4 Advanced Conversation Skills and How to Cultivate Them

In my view, you have intermediate conversation skills when you are able to start a conversation with a wide range of people, keep it going, talk about various topics and build some sort of connection with a portion of the people you talk with.

A lot of folks don’t have this level of conversation skills, and they generally struggle with making conversation. Then again, a lot of folks do have this level of conversation skills. And when you’re an intermediate-level conversationalist or close to it, it’s worth considering attaining an advanced level of conversation skills.

Advanced conversation skills will influence the way you come across, the impact you have on others and the quality of your relationships so much that you won’t believe. Few experiences compare to going to a party, meeting or social event, engaging with people and being one of the best, smoothest conversationalists in the room (if not the best).

So I firmly believe that gaining advanced conversation skills is a worthy pursuit, no matter who you are. But what does it mean to have advanced conversation skills anyway?

Well, I’d like to talk to you about 4 conversation skills that I consider will practically turn you into an advanced conversationalist. They’re not the only advanced conversation skills, but they are some of the most important ones. And I’m gonna show you how to cultivate them to boot.

1. Reframing

In conversation, reframing is the ability to look at the topic being discussed and the ideas being expressed from a new, original perspective, and talking from that perspective. It’s, in a way, switching the angle of the conversation. And it’s a great method to spice up the conversation.

iStock 000027103971Small 300x249 4 Advanced Conversation Skills and How to Cultivate ThemHere’s an example of reframing during a discussion with a girl.

Her: “Boy! My purse is really heavy. I don’t know why I’ve put so much stuff in it.”

You: “Yeah, well at least if someone harasses you on the street, you can easily use it as a clobbering device. They’ll be sorry they ever messed with you!”

That’s a reframe. And by doing this reframe with your remark, you’ve achieved two things. You’ve turned a negative (the purse being heavy) into a positive, and you’ve also given the purse an unconventional, creative utility (as a clobbering device). So your comment is interesting and funny, and it helps you make an impression. Not bad for one comment!

How to develop your ability to reframe: by deliberately trying to look at topics and statements made in conversation from new, different angles. Move away from conventional thinking and seek to think out of the box. With practice, you’ll get better at it.

2. Empathizing

Empathizing is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of the other person, understand their thoughts and feelings, and make statements from this perspective. The more empathy you have, the easier it is to empathize with someone in a conversation.

Here’s what empathizing look like.

Her: “My boss criticized me for 20 minutes for being 5 minutes late! I couldn’t believe it!”

You: ”Wow, I imagine you felt really frustrated and shocked. I mean, how big of a deal is it to be 5 minute late anyway?”

Her: “Yes, exactly! You get me so well!”

See what you’re doing? You’re putting yourself in the other person’s situation and you’re talking about how you imagine she felt and how she saw the situation. That’s empathizing. And when you empathize with someone effectively, it shows that you’re really listening and that you understand them. Which is very rare and it’s bound to earn you a lot of points.

How to develop your ability to empathize: by deliberately putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. The more you practice, the more your empathy improves, and understanding the other person gets easier, so making empathic statements gets easier.

3. Relating

Relating is the ability to connect to what the other person says, with something from your own life or knowledge. A master conversationalist is able to relate to a very wide range of statements, on a very wide range of topics. It goes something like this:

Him: “I went water surfing this weekend. Lots of fun!”

You: “So you do water surfing ha? I tried water skiing once. My back hurt for two days after that, but it was an amazing experience. Have to try it again sometimes.”

By making such a comment you enter in the other person’s world and you show them you can connect with it to some extent. You emphasize commonalities between the two of you, which encourages the other person to open up more, and makes them like you more. That’s the power of relating.

How to develop your ability to relate: first of all by developing a rich lifestyle, where you try a lot of things and have a large array of experiences. That way just about anything the other person talks about, you have some related experience to share. And second of all, again, by practicing sharing related experiences from your own life during conversation.

4. Storytelling

Advanced conversationalists tend to tell a lot of stories when chatting. And they know how to tell them well, so even a banal event seems like a crazy adventure when they narrate it. Rookies tend to only make short, generic statements in conversation, which does little to convey their personality and make it hard to keep the conversation going.

So captivating storytelling is definitely an advanced conversation skill worth cultivating. There is nothing more captivating than a good storyteller, grabbing and holding the attention of an entire group of people with their story about that time when they accidentally ate dish soap.

How to develop your storytelling skills: for one, by telling more stories. Start with short, simple stories if you’re not used to telling stories, and advance to longer, more intricate ones. And also by learning about the rules and principles of good storytelling and practicing them when you share stories.

If you wanna learn more about these rules and principles of good storytelling, as well as reframing, empathizing, relating and other advanced conversation skills, I recommend that you get onboard my free social confidence newsletter, which is where I share most of my advanced conversation advice these days.

Once or twice a week, you’ll receive practical information from me for improving your social skills, social confidence and social life, directly in your Inbox. So go here right now and enter your email to join the newsletter.

Advanced conversation skills do take some practice to develop. But with the right guidance, it can be a surprisingly fast and rewarding experience. Through this article I’ve helped you set a solid foundation for developing advanced conversation skills. The rest is up to you.

Go get them!

How to Be More Likeable

We all want to be liked by others, but few of us actually know how to be more likeable. Making yourself more appealing to others is a subtle social skill and it requires a good understanding of some key principles of human psychology to master.

