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 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