To be more social people need to improve a lot and preach self-improvement. You could look to your interests and via them find people to become involved within clubs, societies and many other things to be more social. I have found this allows me to talk to people easily because we are on common ground, we are interested and excited by conversations.
Another important aspect of getting on with people is by embracing the idea of being gentle with yourself and others. Entering a social situation with tolerance for yourself, your character, and your personality is very important, being realistic about yourself and others, not being twisted by doubt, paranoia, and fear. This needs to then be afforded to others, to be easy with them, to truly listen to them, to allow a flow between people. This requires letting go of much of a person’s beliefs about themselves and others, an unburdening of learned behavior and an openness to change, a relaxing of the mind and body.
We are most often our greatest critics. We walk into a situation with a more negative attitude to ourselves than anyone else holds toward us. An easy manner, a smile, a relaxed body and attitude with an open mind, and few expectations of ourselves and others can free us to get far more from social situations than we could expect.
Here, are some things to be more social.
- Remember people’s names: When you are introducing yourself, look people into the eyes, say your name and wait for their name. After that, smile with your eyes repeats their name.
- Be moderator of the group:
- When you are in a group of new people, and nobody knows each other, you can act confidently and just lead it.
- When you are in a group of people and they know each other, you can also join in the conversation by asking questions. Example: “How guys you know each other?” or by giving compliments to someone.
- Tell stories: Prepare at least 3–4 stories at home from your life and learn to tell them with emotions. When you finish that story, you can ask by name some guy/girl if he/she had some experience.
- Ask for opinion: Tell something that happened to you today or yesterday and ask for an opinion.
- Active listening: Cliche, but it helps, when you truly ask people about themself about their hobbies, passions and ask the right questions.
- Ask and reach out: There is a good chance you come in contact with a lot of strangers in your day and your only problem is you don’t know how to turn them into friends. It’s easy. Just take responsibility. Don’t wait for that friend of a friend to ask for your contact, get him, and then call to see if you can hang out. If you like anyone, get their contacts and call. Don’t be afraid of looking needy, chances are they’ll appreciate it, and if they don’t. You just have to try with another person.
- Go out of your house: Social networks are crazy nowadays and they pop up like flies. However, they are all useless unless you talk face to face and that’s not even considering the scams. So please don’t say you want friends if you stay at home. Go hang out where you can meet friends at conferences, bars, malls, pubs, meet-ups, etc.
- Dress like those guys want to befriend: Don’t go dressing like an insurance dealer when you want friends who ride bikes. Don’t wear sport wears when you want geeky friends. The thing about us humans is that we like people like us. So, if you want a smooth transition from those strangers to friends, dress like them.
- Observe and Obey: This rule is like the golden rule of being social. Always observe whoever you go how people around you act. Don’t behave the way you do in a club in a church. Every social situation and country has its rules and culture. To thrive, don’t Reinvent the wheel, observe and Obey the rules.
- Hide your pain: I believe in living honestly but I believe in emotional contagion too. We all have our fair share of pain. But don’t go around broadcasting yours and ruining people’s moods. You’ll only make them hate you. Hide your pain and work on your life issues with your closest friends. Don’t frown or be a buzzkill for people just because life isn’t going too well.
- Keep Smile: People think being social is about being outgoing and approaching people. But I beg to differ. Being social is about being approachable too. Whether you know it or not, there are always people who are scared and looking for a non-threatening face to approach. Be that person. Learn to smile and keep a slight smile on your face. Don’t be the guy or girl who is always frowning.
- Wave: Being social doesn’t have to be scary. You don’t need to approach people coldly if you can help it. Luckily you can do that by waving to the person you want to meet. When you are out there, just maintaining eye contact and wave or jut your chin or wine glass to affirm that you noticed the person. I realize that whenever I do this and I later approach, it’s always better than a cold approach.
- Be a friend: Okay here comes the scary part. People are scared and According to BBC, social anxiety is the world’s number two fear. The fact is most people won’t approach you unless you look like Beyonce or you’re influential. To make friends, you have to walk up to people and say hi. Scary right?
- Create a support system: We find out who our real friends are in tough times. Cultivate meaningful relationships with like-minded people who trust you and vice versa, because when a ship faces a storm, you need all hands on deck ready to do what is necessary to make it through.
- Be a proactive helper: This is related to the last point I have mentioned that look for ways to help people in their time of need. Sometimes just being there provides comfort for someone going through challenging times. If you become someone people can depend on they will, in turn, come to your aid when you require it.
None of this is easy, but it is well worth it. Empathy is the single most important social trait. It doesn’t matter if you are loud or quiet, short or tall, fashionable or conservative, but empathy will make you welcome because you are there to be a real part of a group and to make real emotional connections, not simply to promote yourself within it. I hope some of these ideas help and good luck with your exploration of yourself and others in social situations.