How to Be More Social

If you tend to be shy, quiet or anxious in social situations, learning how to be more social is one of the most important things you can do.

Put into application the right know-how on how to be more social and you’ll see outstanding transformations. You’ll find it easier to make friends, get noticed and have fun in social settings.

As a social confidence coach, most of what I do is help others discover how to be more social and implement this understanding effectively. I want to share with you some of the key ideas that have helped these persons without fail.

I discuss them in more detail and also provide other powerful advice in this free presentation.

Approach Being More Social Progressively

The common mistake that people who want to be more sociable make is that they try to achieve this all of a sudden.

I know you may crave to be the person who talks with everybody at a party, tells captivating stories and mesmerizes others. And you can become that person. But not overnight.

It’s essential to approach this as a gradual process and take it one day at a time.

For example, you may start by simply getting out of the house more; or asking more questions during conversation, and once this gets easier, move on to something more challenging.

Focus on making progress, not on radically changing yourself in an instant, and you’ll get very far. Anybody who wants to teach you how to be more social and promises a total transformation in a flash is just trying to swindle you.

Learn the Rules and Play the Game

I big issue for many people who want to find out how to be more social is that they don’t have a minimal understanding of the basic social etiquette.

For example, they often don’t know if it’s OK to ask a work colleague a personal question (the answer is: yes) or when is it proper to do so (the answer is: after you’ve gotten to know each other a bit at a professional level first).

Now, I typically don’t give a lot of heed to etiquette. But there are some fundamental norms for social interaction that it’s good to understand. And once you understand them, you can feel more confident in social situations and be more outgoing.

So I encourage you to ask yourself: what do I feel I need to understand better about social interactions. Then seek this understanding you require.

Sometimes just asking some questions to a few more socially savvy acquaintances is enough. Other times you may want to actually pick up a book or do a course on social dynamics and the art of conversation.

One small warning here: don’t overdo it. The point is to learn the basic etiquette and try to comply with it most of the time. Don’t try to become the perfect conversationalist who always follows the rules. That’s impossible and frankly, it would make you quite boring.

Focus Externally, Not Internally During Social Interactions

One thing I often notice at people who are reserved is that they’re regularly inside their head while interacting with others.

They scrutinize their behavior, try to find ways impress, or criticize themselves in their inner dialog. It’s no surprise that many times they seem to not be paying real attention to the interaction.

If this sounds familiar, then a crucial step forward for you is to focus more externally during social interactions. Pay attention to the other person, what they’re saying, and sometimes observe the context you’re in. But avoid being in your head.

This switch in your focus will achieve two things: it will lower your nervousness and it will allow you to have better reactions during the interaction. In time, this will make you more confident to initiate interactions and express yourself.

Work On Your Self-Image

Whenever I coach a person and we explore their desire to be more social, we reliably discover that there is a deeper issue that doesn’t permit them to be as sociable as they would like to be.

Many times they have some sort of an inferiority complex, self-image issues or a lack of self-esteem. Having a hard time interacting with others is just a symptom, but it is not the core problem.

In this case, it’s essential to work on the deeper issue in order to get rid of the symptom. You need to change your thinking patterns about yourself, and weed out those limiting beliefs you have about you. Change your thinking, and you change your entire social life.

You’ll find more in-depth guidance on how to do this in my free presentation on conversation confidence. I recommend you go and watch it right now.

You now have the basic guidelines on how to be more social. In order to see real results, it’s important to capably put hem into practice.

Ultimately, it is proper action that separates the winners from the losers; the people who revamp their social life from the people who just complain and dream of a better day.

Image courtesy of Mark Sebastian

How to Be Yourself

Knowing how to be yourself in social interactions is essential for building a rich social life and rewarding relationships with others.

And like many other people out there, you may need to learn, or better said, re-learn how to be yourself.

Well, I’m gonna guide you on this path towards confident and authentic self-expression.

The Journey of Learning How to Be Yourself

A friend of mine once went to a therapist and told him he wants to be himself more. The therapist asked him: Well, who else do you think you are?

It’s a thought-provoking question. As a social confidence coach, I think for many people, the answer is that while they are themselves most of the time, during lots of social interactions, they put up a front.

They don’t reveal themselves authentically and instead they create this fake social person which they show to others. This persona typically tries to embody all the qualities that others will like and approve of: niceness, chivalry, humor, competence, confidence, a good mood and so on.

Usually this tendency to hide the authentic self is grounded in some kind of insecurity, perhaps an inferiority complex or a negative self-image.

