Suffering from social anxiety or simply being unsure of how to interact with those around us, both in the workplace and outside, is starting to become a common issue that affects a lot of people. Regardless of our age, our gender, and our background, developing social skills is crucial, as they will allow us to connect with other people, fostering deep and valuable relationships. If you think you could use some help, here we have four useful tips to improve your social skills today.
- Learn how to read body language. One of the most important parts of any social interaction is being aware of the body language we and others use during our conversations. If we feel like people feel uncomfortable or even offended when we talk to them, but we aren’t sure of why we might want to pay attention to our body language. We might be giving the wrong signals unintentionally.
- Prepare a list of conversation starters. When we are socially anxious, worrying about not having anything to contribute to a conversation can be a common fear. The best way to get rid of this feeling is by preparing a list of conversation starters or small talk topics to use in different social situations. This will allow us to think of what we can say beforehand, leading to an engaging conversation with new people.
- Remember to listen actively. Another important skill that will help us to interact with others in a more meaningful way is learning to be active listeners. Without this skill, it will be really hard for us to bond with others, as they will feel ignored and not valued. Making eye contact, expressing you understand, and showing signs of interest in the conversation are great ways of showing others we care.
- Don’t let outside distractions get in the way. Nowadays, it is very common to get distracted when we’re having a face-to-face conversation with others. Always being “connected” and available can seem a convenience more than a problem. However, when we pay more attention to our smartphone than to the people we are with, will make us end up completely disconnected and alone. Therefore, remember to truly engage when someone is sharing their time and their energy with you, make them feel you are listening to them, and they will do the same with you.