go?

  • 18 Ways to Improve Your Body Language
    “Here is just a few of many pointers on how to improve your body language. Improving your body language can make a big difference in your people skills, attractiveness and general mood.”

Talk, talk, talk.

Now, on to conversations. Here are six articles with both broad pointers and smaller, specific tips:

  • How to Make a Great Impression
    “First impressions can be quite important. Everyone stereotypes everyone on first impression, even if we are reluctant to do it. We all get a first impression of a new person that creates a mental image of his or her personality in our minds. That image of you often lasts and can affect the relationship that follows.”
  • Five Awesome and Five Awful Conversation Topics
    “So, what should I talk about?” When it comes to conversations I think this is one question we have asked both others and ourselves many, many times. Often in our heads, when already in a conversation, with an awkward silence looming and while trying to scramble for something to say.
  • Do You Make These 10 Mistakes in a Conversation?
    “Can you improve your conversation skills? Certainly. It might take a while to change the conversation habits that’s been ingrained throughout your life, but it is very possible. To not make this article longer than necessary let’s just skip right to some common mistakes many of us have made in conversations. And a couple of solutions.”
  • 5 Conversational Mistakes that Can Make You Look Dumb
    “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
    – Dorothy Nevill
  • Focus Outward to Win Friends and Improve your People Skills
    “One common mistake in conversations of any kind is to turn your focus the wrong way. You (and I) may often focus too much on ourselves while at a party, at work, at school, online or in just about any setting instead of shifting your focus outward, toward the person we are talking with. Why do we do that?”

On Criticism.

Criticism is often a sore spot in communication that creates a lot of misunderstandings and can become hurtful (even if it was not intended to be). I’ve written one article on this topic.

  • How to Handle Criticism and get Something Good Out of It
    “Receiving criticism isn’t always fun. However there are ways to handle it in a less hurtful way and – sometimes – get something good out of it. Here are a few pointers I have found useful when dealing with criticism.”

What all those other people said about communication and relationships.

Finally, there are quite a few small collections with quotes from various wise and clever people in the archives of this blog. At least six of these collections are relevant – in some way or another – when you want to improve your social skills and relationships.

  • 73 Inspirational Quotes on Fear
    “When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • 52 Inspirational Quotes on Forgiveness
    “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
    – Catherine Ponder
  • 17 Inspirational Quotes on People Skills
    “You can make more friends in two months by becoming really interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. Which is just another way of saying that the way to make a friend is to be one.”
    – Dale Carnegie
  • 10 Inspirational Quotes on Relationships
    “Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.”
    – Anthony Robbins
  • 25 Great Quotes on Leadership
    “To lead people, walk beside them. As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate. When the best leader’s work is done the people say, We did it ourselves!”
    – Lao-Tsu
  • 9 Great Quotes on Criticism
    “Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.”
    – Emmet Fox

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

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  • Gene

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  • Wow, there is some good advice in this article. Taking action is very important and there are some good resources listed. As the owner of a site on learning social skills I am happy that the message is getting out.

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