Essentially, learning how to be yourself is the process of dropping this fake persona, replacing it with your genuine person, and becoming comfortable with expressing it.

Now, I’m going to teach you a 3-step process for being yourself, which has been used successfully by my coaching clients.

If you want a more thorough understanding of this process, check out this free video guide.

1. Get In Touch With Yourself

I find that many persons have lost touch with their authentic self. They’ve gotten so used to putting up a fake self in social interactions that they don’t really know who they are anymore.

They don’t know what they truly like and dislike anymore, what they want, or what their real opinions are. Sometimes, they feel seriously alienated from themselves, which can be a source of anxiety or depression.

So the first key step in learning how to be yourself is to get in touch with yourself; with your passions, values, opinions and natural inclinations. The main way to do this is through personal reflection.

Ask yourself questions designed to reveal to you your real self. For instance ask yourself:

  • What movies do I really like?
  • What are my opinions about the current economy?
  • What subjects do I enjoy to talk about?
  • What values do I treasure the most?

Take some time to really think about these things. The better you know your true self, the more you can bring it out in social interactions. This leads me to the second step.

2. Make Small Steps Forward Towards Authenticity

The big practical issue regarding how to be yourself is that most people try to do it all at once. They wanna completely drop their mask all of sudden and be totally authentic with others.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You need to identify the specific ways in which you are inauthentic in social interactions and then correct them one by one.

You need to gradually get out of your shell and become more authentic. And you do this by setting small change goals for yourself and working on achieving them.

In time, these small goals add up and soon enough, you find yourself behaving in a radically new way when dealing with others.

In fact, many people may actually say to you: “Wow, you’ve changed!” Becoming more authentic leaves external clues, and this is definitely one of them.

3. Calm Yourself Down

The vast majority of people who have a hard time being themselves feel somewhat anxious or tense when interacting with others. And when they even think about being real in a context, their anxiety shoots up.

The trick here is to calm yourself down and assure yourself that it’s OK to be yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for you, or at least not forever.

You do this through your self-talk. The fundamental skill to master is talking to yourself, in your inner dialog, in a manner that’s constructive and reassuring.

For example, when you feel anxious and the need to hide your true self, you can say to yourself something like: “Is perfectly fine to be myself. This person will probably like me as I am, and if they don’t, that’s their problem.”

This kind comforting self-talk will make the anxiety slowly dissipate and make it easier for you to be yourself during a social interaction with somebody.

You can find out more details about changing your self-talk and enhancing your confidence in my free conversation confidence guide. Make sure to check it out.

As you implement these three steps, you’ll create a positive shift in your self-image and you’ll become a lot more confident in social settings.

How to be yourself is something that’s absolutely learnable. The important thing is to take the right steps, to execute them effectively and to be committed.

I’ve seen numerous persons dramatically boost their social confidence and become truly genuine when dealing with others. If they can do it, so can you.

Image courtesy of I’ethan

How to Be the Life of the Party

You know those parties you read about in fairytales, that last three days and three nights? I just got back form a kick-ass salsa party that actually lasted that long.

In light of this circumstance, I decided to write about a social life topic I know many people are fascinated with: how to be the life of the party.

I believe that when you know how to be the life of the party, not only that you enjoy festive events more, but you enliven everybody else present as well. You become the core that attention goes to and positive energy flows from.

Here are my top four principles on how to be the life of the party:

1. Make Having Fun Your Main Focus

If your focus is on being charming and impressing others at a party, you’ve hit a dead end. Typically, there is nothing that will get you in your head more than concentrating on obtaining some form of validation from others.

The individuals who are naturally the life of the party, interestingly enough, don’t focus on being the life of the party. They just want to have fun and try to find as many ways to do so as possible.

Their entire attitude at a party stems from this mindframe. Paradoxically, in learning how to be the life of the party, you need to forget about impressing and focus on entertaining and enjoying yourself instead.

2. Talk with Lots of People

If you study the social dynamics at parties, you notice that the person who is seen as the life of the party is the person who behaves in a highly social way. Well, you want to be that kind of a person.

When you’re interacting with just about everybody in the room, you’re meeting people, shaking hands, telling stories, cracking jokes and being outgoing, you boost your mood and you’re spreading it to everybody around you.

Even if you’re somewhat shy, you can still get sociable by making baby steps. Start by talking with the people you already know, then with people you don’t know but seem really friendly, and so on. In no time, you can end up talking with everybody at a party.

