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 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 I Eat and Stay In Shape

I cannot believe that up until now, I have not written an article here about the way I eat. Yes, this blog is primarily centered on people skills, but healthy eating and living is such a big deal for me that it’s about time you and I have a talk about it.

In short: I’m going to share with you the way I eat to stay healthy and upbeat. It’s a method I’ve been implementing for the past year, after years of trial and error on other paths. It is creating impressive results for myself and many other people.

The method is primal eating and it is part of a whole primal lifestyle. You can find The Primal Blueprint, the book that fittingly details this way of eating and living, here.

My Evolution of Eating

When I was 19, while reading the chapter on health and energy in a Tony Robbins book, I had the epiphany that a good health is really important, and I decided to make being in tip-top shape a priority for myself. In time, this decision got reinforced continually.

Later, I became a permissive vegetarian, as what I was reading suggested that vegetarianism is the best way of eating and staying healthy. At that point, as a newbie, it made sense.

The only problem was that after a while, I noticed that my energy level wasn’t very high and my mood wasn’t too good either. Also, as I kept reading and researching the topic of healthy eating, I started to question the validity of vegetarianism from a scientific perspective.

For example, I started wondering: If vegetarianism is our natural way of eating, why do most vegetarians have deficiencies in B12 vitamin and need to take supplements? If we are naturally vegetarians, then eating vegetarian should give us all the nutrients we require.

As I continued my research, I stumbled a couple of years ago on the paleo lifestyle and the primal lifestyle. They are similar in nature, although paleo focuses more on eating while primal focuses on the broad range of lifestyle choices: eating, exercise, sleeping etc.

At first, I didn’t pay too much attention to these two lifestyle choices. But the more I read, the more I stumbled upon positive reviews of them. The data started to stack up and it was inspiring.

Eventually, about one year ago, I began to dig into the topic of primal eating and living: books, blogs, scientific research, case studies and so on. I was stoked by what I read, and I quickly decided to go primal. It was one of the best health and fitness decisions I ever made.

Eat Like a Caveman

The crux of primal eating is this: our species (Homo sapiens) has been around for about 1.5 million years. However, civilization has only been around for about 10.000 years, which is like a day within one year if we scale it down. On top of this, heavily processed and genetically modified food has only been around for a few decades.

From on evolutionary perspective, our bodies did not have the time to adapt to this new way of eating and living. For the most part, we still digest food the way out ancestors did back in the Paleolithic period.

Thus, if we want to stay healthy, be in shape, have massive energy and live long, fit lives, we need to eat the way our ancestors did for 99% of our existence as a species. That’s what we are biologically adapted to.

So, what did our Paleolithic ancestors eat? Well, they were hunter-gatherers. They ate mostly meat, fish, eggs, fruit, leafs and vegetables. In these foods, they found all the nutrients they needed to live a healthy life. And we modern humans can as well.

Mark Sisson, the creator of the Primal Blueprint sums it up nicely in this short video.

The Raw Results

We’ve all heard it before that fruits and vegetables are good for us, so no surprise there in primal eating. The counterintuitive advice is to eat lots of meat and to avoid grains. This is where primal eating seriously strays from vegetarianism.

Prior to going primal, I used to eat lots of bread (whole grain), pasta, cereals and cookies. In other words: grain based food. I also avoided meat. However, in the last year, I’ve reversed this process completely.

Looking at the results, it’s been one of the best dietary decisions I have ever made. For starters, I have more energy than I ever had. I am able to focus a lot better, work until late and not feel tiered.

I sleep less, live more intensely and I feel really good psychologically. I have nights when I go salsa dancing and I dance almost non-stop for the entire night. In the morning, it feels like I just had a light workout.

Personally, I can’t illustrate any results related to losing weight. I’m thin as a rail and dropping pounds has never been my concern. However, I do have a friend who decided to give the primal blueprint a try and managed for the first time in years to lose weight and keep it off without starving himself.

Beyond my results, the number of personal stories from people who switched to a primal lifestyle and managed to lose weight, get in shape, gain more energy and boost their mood is staggering.

What I really like about primal eating is that it’s very well researched. It is very convincing from a rational, scientific perspective and it’s in line with the top research in nutrition (which is often not the research most of us find out about).

