You might be shy; you might not be terribly charismatic. But you’re not destined to be that way. Social skills are just that: skills. They can be learnt and honed. Learn to be more outgoing by practising when the stakes are low.
Picture: Bowy Gavid Bowie Chan
We’ve told you before that being shy is just a habit. With regular practice, you can break that habit. You can practise being a little more outgoing, and over at College Info Geek, Stefano Ganddini suggests doing it in informal settings:
you can start off by practicing when the stakes are low. These are the perfect situations to pretend to be the most confident, outgoing person you can possibly be. These are the perfect situations to pretend to be the most confident, outgoing person you can possibly be. For example, practice by striking up conversations with cashiers or waiters. Ask them how their day is going. Give them a sincere compliment. Whatever. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, the point is just to get you comfortable with saying something.
It helps to get the hang of being social in these settings, because there’s a lot less pressure and you can work out any social quirks.
I actually do this on occasion without giving it much thought. For example, I’ve always felt like I’m terrible at complimenting people. I say, “I like your shoes”, they say “thanks”, but then what? I’m not socially skilled, so I’d often follow up with awkward silence. But compliments are nice, so I wanted to get better at it. To do this, I often practise complimenting strangers: a fellow grocery shopper, for example. Or, as Ganddini suggests, a cashier or waitress. Practising doesn’t mean that the compliment isn’t genuine. But there’s less pressure, and that helps me get used to complimenting in general. The same thing could work for other social skills.
Check out the rest of Ganddini’s piece at the link below.
The Ultimate Networking Guide for Introverts [College Info Geek]