If you’re interested in how to be more likeable as a person, either to benefit your social life, your dating life or your career, I’d like to give you my perspective, based on my experience as a communication and confidence coach.

Before anything else, there is one crucial aspect to grasp.

You Can’t Get Everybody to Like You

No matter how you are and what you do, not everybody is going to like you. Human tastes and preferences are very diverse, and very often the very behavior that will get some people to like you, will make others dislike you. And you just can’t switch between behaviors as you want, all around.

I’ve met some very likeable people over time. But none of them were liked by all. Even persons who were very upbeat and friendly with others, some found to be annoying because of this trait.

So if you’re goal in learning how to be more likeable is to get everyone to like you, forget it. It’s not gonna happen. However, you can make more people like you, you can increase your likeability factor, and this can be a goal worth pursuing.

Since I touched on this idea, it’s worth adding another thing.

Wanting to Be More Likeable May Be a Form of Approval Seeking

Likeable How to Be More LikeableI regularly coach men and women who want to be more appealing to others. One thing I noticed about them is that, frequently, they already are very likeable and many people do like them. But they aren’t happy with this. They feel they need to get everybody to like them, and this is their motivation.

This is what I refer to as an approval seeking attitude, and it’s not only unproductive, but also psychologically unhealthy. It’s often rooted in shyness, low self-esteem, perfectionism or a deep feeling of inferiority to others. This is what makes them want to be adored by all and never be rejected.

But this is a very unrealistic and disturbing expectation to have, which does more harm than good in one’s life.

If you feel that such a motivation is a big component of what is driving you right now to want to learn how to be more likeable, then I encourage you to shift your priorities and instead of trying to learn this, seek to learn how to stop approval seeking and be socially confident.

And I can definitely provide the solution. Check out this instructional presentation I created, where I will show you how to overcome an approval seeking attitude, and give you a clear-cut process for building rock-solid social confidence. Make sure you watch it, please.

This being said, if you still want to become more likeable, here are my 5 key ideas on how to do so.

1. Be Positive

People who are happy and positive tend to be by far the most likeable people. These are the people who talk about positive stuff rather than negative stuff, show optimism, radiate feelings of joy through their body language, joke around and focus on having fun.

This feel-good, have-fun attitude is extremely contagious, and it makes others around them feel good and enjoy themselves as well. And then they end up liking such a person for helping them feel this way.

2. Be Confident

Confidence is also a very likeable trait. Sure, some people find it intimidating, but most are very drawn to it; and as I said, you can’t please everybody. There is something very alluring about a person who is centered, self-assured and at ease with themselves.

If you lack confidence, fortunately, you can develop this trait. Confidence is nothing more than the result of a certain habitual way of thinking about yourself and others. And there are now a few very effective tools for developing it. Again, I suggest you watch this video to learn more about these tools.

3. Have Empathy

Empathy is essentially the ability to understand another person’s feelings and point of view. This is a very important social skill because all people have a strong desire to be understood by others. And empathy permits you to genuinely understand them, as well as to convey this.

Empathy is something you can develop mostly by interacting with others, going beyond superficial conversations and actively seeking to understand them. This is the best way I know to gain empathy: real contact with real people and their inner and outer worlds.

In addition, reading books with complex characters, learning psychology and observing people and their behavior can also help significantly.

4. Have Integrity

Integrity is a very likeable attribute, and one you won’t hear much about. When you have integrity, it means that you say what you think and you do what you say. Your thoughts, words and actions are aligned.

Why is this important? Because it makes other people trust you. And there is a big overlap between trusting someone and being fond of them. Cultivate your integrity and you’ll notice others will be more open with you; they will appreciate you more and like you more.

5. Have Something Interesting To Say

Last but not least, as a rule, the more interesting what you have to say is the more interesting and likeable you tend to be as a person. So no discussion on how to be more likeable could skip this concept.

How do you have interesting things to say? There is no shortcut. The bottom line is that you need to a have a rich life, with diverse activities, challenges and learning experiences. Then you’ll naturally be able to converse on a wide range of topics and have intriguing things to share. You become an interesting person by developing an interesting lifestyle.

As you can see, becoming more likeable is not really something you achieve through a bunch of quick tricks you can use in social interactions. Sure, tricks may help a bit, but they are not a solution to create a visible and lasting enhancement of your likeability.

If you want to be more likeable, it’s important to develop the traits and attitudes of highly likeable people. Which is something you can absolutely do. I’ve seen many folks achieve this over the years, and it’s an amazing process that will yield benefits you can’t even imagine until you experience them yourself.

Image courtesy of Zitona

How to Build Social Skills

I believe that if you’re lacking in the social skills department, then knowing how to build social skills is crucial. It’s crucial because your social skills play the key role in building a social life, and your social life plays the key role in being happy.

Over the years I’ve met people who did some amazing things in their life: they climbed the career ladder to the top, they made millions, they travelled the entire world, etc. And yet if they didn’t have a circle of people they enjoyed quality relationships with, they weren’t truly happy.

Your social life is a huge component of your overall life. And when you understand how to build social skills and you’re able to develop them to any level you want, you effectively take control of your social life.

Over the last 6+ years, my main focus as a coach has been on helping others with building social skills and confidence. I’ve discovered that there are 4 very effective strategies you can employ to develop your interpersonal skills.

Some of them might be things you’re already aware of to some degree but you may not have given them the attention they deserve, some of them may be completely new to you. Either way, I’d like to share them with you one by one.