A Primal Blueprint Review

I find the logic of primal eating and living impenetrable. At this point, I can’t believe so many people still don’t have a clue about it and they’re wasting their lives counting calories, exercising like mad and trying to get in shape by applying narrow-minded nutritional advice.

I strongly encourage you to check out the Primal Blueprint, as I give it a highly positive review, and to try primal living. In fact, I believe it may turn out to be one of the best lifestyle decisions you have ever made.

Mark Sisson, the author of the book, provides in it a complete map for healthy eating, exercising, sleeping and living. The entire blueprint is rigorously researched and it literally makes sense from any angle you look at it.

Even more, primal eating is less grueling that vegetarianism or any diet you can ever go on. It’s something to learn about and implement as a life-long eating strategy.

Image courtesy of  ionea76

How to Improve Conversation Skills

I see conversation as the glue that sticks people together. If you pay attention to how people bond, socialize and build partnerships, you’ll notice that it’s done mostly through the art of conversation.

It’s a very big surprise to me that throughout most of our formal education, we don’t learn how to improve conversation skills, because I believe they are some of the top skills one can have in our society.

Going beyond formal education, I find most books and courses on how to improve conversation skills to be crammed with platitudes and simplistic advice.

Since in my work as a social confidence coach I help my clients apply effective ways to improve conversation skills, I’m going to share with you the key action steps that, in time, I’ve noticed to contribute the most to mastering conversation.

Start with Conversation Confidence

The majority of persons who contact me and tell me they lack conversation skills, I usually find out upon a thorough inspection that first and foremost, they lack conversation confidence.

It’s not that they don’t have something to say or they don’t know how to converse; it’s that they lack the confidence to do so. They’re afraid they’ll say the wrong thing, come off as awkward or make fools of themselves. Thus, they end up being coy in social interactions.

Many times, 80% of their problem would be solved if they would get conversation confidence. But since they misdiagnose their situation, they seek to learn how to improve conversation skills instead, and they alienate themselves in this quest.

If you lack conversation confidence, start by getting this handled. Your lack of confidence is based on perfectionism and limiting beliefs, and it is in fact the primary cause of conversational deficiency. Change your thinking; your conversation skills will follow.

Because there are a lot of things to be said on this, I have a free conversation confidence guide for you in which I’ll teach you a 3-step process to become confident in conversations. Go here to get it.

Get More Social

I frequently hear people who struggle in their social interactions saying that they want to learn how to improve their conversation skills so they can then go out and socialize more. They believe if they just get the right techniques, the social animal within them will come out.

In reality, it works exactly the other way around. You go out more, despite your shortage (real or imagined) of conversation skills, you participate in social activities, you interact with lots of people, you make conversation, and as you do so, your skills sharpen.

This may be an uncomfortable reality because in entails that you face your shyness and socialize more, but it’s the only viable option. The primary way to sharpen your social skills is exposure to social situations.

This exposure, along with a constructive mindset, will gradually make your conversation style self-regulate and it will become more engaging, charismatic and powerful. It’s mostly a matter of practice and desire.

Balance the Energy

Think of a conversation as an exchange of energy. Well, whenever such an exchange takes place, balance is always important. You want the energy going one way to match the energy going the other.

This balance is often the missing ingredient in discussions between two people. In many conversations:

  • One person does most of the talking, while the other does most of the listening;
  • One person is whining, while the other is providing support;
  • One person is the entertainer, while the other is the entertained.

Whenever I see or I am in a conversation like that, I feel like there’s something missing and the social dynamic there is not sustainable.

Like most things in life, good conversation implies balance. It is through balancing the energy in discussions that you become able to make them fruitful for both/all the persons involved.

Master Self-Expression

From my perspective, the better you become at communicating opinions, feelings and experiences using language, the more interesting conversation you can make.

Again, confidence plays a big role. So, make sure to check out my free conversation confidence guide to get this area handled.

I find that many people have a very generic and vague way of expressing themselves. They talk in clichés, and they don’t put the richness of their inner world into the outer world. They may be really interesting people, but because they lack in verbal skills, few others ever find out.

Practice expressing yourself with words. Paint vivid and rich pictures in the minds of your audience, using words. This is something I’ve focused on mastering in many of my public speaking experiences and I can tell you that it’s just a matter of practice, repetition and persistence.