3. Dance, Learn To Dance and Dance Some More

In my experience, most good parties tend to involve some music and dancing. The parties that are strictly conversational in nature often end up being quite a bore. Somehow, movement and dancing seems to be an integral part of social fun.

So, it’s time to get your dancing groove on. The most valuable piece of advice I can give you here is: don’t just sit in a corner with your arms crossed and watch others have fun. Rather, be on the dance floor, dancing like it’s 1999.

If you generally feel somewhat self-conscious when you’re dancing, I can totally relate to that. From my perspective, there are two ways out:

  1. Realize that people are not looking at you and making fun of your dancing (it’s a party not a dance contest) and thus, relax;
  2. If you really believe that you’re a terrible dancer and have a hard time getting over it, get some dancing lessons.

4. Do Stupid Stuff

Think of a party as your one chance to do almost anything you want and get away with it. In a party environment, many of the conventional social norms no longer apply and you can get away with doing lots of stupid shit.

So, embrace this opportunity. Don’t be the dreary person who talks about the state of the world all night long. Be the person who sprays champagne on everybody, and jumps in the swimming pool with their clothes on.

Trust me: the more stupid stuff you do at a party, the more you animate that party and draw people towards you. As long as you don’t end up doing something illegal, in my view, just about anything else goes.

Think about it this way: you only have one life to live. You might as well enjoy it and help others enjoy it as well. Having fun is one of the most important things you can do. Therefore, learning how to be the life of the party matters first and foremost because it increases the fun factor all around.

Image courtesy of sfmission

How to Be More Outgoing

If you’re somewhat shy or introverted, then learning how to be more outgoing is one of the smartest self-improvement steps you can make. There is no better way to solidify your social life than by comprehending how to be more outgoing and applying it

In my social confidence coaching practice, I frequently teach people how to be more outgoing and social, and I help them make real life progress in this area. I’ve realized that being social is much more a matter of attitude than aptitude, and that the attitude part needs to be handled above all.

Step 1: Outgoing = Out Going

One potentially illuminating way that I like to look at the word ‘outgoing’ is by dividing the two composing words and making it ‘out going’.

You could take that phrase literally, as in going out of the house more; because many of the individuals who aren’t very outgoing and social spend unordinary amounts of time indoors, alone, and this feeds their shyness.

However, to me it makes more sense to look at it figuratively. Thus, being ‘out going’ means putting your personality out there instead of keeping it hidden, it means expressing yourself fully.

There are multiple things you can do to achieve this. I recommended you start by watching my free presentation on Conversation Confidence. This insightful presentation will reveal to you the real key to gaining confidence and the proven formula for being more outgoing. Go here to check it out.

To assist you understand how to be more outgoing, I will list here some of the most effective ways that I know. These are ways I’ve used myself, and are recurrently used by my coaching clients.

Step 2: Break It Down and Then Put It into Practice

Do you know this joke: How do you eat an elephant? One piece at a time. Well, this concept applies extremely well for becoming more outgoing and sociable.

When you get frustrated with having few fulfilling friendships, it’s temping to just try to burst out and instantly become that super-sociable person you want to be. Unfortunately, human psychology doesn’t work that way. You don’t just change completely at once.

Real, organic change in how sociable you are happens by setting gradual steps for being more outgoing, and taking these steps one by one. For example, you may start by asking more questions in group settings, and when you become comfortable with that, you continue with making more statements in group settings.

In time, step by step, you’ll eventually find yourself becoming a lean, mean, socializing machine. In learning how to be more outgoing and social, it’s crucial to understand that this gradual process is what works best and to stick to it dutifully.

Step 3: Lower The Bar

One trait most shy people have in common is that they set lofty social standards for themselves. They demand of themselves to make a great first impression, to be liked by all, and they think that if it doesn’t happen it’s a tragedy.

Even individuals with very sharp social skills can’t rise up to such idealistic standards. Shy people only torment themselves by imposing this kind of standards on themselves.

For this reason, one of the best things you can do to become more outgoing is to lower the bar. If your standard for success is to get everybody to like you, then you’re bound to be shy. But if your standard is simply to have conversations with new people, then you’re bound to be more sociable.

The vital thing you may need to realize is that you don’t have to demand that much of yourself socially. You’re only human, you will connect well with some people, you won’t connect with others at all, and that’s absolutely OK. Accept it and live your life.

Step 4: Manage Your Self-Talk

I have a (rhetorical) question for you: How does a person set the social bar high for themselves?

The answer is that they do so through their self-talk. They say to themselves in their inner dialog “I must impress this person; they must like me” and other intelligent stuff like that.