1. Hang Around With and Study Socially Successful People

One of the best ways to learn effective social behavior is by modeling people who are already very good at it.

This modeling process is part subconscious and part conscious. Just by hanging around people with good social skills and witnessing the way they interact with others, your mind will involuntarily absorb data and tweak your own social behavior in order to improve it.

To this, it’s ideal to also add mindfully analyzing the social behavior of such people, seeing the patterns, and then deliberately incorporating some of their mannerisms in your own conduct. But the trick is to never simply imitate them: seek to understand their actions and adapt them to fit your own personality, as well as the social situations you run into.

If you lack social skills, you may be tempted to hang around people with a similar level of social skills, because you don’t feel inferior around them. But as the logic above concerning how to build social skills demonstrates, this is a huge mistake.

Try to befriend and hang around people with sharp social skills. Talk to these people, joke around, be a positive presence and you’ll notice that most of them are very open to making new friends. After all, that’s part of what makes them successful socially.

2. Build Your Social Confidence

Social 300x285 How to Build Social SkillsSocial skills and social confidence go hand in hand. In fact, what often seems like a lack of social skills is only a lack of social confidence. You just feel nervous around others and this makes you act rather awkwardly.

But if you would feel confident and relaxed, you’d be amazed how easy it would be to know the right things to say, be witty, keep a conversation going and be a very likable person. I talk more about this in this video, which you should really watch.

Do you often feel anxious in social settings or during conversation? Then I encourage you to focus on gaining social confidence even more than concerning yourself with how to build social skills. Abilities take a backseat to attitude here.

Gaining social confidence is a matter of rewiring some of your automatic thinking patterns, using both cognitive and behavioral tools.

This is a serious but relatively simple psychological process. I discuss it separately in this special presentation. Make sure you watch it as you’ll get in it solutions for building social confidence that you don’t wanna miss out on.

3. Get Specific Feedback and Use It

A challenge you may encounter as you seek to improve your conversation skills is that you won’t be able to see certain things about your behavior, because you need an external perspective to see them.

We all have blind spots when it comes to our own behavior. And the best way to correct them is to obtain some form of an outsider perspective, which you add to your own insider perspective.

There are multiple ways to do this. You can, for instance, ask some of your friends to give you feedback about your communication style, what they like about it and what they think it’s a good idea to change about it. Do try to get feedback from several friends though, because a single feedback can be biased.

You can also work with a professional coach who can observe your social behavior, either in real social situations or by using role-plays during coaching sessions, and give you the most pertinent feedback.

And you can also find creative ways to record some of your social interactions and review them yourself. For example, record a few of your phone conversations and play them back to you. Your perspective when you replay them will be quite similar to an external perspective.

4. Practice Does Make Perfect

Ultimately, all these ways to build social skills mean nothing if you don’t practice. Above all, you develop your interpersonal skills by going out there and having lots of social interactions with others.

Your mind wants you to improve. It will do all it can to make you better at interacting with others. But it needs you to have real social experiences. It is from these experiences that it will learn the most and it is within these experiences that it will correct your behavior and construct better social habits for you.

What folks with much better social skills than you truly have on you is more social experience. Because they go out, meet people and talk to them while you stay home and watch TV or something.

But if you amplify your social life and you interact more with others, you’ll be amazed how much better your people skills will get in just a few months.

Ever since I started teaching the ropes of how to build social skills, I’ve seen this phenomenon happen over and over again. With consistent practice, good models, specific feedback and work on your confidence as well, you’ll see your social life and skills take off in no time.

Image courtesy of Vicente Alfonso 

How to Play Hard To Get

In the realm of courtship, knowing how to play hard to get matters. A lot. I’ve heard many people tell me that when they have to work in order to get the attention or sexual availability of a member of the opposite sex, they enjoy it considerably more when they get it.

Like or not, we tend to subjectively perceive something more valuable if it was challenging to acquire than if it was just handed to us on a silver platter. And this pertains to male-female interactions as well.

Finding the Middle Ground

The problem concerning how to play hard to get is that many men and women go to an extreme and they do one of two things.

A) They do not play hard to get at all and they make themselves very easily available.

Now, to be clear, this doesn’t mean that members of the opposite sex still won’t like them. There are many traits beyond being a challenge that can make you attractive. However, learning how to play hard to get and doing this would really make them visibly more exciting.

B) They play hard to get too much, up to the point where they seem completely uninterested in the other person or totally inaccessible to them.

Thus, the other person will simply give up and stop pursuing them. Keep in mind that after all, this is called playing hard to get, not being hard to get. It’s all a fun little courtship game.

So, the trick is to find that middle ground. To behave in a way that makes you a challenge, but a surmountable one. That’s when you’re playing hard to get effectively.

It Starts With Your Attitude

The most important determinant by far of how well you can play hard to get is your attitude.

Guy and girl 300x199 How to Play Hard To GetAs a confidence and communication coach, I’ve noticed that people who are very good at playing hard to get all have something in common regarding their attitude: they have a solid dose of social confidence.

This social confidence consists of several elements. First of all, they have a good self-image. They see themselves as likeable, attractive and worthy of the attention of men/women.

Second of all, they are willing to accept rejection and to risk the possibility that a person might sometimes be discouraged by the fact they pose a challenge. And last but not least, they’re not afraid to show their interest in somebody and they can also stop playing games when it’s fitting.