With the four conversation pillars above in place, making artful conversation is not hard at all. It’s easy, fun and something you look forward to every day.

In the process of learning how to improve your conversation skills, keep these pillars in mind and give them priority. They will take you and your social life very far.

Image courtesy of moriza

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

Why You Struggle With Changing Habits and How to Change This

I have a question for you: how often do you find yourself in a situation where: 1) you know you should change, 2) you even want to change, and yet 3) you don’t change?

If you’re like the majority of us, I’m going to guess that your answer is: “Quite often, damn it!” Join the group, take a seat and pay attention, because the solution to your predicament is close, very close.

It’s Not about Want or Willpower

The standard view in our society is that if a person truly wants to change and to get somewhere, they won’t just try, they’ll make it happen. And if they don’t change in a reeeeally long period of time, then they either don’t want it badly enough or they lack willpower.

Like Yoda says: “Do or not do. There is no try”. Right?

Well, NO. It turns out that the little fella is full of bullshit.

Not changing in the direction you chose is not a problem of want or willpower. You are not lazy, stupid or unmotivated for finding it quite hard to quit smoking, lose that extra weight, spend less time online or change your communication style.

You’re only human, and there is no need to feel guilty. It turns out that the habitual behaviors of human beings are very much influenced by personal, social and situational factors. Thus, the real key to change is not to try harder, it is to improve your change strategy.

How to Actually Change

This being said, I invite you to watch the 53 min. video below for a powerful lesson on the topic. It’s a recent Google Talk where Joseph Grenny shares the real science of changing habits. I came across it yesterday and I found it mind-blowingly smart.

Seriously, this talk could be one of the best pieces of personal development information you’ll ever get. So if you skip it, I’ll personally kick your ass.

Image courtesy of Krikit

How to Impress a Girl

One of the most popular questions among guys is: How to impress a girl?” The desire for men to be successful with the opposite sex is undeniable. Frequently, it is much stronger than the desire to make money, advance their career or live a healthy life.

Considering this, I want to give you my perspective as a communication coach and as a guy on how to impress a girl. I don’t think this inquiry has a simple and straightforward response, but there are some key points that you want to take in and focus on primarily.

If you’re expecting ideas for romantic gifts or cute compliments to impress a girl, this is not it. First of all, because I believe such methods are short-lived, and secondly because any other guy out there who’s not retarded can easily do the exact same things.

I’m going to take a broader and deeper approach on the topic of how to impress a girl. So, buckle up.

How to Impress a Girl Is the Wrong Question

In my perspective, if you’re wondering how to impress a girl, you’ve gone astray. A much better question to ask is the subtly different question “how to impress girls?” I firmly believe the best way to impress a girl is to develop an attractive personality and communication style that girls react to in general.

If you’re focusing just on finding ways to astonish one particular girl, this will probably get you to start obsessing about her, to act desperate and needy around her, and to become a chameleon in order to create a positive impression on her. Of course initially, it may just seem like you’re being nice.

On the other hand, if you learn to impress girls in general, this creates a shift in your attitude. You have more options, become more self-assured and interestingly enough, this is what has the best chances of wooing that particular girl you like.

Dress for Seduction Success

Yes, you look does matter. However, notice I said your “look”, not your “looks”. Your look goes beyond your body and face constitution (your looks). It entails the way you project yourself visually, through clothing and accessories.

While you can only change your looks to some extent, your look is completely under your control. And creating an appealing look for yourself, although it’s not a necessity, will definitely help you a lot in impressing girls.

Here are the main things I believe you want to know and apply in terms of personal fashion:

  • How to choose high quality clothes (not the same as expensive), that fit you really well;
  • How to match clothes in terms of colors, fabric and style and how to add the proper accessories;
  • How to express your personality and stand out in a seductive way, using the way you dress.

Lead

One of the most attractive male traits is leading. This trait is the raw manifestation of masculine confidence and power. In the process of learning how to impress a girl or more, this is a chapter you simply cannot skip.

Now, leading in this context doesn’t mean being the CEO of an international corporation or the president of the United States (although I’m positive that would be of assistance). It means the strong inclination to lead in the interactions with a girl.

Leading is a behavior, not a status. Leading in interactions with a girl involves making decisions quickly, taking the initiative and being firm but gentle. It means saying “Let’s go out for drinks this weekend” instead of “Amm… would you like to… I don’t know… go out sometimes, or something?”

