How to Be More Social
Feeling shy and socially awkward can affect many areas of your life – but none more-so than your social life. Learning how to be more social can vary from person to person but here are a few quick tricks which should help you start to make a real difference to your social life.
Generally if someone is having a problem with feeling a lack of social skills it’s down to either not being active enough to meet people and have new experiences, or it’s a problem with feeling shy and socially awkward in those situations. Commonly people who feel shy and socially awkward will then try to avoid new people and situations as well – which is why I’m going to show you how to improve on both.
Ok, now first of all we’re going to look at feeling awkward in social interactions. This is more common with strangers or people you don’t know very well. Whether humanity likes to admit it or not, there are lower levels of the brain which still calls the shots. We might have evolved on a bit from lighting fires in caves but the lower levels of the brain are still trying to protect us.
Now basically if you’re feeling shy or socially awkward around someone (or a group of people) it’s that lower level of your brain trying to protect you from a perceived threat. This might seem a little silly, I mean it’s unlikely this person is going to physically attack you after all. But logic and reason only apply to the higher levels of your brain. The lower levels pick up on things you’ve learned subconsciously in the past.
Now we look at this in more detail in articles on how to overcome shyness but for now lets move on to actually learning how to be more confident around people.
Learning How to Be More Social Over Time
I have some good news and bad news for you at this point.
First the good news. You don’t have to throw yourself into the deep end here. You are going to need to learn to be more proactive with yourself and there’s ways to do this properly. But throwing yourself straight in can actually just make things worse for yourself. So there’s techniques you can use to properly prepare yourself. You don’t need to throw yourself straight into it at the start.
The bad news (which you’re not going to want to hear) is that learning to be more social will take time. It’s not a case of going from no change to instantly more social. If you do things properly you’re going to learn how to be more social slowly but constantly. I work with a lot of people overcoming their shyness and some take leaps each month while others make slow and steady changes each day.
So there’s no magic pill which is going to do this overnight for you but if you follow the techniques properly you can certainly make a huge change in your social life.
How to Be More Social – The Tricks
Being ‘In Your Head’
A common part of feeling shy and insecure is being too ‘in your own head’ during social situations. Now this isn’t all bad. People do need ‘filters’ to control their actions. Nobody wants to be the person who says something which makes everyone look at them oddly. But on the flip side of this – if you’re too introverted then you’re not making yourself open to other people.
So rather than be there ‘in the moment’ people worry about what people are thinking of them, what they should say next, where they should put their hands etc…
It’s going to take time to get used to but it’s certainly one of the first things you should work on to improve your social life. Instead of focusing internally on your own running monologue of thoughts you need to look outwards. So pay attention to what people around you are saying and doing.
This is going to be harder at first, especially if you’ve been doing it for a while. Take a look at our guide on overcoming social awkwardness for some tips on how to engage with people in situations where you feel awkward. But basically keep on practicing this.
Whether it’s in a social situation where you’ve found yourself talking to a stranger or you’re just walking along the street. Rather than paying attention to what you’re thinking look around you. Every time you catch yourself falling back into your own head you need to catch yourself and find something else someone is doing to pay attention to.
- Keep in mind a common ‘scapegoat’ some people do here is to distract themselves with something outside of the conversation. This is usually to help them avoid eye contact but it’s just as bad as being inside your own head. Pay attention to the people around you. It’ll get easier the more you practice it and eventually become second nature.
Now when it comes to self image there are different schools of thought. If you want to learn how to be more social and confident then you’re going to need to have a little faith in yourself.
It’s human to focus on our flaws. Trust me, everyone does it. Some people more than others and some people let it affect them more – but everyone does it. But the thing is these problems are always much bigger in your head. Some people worry about their looks, their teeth, their level of education, the amount of money they make and the list goes on and on…
But I’m going to tell you something here. Nobody really cares. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own life worrying about people noticing their own flaws to notice other peoples. The few people that do are rarely worth bothering with and, in my experience, trying to cover their own insecurities.
Now there’s two ways you can go about this. You can either make a change which makes you feel more confident with yourself or accept it. And either works. You certainly don’t need to change anything to learn to be more social and it’s down to you if you want to.
If you feel like you have a problem with your teeth – call the dentist tomorrow and see what can be done.
I you think people notice your lack of an education – take a night class or just start reading more.
But most of the problems people think they have with themselves are in their head. Nobody is perfect, everyone has something they’d like the change about themselves. But the trick is to realize that everyone is like this and not worry about it. It’ll get a lot easier if you practice what I suggested above. Get out of your head during social situations and stop worrying about small stuff like this. Eventually you’ll even forget you had a problem at all.
Now I’ll tell you something here. When i was younger I had a pretty nasty burn from a kettle falling on me. It left a sizable scar on my chest and the skin graft which followed left a scar on my leg. And I’m not even talking a manly looking scar – it looks like my skin bubbled and burned. Pretty gross and yes – a few years ago I couldn’t not think about this. Anytime I was faced with a situation where people might see I’d panic and picture everyone laughing at me.
As I gradually improved my confidence and social skills (I got out of my own head basically) I stopped worrying about this. Then two years ago I found myself on a beach in the south of France lying on the sand in my shorts. I’d been there nearly five hours with a large group of people (mostly strangers) before anyone even mentioned it.
It wasn’t like I was trying to ignore it. It honestly didn’t matter. I’d completely forgotten about it and it didn’t bother me when they asked. They asked out of curiosity and we all had a laugh when I tried to pass it off as a shark bite from my swim at lunch.
My point here is that these things which seem huge to you really don’t bother people the way you think they do. You can’t learn to forget about them overnight but it certainly comes with getting out of your head.
How to Be More Outgoing and Social
Learning how to be more outgoing and social can really depend on how social you are at the moment. As you’re practicing techniques to improve your social skills then you’re going to want to start exposing yourself to more social situations and making more of an effort in each one.
For some people this is going to be as simple as finding a reason to walk into town and smiling at people you make eye contact with. For others it’s going to mean making an effort to join groups and activities. Now there are plenty of websites which have lists of activities you can join like Craigslist for example.
Really it doesn’t matter what you do here. If you’re getting out of the house and into social situations then it’s going to help. Social activities are certainly a better option and don’t be afraid to try something new. If you don’t feel confident enough to go along to something then you can do one of two things.
- Ask a friend to go along with you even once or twice until you get used to the class.
- Join something new so that everyone is begging just as you are.
Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought here. Learning to be more social is certainly going to be easier for some people than for others but anyone can do this. No matter how socially awkward you feel, learning how to be more social can 100% change your life for the better and is entirely possible.
Improving your social life isn't that hard but you need to keep at it. Rather than just fill your head with motivational rubbish I want to give you real usefull information you can use to transform your social life.
Not only do I have years of expirence helping others overcome their shyness but I've done it myself. And a lot of the things I cover in the newsletter are things which "outsiders" don't even know exist...
- Always know what to say in a conversation (a real organic conversation not memorised subjects).
- Real life case studies and examples of real people overcoming shyness.
- Learn to grow your own social life around you from scratch.