These forms of social confidence lead them to naturally behave in a way that makes getting them a fun challenge. They do it brilliantly well and they don’t even think about it.

Of course, you can try to just copy their behavior, and you will succeed to some extent, but it doesn’t work that well if you lack the inner social confidence.

Many times, you’ll miscalibrate those behaviors, or you’ll miss the subtleties in them and they’ll come off wrong when you use them. Plus, without the inner confidence, you’ll never internalize them and they won’t ever feel natural to you.

This is why I often say that the best way to learn how to play hard to get is to build your social confidence. Develop the attitude of people who are good at playing hard to get, and you’ll naturally become good as well.

With this in mind, I invite you to check out my special presentation on building social confidence. In it I will show you exactly where social confidence comes from, and what are the two simple, scientifically supported steps for improving it. Go here and watch it.

5 Ways to Play Hard To Get

Beyond working on the attitude part, there are some specific behaviors you can practice when dealing with persons of the opposite sex in order to successfully play hard to get. Here are the top 5 such behaviors that I’ve indentified as creating the very best results.

1) Giving double-sided compliments. A double-sided compliment is a positive remark about the other person, but which also contains an implicit joke or negative remark about them. For example: “You’re pretty cute for a short girl”.

In this case, calling the girl cute is a compliment, but the overall remark also implies that in general you don’t find short girls (which she is) cute. Double-sided compliments are a great way to convey interest, but in a cocky, non-needy way.

2) Taking rain checks. When somebody you like asks you out or to do something with them at a certain date and time, politely say to them that you can’t at that suggested moment because you have others plans, but that you’ll gladly do it some other time.

The key is to decline the invitation, but only for the proposed date and time. If you just decline it, they might think you’re simply not interested in them. You want to show availably and lack of availability at the same time.

3) Dividing your attention. When you’re in a group setting and there is a person you like in that group, pay attention to them, talk to them, but pay attention to the other members of the group as well, especially the ones of the opposite gender.

Do give this person attention but don’t give them your whole attention. Give them some attention, then take it away and refocus it, then give them some more, then take it away again.

4) Not showing too much interest too early. It’s rarely a good idea to convey to a member of the opposite sex, verbally or non-verbally, that you’re totally enthralled with them the very first moment you lay eyes on them.

A person with a good self-image and a lot of options in their life is not impressed that easily. Don’t try to hide that they caught your eye and you want to get to know them better. But don’t convey a ton of interest right off the bat either.

5) Not being in a hurry to get into a relationship. For a person who is confident and independent, there is nothing more off putting then to simply make out with some girl/guy at a party and have them immediately start treating you as if you’re their boyfriend/girlfriend: calling you non-stop, wanting to hang out all the time, visiting you and not leaving anymore, etc.

Take your time. Don’t be in a rush to make somebody your significant other and don’t suffocate them with your attention. Get to know them better, experiment, have fun, and let the relationship build up gradually.

As you employ these behaviors, bear in mind that in learning how to play hard to get, you’ll make much more progress from changing your attitude along with your behavior than by changing your behavior alone.

Again, I encourage you to watch this presentation on becoming socially confident.

Your behavior will always be inclined to reflect your inner attitude. And there is only so much that you can play hard to get if it doesn’t come from within. But if it does come from within (and you can make it so), it will change the way others react to you entirely.

Image courtesy of jonaldinger

Shy Guys: Their Psychology and Their Recovery

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Most statistics state than shyness is somewhat more common for girls than for guys. Nevertheless, make no mistake about it, there are heaps of shy guys out there, and many of them are in fact extremely inhibited.

These guys feel anxious in social situations and they feel particularly anxious around girls, especially the ones they find attractive. They have trouble engaging in conversations and keeping them going, they hide their sexual side, they are often invisible to the girls they like, and if they’re not they often get friend-zoned by these girls.

Unsurprisingly, their social life in general and their dating life in particular look pretty gloomy. And taking care of this issue is one of the most valuable actions they can accomplish.

As a social confidence coach, I work with shy guys on daily basis. Over time, this allowed me to see certain recurring patterns regarding why they are shy and how they can fix this. So, in this article, I’d like to share with you my most important findings.

The Making of Shy Guys

Generally speaking, shyness is the result of an overestimation of the risks social situations pose for you. But what these perceived risks are exactly, why they are perceived and what they signify varies from one person to another, and it varies based on gender as well.

shy Shy Guys: Their Psychology and Their Recovery

I discovered that shy guys have two limiting beliefs in particular, which feed their timidity.

Firstly, shy guys perceive themselves as losers.

Success and status are very important for men. On average, they are significantly more important for them than they are for women. Men are especially competitive, achievement-seeking and results-oriented.

If a guy doesn’t see himself as successful and as having a good status, if he thinks other guys are better than him, he will tend to feel inferior and insecure.

Of course, success and status are very relative and the problem is that shy guys distort the reality in their heads and make themselves seem much, much worse than they are. And this generates unreasonable coyness.

Secondly, shy guys perceive themselves as sexually unattractive.

Even if they may seem themselves as successful, they still don’t see themselves as sexy. Deep down, they believe that a woman could never be sexually interested in them.

This is why they regularly try to compensate for their alleged lack of sexual attractiveness by being extremely nice with girls they like, paying a lot of attention to them or buying them expensive gifts.

Yet again, this lack of sexual attractiveness is merely a figment of their imagination, a result of some very faulty stereotypes used to understand human sexuality. It has little to do with the objective reality.