Well, people who aren’t very outgoing tend to have many other dysfunctional ways of talking to themselves than the ones that create unrealistic standards. If you analyze their inner dialog, you’ll discover that it’s full of crap.

Thus, in learning how to be more outgoing and social, a very big step is managing your self-talk. This means identifying the stupid, unrealistic or dysfunctional things that you say to yourself and willingly correcting them. I talk in more detail about this in my confidence video presentation.

As you do so in a systematic way, not only that your habitual self-talk changes, but the underlying beliefs change as well. This helps you gain confidence and interact easier with other people.

As you become more outgoing, your people skills get put into practice more and they develop as well. This makes you even more outgoing and you get a positive cycle going, which ends up visibly enriching your social life. And the best part is that in this entire journey, the sky is the limit.

Image courtesy of NicoleAbalde

How to Be Charismatic

Charisma is a sexy word and a sexy trait. I believe that knowing how to be charismatic can greatly enhance your relationships, your career and your social life, so I couldn’t pass up writing about it.

What Is Charisma?

Charisma is hard to define exactly, which is why, interestingly enough, many definitions will actually mention that it’s hard to define exactly.

This is probably because there are so many kinds of people, with so different personalities that are commonly labeled as being charismatic. What do Gandhi and Oprah have in common? Not much, but they’re both considered highly charismatic.

That’s just it with charisma: it’s not one trait, it is rather a label we use to describe a wide range of personality traits. Basically, anytime someone makes us feel warm and tingly inside on a consistent basis, we call that person “charismatic”.

The critical thing all charismatic people have in common is a strong appeal to others which enables them to connect with others and influence them at a deep emotional level. For this reason, I think that knowing how to be charismatic is a noteworthy thing. This being said…

Here’s How to Be Charismatic

Now, there may be many types of charisma, but there is a common thread running through all of them. Understand this common thread and you’re on your way to consciously developing your charisma and skyrocketing your people skills.

As a social confidence coach, charisma is one of the most fascinating traits for me to study. I believe there are five important things you need to do in order to be charismatic.

1. Fucking Relax!

Every charismatic person I’ve ever known or studied is very comfortable in social situations. They are able to relax around people and have chill interactions, or else they are able to fake it really, really well.

Now, I want to emphasize that this is rare: most people aren’t fully relaxed and themselves in most social interactions, with the exception of those with close friends and family. There is a certain degree of discomfort they feel in social interactions. Learn to get over that, and you send out a radically different vibe.

If this is an issue for you, check out my free conversation confidence guide. In this guide, I’ll reveal to you the secrets to becoming confident and relaxed in social settings. Go here to learn more about it.

2. Be Present

Another thing charismatic people have in common is that they are present in social interactions. They’re not in their heads, hyper-analyzing the interaction or imagining where it will go. They are in the moment.

This is extremely important because being in the moment allows you to respond to what’s happening in the interaction in a calibrated and at the same time spontaneous way. Whenever you catch yourself being in your head when interacting with someone, stop yourself and practice being present.

By the way, my free conversation confidence guide will help significantly you with this as well.

3. Listen At A Deep Level

Deep listening means not only paying attention to what the other person is saying, but also being able to hear what has not been said, but it is there. It means understanding the needs certain words convey or understanding the emotions certain body language reflects.

If you want to learn how to be charismatic, this is a skill you simply have to master. A deep interpersonal connection happens when you are listening at a deep level. It’s essential to really pay attention to the other person and read the more subtle messages beyond the simple words.

4. Be Expressive

Charismatic people can convey their own feelings and ideas in a powerful way. They are able to state things clearly, and they use suggestive words that elicit powerful emotions. They also put their voice and their body language into it, thus enhancing the power of words.

This expressive style of communication can be learned. The main thing is to consciously focus on using more and better both the verbal and non-verbal channel, in order to get across your message.

5. Develop Your Social Intelligence

This is a tricky one. Charisma is to a large extent the result of understanding social dynamics, of understanding how people behave around other people, why they do so and what consequences it has.

A person with good social intelligence is able to adapt their social behavior to produce effective results. You truly comprehend how to be charismatic and you can be so when you have a well developed social intelligence.

The five points above are much more than simple action steps. They are each attitudes, habits and people skills in themselves.

You want to know how to become charismatic? Here’s how: You put in the time and energy to get a fine-tuned understanding of these five traits and to develop them.

Charisma is not that illusive trait people make it out to be. It has a structure; it can be learned to a big degree. If you put in the work, you see the results.

Image courtesy of Gregory Bastien