Know Psychology

Myself and many of my close male friends have a huge passion for psychology. So I can’t pass on the opportunity to talk about knowing psychology, because I’ve seen this trait at work numerous times and I think it’s an incredible trait to have as a guy.

Girls simply adore applied psychology. They are fascinated by this topic. Whenever you give a girl the opportunity to learn something interesting about human psychology, to understand herself or others better, she’ll be blown way.

I really encourage you to make the next book you read a book on human psychology; something that’s very practical and preferably not too scholastic. Especially if you’re a guy who spends most of his time reading about Java programming or nuclear physics, this can change your conversations with girls significantly.

There are many other ways to impress a girl. I just pointed out the ones I believe create the foundation of a naturally attractive and impressive guy.

In the end, effectively learning how to impress girls is not done by accumulating tips, tricks, lines and gimmicks to use. It is done by developing your people skills, your confidence and your personality in a seductive direction.

Image courtesy of sebastien.b

How to Survive a Crappy Job Until You Find a Better One

A crappy job is no joking matter. Unfortunately, a plethora of people are spending more than one third of their time every week, month and year, working in such a job.

I’m not talking here about a job that’s just boring or unfulfilling. I’m talking about an entire work environment that’s psychologically debilitating. Think manipulative management, lack of ethics and sabotage of your advancement.

The logical and obvious step when you’re in a crummy job is to look for a better one (hopefully, a lot better) and to get out of there as soon as possible. You want to kill your job before it kills you.

Now, the practical challenge is that finding even a decent job, especially in some fields, can take 3 to 6 months and sometimes longer. So before killing your job, if you rely on it financially, you may need to tolerate it for a while.

As I often coach people in this kind of a situation, I want to share with you three of the most effective strategies I know for surviving a crappy job until you find a better one.

1. Reduce the Contact with Your Job As Much As You Can

Until you find a new and better job, you want to dedicate the least amount of time possible to your current one. Take plenty of days off, try to frequently get to work late and leave work early. This serves a triple role:

  1. It reduces your contact with a toxic work environment;
  2. It gives you time to relax, distress and recharge your batteries;
  3. It gives you more time to invest in looking for another job.

I’m a believer in integrity, but when you’re dealing with a crummy job and toxic relationships in the workplace, it is guerrilla warfare. Anything goes. So, use just about any tactic available to diminish the contact with you job.

This is a good time to catch every known type of flu out there, plus a couple of unknown types. It’s a good time to generally feel sick very often. On many occasions, you may not even have to fake it that much.

2. Set up Compensation Mechanisms

If your work causes you distress, exhaustion and lack of fulfillment, then you don’t want any other area of your life to add to this. On the contrary: in order to keep your mental and emotional balance, you want to compensate in your time away from work.

The period when you’re dealing with an almost intolerable job is a very good one to:

  • Develop nurturing relationships and use them for support;
  • Get involved in plenty of fun and relaxing activities (go to a spa, play some paintball, get plenty of sleep);
  • Do meaningful things in whatever free time you have (volunteer for a cause you believe in).

A particularly good idea during such a period is to eliminate as much as you can of the outside work responsibilities than can be stressful. Try to either dump them altogether or delegate them to somebody else.

Case in point: I’ve seen married people who in a period of real torment at work told their caring spouse about their work problems and asked them to take on more of the household responsibilities for a while, until they’ll be in a better job. If the spouse does care, they can help tremendously.

3. Stop Taking Work So Seriously

It’s crucial to realize the following point: when you’re set on leaving a job and will do so in a few months tops, apart from your short term check, the stake is pretty much gone. Being a good employee is no longer required. If you don’t, what is your employer going to do? Fire you?

First off, even if they do fire you, it will take months before your insolence accumulates, becomes evident and the decision to fire you is made. By that time, chances are you will already have another job offer.

Second of all, you’d be surprised how much shit you can get away with. I’ve met many people who are total assholes at work and they haven’t even come close to losing their job. They may get criticized by their boss or peers every now and then, but that’s pretty much it.

Fundamentally, surviving a crappy job is about strategy and attitude. Equipped with these two tools, you can deal with any job, for a while. And when you accept a new job, you’ve better not make the same mistakes again.

Image courtesy of Stepan Mazurov

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