Now that you have a better understanding of the problem shy guys have, let’s talk about the solution.

From Shy Guy to Social Guy

A lot of shy guys appear to deem that their lack of social confidence is the result of their shortages in terms of success, status, looks, charisma or sexual experience.

Although these shortages may be to some degree real and they can be contributing factors to shyness, their role is only secondary. As I already alluded to, as a shy guy, the primary source of your shyness is your faulty thinking, not the way you are as a person.

Whatever your condition may be, trust me, I know several guys in the exact same condition who are very confident socially and have no problems making friends or enticing members of the opposite sex.

But your thinking amplifies your flaws, even invents false ones, and embellishes their meaning. This takes places automatically when you’re in social situations, and generates your feelings of anxiety and hesitancy to just be social.

Obviously, the solution is weeding out these automatic thinking patterns and replacing them with more accurate ones. It’s a step by step process which entails:

  • Indentifying unrealistic thoughts you have in social settings;
  • Challenging and correcting these thoughts;
  • Gradually developing a more social behavior;
  • And being persistent with this process.

This is a just a gross outline of the process. I’d like to show you in more detail how to implement it effectively. For this purpose I have created a special video presentation for you.

Go here now to check out the presentation and learn how the psychological process of changing your thinking and eliminating limiting beliefs works. You’ll get a lot of value out of it.

Unfortunately, shy guys miss out on a lot on life. I should know: I used to be one. You notice other guys making friends, having girlfriends and enjoying social interactions, while you’re just being an observer, waiting for something to simply fall in your lap. But it almost never does, and if it does, you’re not able to leverage it.

The good news is that you can change all of this. You can take charge your thinking, eradicate your limiting beliefs and gain the social confidence you want. All you need is the right guidance and the wiliness to apply it consistently. The improvements will follow naturally.

Image courtesy of Ed Yourdon

How to Be Friendly

If you study the people who bond the easiest with others and have the richest social lives, it doesn’t take long to realize that much of their social success resides in the fact they are very friendly and gregarious, with both girls and guys. Luckily, you can learn how to be friendly as well, and join their ranks.

As a communication and confidence coach, one of my core activities is teaching others how to be friendly and confident socially, and helping them create the fulfilling interpersonal relationships they yearn for.

The thing is, friendliness is just a set of behaviors and a certain frame of mind. If you understand them, you know how to be friendly. And if you employ them effectively, you become more friendly and social.

With this in mind, here are the 4 essential behavioral and mental changes to make in order to be more friendly.

1. Use Social Initiative Exercises

The biggest component of friendliness is social initiative. Having social initiative means that you proactively generate social interactions or certain phases of social interactions. You don’t wait for others to be social with you before you’re social with them.

There are very specific actions that compose social initiative. You can take these actions, one or more at a time, and practice them deliberately, sort of like exercises. I’m talking about actions like:

  • Be friendly 300x201 How to Be FriendlyAttending events that are social in nature: parties, classes, networking events, etc.
  • Walking up to new people or people you know and starting conversations.
  • Introducing yourself to people you don’t know when they join your conversation.
  • Asking the other person questions about themselves during a chat.
  • Talking about yourself and sharing your own ideas and experiences.
  • Asking another person for their contact details.
  • Calling or emailing another person and inviting them to go out with you.

And the list could go on. Pick a couple of these activities today and start doing them more. There is no point in waiting.

2. Develop a Mindset of Likability

Something I’ve noticed early on at individuals that want to learn how to be friendly because they struggle with this is that, at some level, they see themselves as unlikeable.

They don’t think they’re good enough or interesting enough for others to want to interact with them or be friends with them. Thus, they are act cold and unfriendly with others. But this is just a facade, to protect themselves from the rejection they expect to happen.

If this is true for you too (and in almost surely is), then implement the 1st change I mentioned may prove to be quite challenging. You may have trouble even asking a few questions or making a bit of small talk with others, because you keep second-guessing yourself.

This is why it’s crucial to work on your mentality as well and develop a mindset according to which you are a likeable person; you are good enough. Which, trust me, you are. You just don’t fully realize it yet.

Since this is an extensive topic, I discuss it separately in this cutting-edge presentation. Make sure to watch it and you’ll learn the exact steps you have to take to change your mindset and become at ease in social interactions.

3. Choose the Right People for You

A genuinely friendly person can make conversation with just about anybody and enjoy the experience. Nevertheless, there will always be people they find it much easier to chat with, for longer periods of time, they’ll take more pleasure in it and they’ll be much more outspoken.

These are the people they are very compatible with: the people they have a lot in common with in terms of ideas, values, lifestyle, interests and so on.

It’s much easier to be friendly if you’re interacting with a person you match well with. If you usually hang out with people who only talk about marriage, kids and TV shows while you care about personal development, entrepreneurship and travelling, there is a definite mismatch there.

Think about the kinds of people you connect with the best, and then seek the types of activities, places and events where these kinds of people spend their time. Meet the right people for you and you’ll naturally find yourself being friendlier.

4. Socialize On a Regular Basis

It’s hard to become friendly and social if you only go out once every two weeks and you spend the rest of your time at home by yourself.

In order to eventually be friendly without effort, you mind needs to become acclimatized with social interactions. It needs to recognize them as a standard component of your life, which you go through regularly. And this requires regularity in your social interactions.

So, go out more, meet new people and interact with them periodically. Make going out the rule, not the exception. This is how to be friendly on a constant basis: by acclimatization with social contact.

