Socializing is the foundation on which human societies are based. The strength of this stone decides not just your happiness, but also your existence. Socializing makes that big difference between mere existence and living. The Merriam–Webster On-line Learner’s Dictionary defines “socialize” as “to talk to and do things with other people in a friendly way.” That sounds very easy, isn’t it? But we all know that not everybody is good at it. If socializing would have been such a breeze, many would have been spared the unpleasant tags of loners and recluses. Does that mean you, who are bad at socializing, will forever remain bad at it? Certainly not, well, not unless you decide for yourself that things will never change. If you have decided that you have had enough of finding yourself the odd one out everywhere you go, then there are a few things that you should do with immediate effect.
Improving Social Skills
Initiate — Take The First Step Yourself
If you are one of those people who always wait for someone to initiate a conversation, then it is high time you quit the habit and initiated a tête-à-tête yourself. You will be surprised to see the response this change in approach will bring. The number of acquaintances you will make in this way will, by far, outstrip the number that you would have made if you had waited for people to come and approach you. Let’s face it, not everybody has the time to come around talking to all the people that they meet. So, to make sure you do not miss out on the opportunities to meet new people, take matters in your own hands. Not only will this send out a very receptive image of yourself, you might also find a few people with similar interests whom you would otherwise have missed if you had waited for them to come and talk to you.
Non-Verbal Communication As Important As Verbal One
Even as initiating a conversation is important, also remember that socializing does not always involve speaking. In fact your most powerful weapon in any form of socializing is your smile. Not only will the use of it cause no harm to the receiver, it tips the scale heavily in your favour too. The, positivity that a smile brings cannot be equaled by any other action. But, also keep in mind that you should mean your smile. If you smile at a person and your body language indicates no genuineness, it defeats all purpose. Your body language should indicate your pleasure at talking or interacting with the person.
While In A Conversation, Listen
People like to talk about themselves. So what you can do to appear acceptable is to listen. Remember it is listening, and not hearing that matters. Listening to people will help you gain their confidence. It will help you understand the person better and also provide material for later conversations. A good listener will have listeners later.
Try To Search Out Common Interests
It is difficult to talk with people about subjects which you do not have a clue. The conversation will become a tedious affair for both you and the other person. It is, therefore, important that you find similar interests so that the conversation takes place on a common ground wherein both of you can contribute adequately if not equally.
Concentrate On The Person
If you are at a party or any other social events, it is quite probable that there might be a lot of distractions. If you are in a conversation with a person, make sure you give that person your undivided attention. Maintaining eye contact is an important aspect of any conversation. Even if you may be listening but do not maintain eye contact, the speaker will be put off. Eye contact is important even when you are the one talking. It is taken as a measure of the interest you have in that conversation.
Avoid Immediate Judgements
As much as we would like to not judge people without knowing them well and vice versa, it is a fact that there are only a few of us who can actually stop ourselves from doing it. It is practically impossible to put off judgments about others. We will eventually have to make them. So we should refrain from making judgment without getting to know the other person. Prejudices will get us nowhere while socializing.
Be Comfortable With Yourself
People like talking with someone who is comfortable being himself. Do not try pretending that you are someone else, it simply does not work. Be yourself and be comfortable with that. You might not impress everyone, but it surely is better than trying to impress someone by acting someone else but yourself.
Not Everyone Can Be Pleased
A golden rule of socializing that should be kept in mind is that no matter how much you try and improve on your shortcomings, there will remain people with whom you will get no further than casual acquaintance. But hey, is that even a problem? Not everyone can get along with everyone, and that is what makes socializing so very interesting. So when you see one such acquaintance with whom you cannot make any headway, it is better to excuse yourself and move on to meet the next person.
Experience Is The Best Teacher
Socializing with people is an easy yet intricate affair. It is a lot like walking in to a strange room and trying out the electrical switches. Some will help you with what you want, while others will be as useless as anything else. There is no harm in trying them out, but they will not bring the desired results. But such an experience surely will help you. The next time you walk in to that same room, you will know which switches to press for what you require. The same is the case with socializing. Go out, meet people and learn from them. Learn from the experience and based on them try to improve yourself.
While there are surely more ways to socialize, the bases for all of those methods lie in these few intricacies. Get them right and you are on your way to mingle like never before.