Again, this presentation will provide you practical advice for achieving this and making the process of becoming more friendly as smooth as possible.

Your social life is under your control. Make the right adjustments in your behavior as well as your mindset, and you’ll surprisingly find yourself opening up more with all kinds of people and having lots of fun interacting with others.

That’s when you know that your life can be all that you want it to be.

Image courtesy of NicoleAbalde

The Socially Inept: Symptoms and Solutions

Are you pondering the possibility that you’re socially inept? Many people are that way, so you’re definitely not alone. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t take consolation in this and not do anything about it.

I’ve been working as a social confidence coach since 2007. And I can assure you that, no matter who you are, you can turn yourself from socially inept to socially skilled. You have the intrinsic ability to change how you are, and the tools to do it successfully are out there.

The first important step is to gauge if you indeed are socially inept and to what degree. A good change process always starts with a good understanding of your starting point.

The 10 Sign that you’re Socially Inept

Here are the most important indicators of social ineptitude to take into consideration. Read them attentively and try to recognize how much each one of them pertains to your case.

  1. You feel nervous when you’re in a social setting or you’re making conversation with someone.
  2. You’re particularly anxious around people you just met, attractive members of the opposite sex or people you perceive as being very cool.
  3. You don’t know how to properly start a conversation with another person, so you either not do it or do it clumsily.
  4. You have problems keeping a conversation going and those awkward silences frequently creep in.
  5. You feel that you’re not good at expressing yourself and when you say something it doesn’t come out the way it was intended.
  6. You don’t go out very much, you don’t talk very much and, in group conversations, you barely talk at all.
  7. When you do talk or interact with others, you often end up saying or doing silly things and embarrassing yourself.
  8. You don’t know how to react when you do or say something inappropriate and recover from the situation.
  9. You believe others find you weird or boring and they’re generally not interested in interacting with you.
  10. You have few friends, if any, maybe you see yourself as a loner, and your dating life isn’t looking too well either.

That’s it; these are the 10 key signs.

So, what’s the conclusion? How socially inept are you?

Once you’ve done an evaluation of your social aptitude, whatever level you’re at, it’s time to start thinking about some effective ways to improve your social skills, confidence and life.

The Formula for Social Success

Here are the 4 actions I encourage you to take in order to stop being socially inept and become socially savvy. In my experience, these actions will create the best results, in the shortest amount of time.

1. Get More Social Experience

Be social 300x199 The Socially Inept: Symptoms and SolutionsI know that you may want to find a way to not be socially inept anymore and afterwards go out and socialize, but unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. It works the other way around.

Social skills come with social experience. As you interact with others, you try various styles of behavior and you notice how others react, this creates reference points for your brain and it improves your social prowess.

So, begin by going out more, interacting with people more and being more talkative, even if it’s challenging. It’s by challenging yourself that you make genuine progress.

2. Build Your Social Confidence

Most problems related to being socially inept will take care of themselves if you become more confident. You’ll feel more at ease in social settings, find it easier to know what to say in a discussion and be a lot smoother.

In fact, social confidence is so important that usually when I coach a person who is socially inept, we focus 80% of the time and energy on developing this trait. And without exception, with social confidence come slick social skills as well.

Building your social confidence is a process in itself, and this article is not intended to describe it thoroughly.

However, I have a special presentation for you which does just that. Go here to check it out and learn the step by step process for becoming confident socially.

3. Hang Out With Socially Savvy Individuals and Study Them

A lot of my understanding of social dynamics, I formed by interacting with people (especially guys, since I’m a guy) who were very good at social interactions. And I studied they’re mannerisms: how they start a conversation, how they keep it going, how they talk, etc.

Soon enough, I began to see patterns. Then I deliberately incorporated several of the patterns into my own behavior. Some of these new behaviors felt weird at first, but as I got used to them, they eventually felt very natural. Model individuals who are very social and you’ll see positive results in your social life.

4. Be Persistent

You won’t put an end to being socially inept overnight. Nevertheless, if you follow smart advice and you apply it consistently, you can make incredible progress fast.

In just a couple of months you will be much more relaxed, active and smooth in social settings than ever before, and you’ll enjoy yourself like crazy. The trick is to have some patience, invest in yourself and be persistent.

By the way, for more free advice from me for overcoming social ineptitude and achieving social success, I invite you to join my social confidence newsletter.  You’ll learn a lot from it.

As your social skills and confidence grow, your social life grows with it. And your fulfillment with yourself and your happiness in life reach a whole new level.

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Jobs for Shy People: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Jobs for shy people 300x201 Jobs for Shy People: The Good, the Bad and the UglyIf you’re shy and interested in finding a job, you may be wondering: What are some good jobs for shy people?

The traditional advice concerning jobs for shy people goes something like this: since you are shy, you will feel uncomfortable dealing with people. Therefore, you should pick work where you don’t interact a lot with others.

Based on this line of thinking, several career fields and jobs with minimal human interaction are recommended for shy people, such as:

  • IT. Good jobs include: computer programmer, software developer, computer systems analyst and web designer.
  • Finance. Possible jobs are: accountant, financial analyst, credit analyst and actuary.
  • Writing. Good jobs include: author, photographer, article writer and content translator.
  • Health Care. Some nice jobs are: lab technician, researcher, equipment preparer and medical transcriptionist.
  • Blue Collar. Possible jobs are: janitor, maid, gardener, repairman, factory worker or truck driver.

While it is true that the jobs above won’t involve too much social contact so you won’t find them stressful from this perspective, there is a potentially huge problem with pursuing such a job.

In order to comprehend this, consider a few important ideas which, as a social confidence coach, I’ve discovered to be very accurate.

1. Deep down, you may actually love jobs that involve social interaction.

Many shy people I’ve coached were deep down very sociable and they loved interaction with people. But on top of that was a layer of insecurities that made them feel nervous in social situations.

However, once they managed to remove that layer, the love for social interaction became obvious. Many of them work in fields where they regularly deal with people, such as sales, recruitment, training or management, and it’s deeply fulfilling for them.

If they would have just avoided jobs that entailed social contact, they never would have ended up doing what they truly love.

2. Shy people don’t necessarily have bad social skills and good technical skills.

Many of the shy people I know are in fact very intelligent socially. They have an intuitive understanding of people and intrinsically, they have sharp social skills. It’s just that the nervousness they feel when dealing with others can inhibit these skills from manifesting.

I also know shy people who work in jobs like computer programmer or accountant and they suck at them. Because that’s not where their natural skills are; it’s just where they don’t have to face the discomfort of dealing with others.

So, it’s a big mistake to assume that if you’re shy, you automatically have an inclination towards technical jobs and lack an inclination towards working with people. You never know what’s beyond the shyness.

3. A big part of overcoming shyness is exposure to social situations.

Yes, shyness can be defeated. And right now there is an overwhelming amount of empirical evidence confirming this.

However, a very important step in defeating shyness is engaging in social interactions reputedly instead of avoiding them.

This exposure to social situations will help your brain get accustomed to them, and change your beliefs about yourself and others, thus making you more confident socially. This leads me to my next point…

4. Avoiding jobs that entail social contact just perpetuates the problem.

Shy people avoid social contact. And it’s perfectly understandable, because it’s scary. Nevertheless, considering the role of exposure to social situations in overcoming shyness, this only keeps their problem alive.

With respect to their career, shy people avoid social contact by looking for jobs that imply very little of it, it any. And they are quick to believe these are the best jobs for shy people.

I often hear shy individuals saying: “I don’t want to have to deal with others in my job. It’s demanding!”

Well, the fact dealing with others is demanding is the very reason why you should consider a job that entails dealing with others.

You can’t stay away from what scares you forever.

At one point or another, if you want to truly live your life, you need to face your fears. And a major way to do this is avoiding the “traditional” jobs for shy people and instead choosing a job that gets you interacting with people.

I’ve had coaching clients who worked, at least for a while, in jobs like door-to-door sales person or customer service representative, precisely because they were intimidating for them.

And these jobs provided a good amount of social exposure, which helped them build their social confidence.

By the way: if you want to learn how you can gain social exposure as effectively as possible and build rock-solid social confidence in literally just a few weeks, check out this presentation right now.

So: What are the best jobs for shy people?

They’re the same jobs that are best for anyone else: the jobs they have a natural inclination and passion for.

Look deep into your heart and ask yourself: “What would I really like to do if I wouldn’t be shy?”

It could be a technical job; it could be an extremely social job. Either way, that’s the path to pursue in your career.

And even if deep down, you truly want to work in a job that requires little social contact and you do have natural skills for it, you may still want for a few months to give a try to a job that requires lots of social contact. Simply because the experience in itself will be extremely useful in developing your social confidence.

Remember: the most valuable experiences in life are often the ones that you’re afraid of.

Inage courtesy of Ed Yourdon

How to Be More Talkative

How to be more talkative 277x300 How to Be More TalkativeMany shy and socially anxious people are interested in learning how to be more talkative. Some people seem to naturally be talkative and connect easy with others. They on the other hand struggle with this.

The good news is that you don’t have to struggle. Equipped with some savvy advice on how to be more talkative, you can get out of your shell and participate more in conversations with other people.

As a social confidence coach, one of my biggest delights is to see my clients speedily become more talkative under my guidance. I want to reveal to you the top four pieces of advice regarding how to be more talkative that they apply to achieve this.

1. Manage Your Expectations

People who are quiet go into social settings with flawed expectations that make it almost impossible for them to be social and talkative.

For example, the may expect that everybody should like them, or they should never say something off beam, or they should never upset others.

With these kinds of expectations, you’re bound to be shy in social situations. Because almost anything you could say risks not meeting one or more of them. This is why an important step in learning how to be more talkative is to manage your expectations.

Managing your expectations means to identify what you, consciously or subconsciously, demand of yourself and others in social interactions. And then, to correct these demands: to make them less perfectionist and more down to earth.

This will allow you to feel more at ease in social settings, open up more and enjoy conversation more.

For a step by step explanation of how to manage your expectations and take the pressure off yourself, watch this exclusive presentation I created.

2. Practice Being More Impulsive 

Another pattern in the behavior of quiet people is that they think too much before they say something.

They wanna be sure they always say the smart, funny or right thing and they never say the silly, weird or wrong thing, which is also related to the unreasonable expectations they have.

Consequently, they tend to over-think every sentence they could utter. And when you think too much about something, you always find fault in it and you often end up not saying it.

An excellent exercise for overcoming this is to practice being more impulsive during conversations. What you do is you say what pops into your head before getting a change to evaluate it thoroughly. You think less and you talk more.

As a result, not only that you’re more involved in conversations, but in the long run, you also build confidence in yourself and become comfortable with being more talkative. This is what makes the exercise cool.

3. Remove Your Limiting Beliefs

Having unreasonable expectations, thinking too much and being quiet in social settings are ultimately mere symptoms of certain beliefs you posses.

Most shy or socially anxious people I’ve met or coached don’t hold themselves in high regard, they think they must be perfect or they think others are better than they are. This is the root of their problem.

If you want to permanently eliminate your nervousness in social settings and become more talkative, you need to get to the root of the problem and fix it from there. You need to change a precise cluster of beliefs you hold.

This is not only a helpful insight regarding how to become more talkative, but also a helpful insight to transform your relationships with others completely. And from there, your whole life.

I have a special free guide for you in which I’ll show you how to remove your limiting beliefs and blast away your anxiety in social settings. Go here to check it out.

4. Treat This as a Process

Today you can become a bit more talkative than yesterday. And tomorrow you can become a bit more talkative than today. And in a few weeks, you’ll have accomplished one mind-blowing transformation.

However, you won’t turn from shy to talkative overnight. Don’t expect this, because you’re just adding to those unrealistic expectations that work against you.

The truth is that human psychology doesn’t work that way. It takes some time and practice to change. Not a lot if you do it the right way, but it does take some.

Treat this as a process, not as a quick fix. Work on becoming more talkative day by day, optimize the process, persist, and focus on making steady progress. This is the attitude that individuals who win at this game have.

I can vouch from experience that learning how to be more talkative and effectively applying this knowledge will open a lot of doors for you. You’ll be able to meet more people, make more friends, get more dates and get ahead in your career.

When you’re comfortable with expressing yourself and letting the world know you as you are, you can do great things with your life.

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How to Be Witty

How to be witty 300x204 How to Be WittySo, you want to learn how to be witty? I understand you perfectly. The witty person in a social setting is the person who gets all the attention, makes everyone laugh, is liked by everybody and has no problems connecting with others.

As a social confidence coach, I work on a regular basis with guys and girls who want to learn how to be witty and charming. I’ve discovered there is a set of precise steps that if any person takes, it can make them considerably wittier. Here they are, taken and explained one by one.

1. Practice Thinking Outside the Box  

Essentially, what makes a person witty and funny in conversations is the fact they say things that are unexpected and creative. And they’re able to say such things because their thinking is outside the box.

Therefore, developing your ability to think this way is a must step in learning how to be witty and funny. And the only true way to develop it is through practice, which can take place while in social settings but also outside of them.

Let’s say somebody asks you: “Hey, are you gonna run to the market, because I’d like to ask you to get something for me?”

Instead of answering in a basic manner “Yes, I am”, think for just a second and see if you can find a more creative way to answer. For example, you may come up with: “Well, I’m not gonna run, I’m just gonna walk to the market. But yes, that’s the gist of it.”

Now that’s a much more clever and amusing way to respond. It’s guaranteed to get at least a giggle. There is another thing though that you have to do to be able to come up with such snappy comebacks, which is the next step.

2. Really, Truly Listen

Studying how to be witty and charming is to a large extent a study in being a good listener. It’s important to really pay attention to the words and messages others convey, in order to find clever and funny ways to respond to them.

The problem is that most people don’t truly listen. They’re stuck in their heads, thinking what to say next or what’s a smart line they can use, instead of paying attention to what the other person is saying.

In a conversation, listening always comes before thinking out of the box. It’s only once you received the full message and its meaning that you may start to think how you can respond to it. Otherwise your comeback will just seem unnatural and odd.

3. Focus on Having the Right Emotional State

I’ll tell you a little secret few people know: the bulk of your ability to be witty and funny has to do with your emotional state. This is why, when a person asks me how to be witty and funny, I usually tell them that the main way is to manage their emotional state.

When you’re in a conversation and you feel confident and relaxed, trust me, you will naturally find all sorts of clever things to say.

The problem is that most persons who want to be wittier feel quite shy and nervous in most social settings. And when you feel like that, you tend to fumble, stumble, act awkward and not be able to think straight. It all goes down the drain from there.

This is why one of the best things you can do is to focus on changing your emotional state in social settings. Don’t concentrate too much on what you say; concentrate more on how you feel. If you’re in the right emotional state, you’ll also be witty and charming.

To find out precisely how you can achieve this emotional state, check out this presentation I created.

4. Stop Putting Pressure on Yourself

In discovering how to be witty, it’s crucial to realize that you can’t pressure yourself to become this way. Well, you can, but it’s simply not going to work. It’s not gonna get you anywhere.

Paradoxically, it’s only when you let go and stop demanding of yourself to be witty and charm everybody that you start to loosen up, feel more confident and then your witty, charming side comes out with ease.

The fact of the matter is that you’re probably putting needless pressure on yourself to impress in social settings. You need to start seeing social interactions as a casual thing and to stop taking them too seriously. And this is a mindset that you can develop with practice.

I have created a special presentation in which I discuss the exact steps you must take in order to develop this mindset and become confident in conversation. Go here to watch it.

Learning how to be witty and funny is a process. It’s a journey of habit-changing, self-discovery and self-empowerment.

You’ll start seeing results as soon as you begin applying the steps I’ve discussed here, but it is consistent application that creates the overall best results.

The more confident and witty you become, the more satisfying your social life becomes, and the more this whole self-growth journey feel like a worthwhile thing.

Image courtesy of  sebastien barre