Since you are looking for ways to be more social, you have already taken the most important step towards being more social by recognising you need to change.
Congratulations! The next bit is what people assume is the difficult part, beginning to change to become more social. In fact, the opposite is true, this part is easy with a little guidance in the right direction. It can even be fun to try out some of these techniques, not to mention incredibly rewarding when you start to see the benefits.
Best Ways to be More Social
People are generally much more responsive to people who are happy. You need to smile more when you meet other people, it really helps to put them at ease in the conversation, making it more likely for the conversation to flow better.
A good way to show you how much difference this makes to how people perceive you is to use a mirror. Look at your face when you are relaxed. Not smiling, not frowning, just your “normal” face. Now try smiling. It not only changes your mouth, but your whole face lifts when you smile. More importantly, as well as the physical change to your face, smiling naturally makes you feel better about yourself, meaning your body language changes and the energy you give off is different. These are all things that people are attracted to in social situations.
I’m guessing since you are reading about ways to be more social that being social isn’t something that comes naturally to you. I’m not a natural guitar player, but I want to be better at it. So what do I do? I practice. And it’s no different for being more social.
Visit the mall, walk down the street, anywhere there lots of strangers. Stop someone and ask for the time*. Try asking for directions. If you have a camera or camera phone ask someone to take a photo of you. Anything to get you talking to strangers. These small interactions is a great way to practice striking up conversation. You will soon realise it’s really not difficult.
*NOTE: Make sure you aren’t wearing a watch when you ask for the time as you will look like a lunatic. Not many people want to be social with a lunatic.
This is a similar idea to the previous point because it involves practising being social. Asking strangers for the time of day is a great start, but where do you go from there? You can’t really expect to start a conversation to practice your social skills any further than that initial strike up of dialogue. That’s where the Internet comes in!
Meeting people in online chatrooms, forums, social media, etc is a really good way of practising prolonged conversations with strangers. The beauty with this is if you run out of things to say you can use Google to find some interesting news topics,share links to funny cat videos on YouTube, or if you are really stuck just leave and find another person to chat with.
You will become better at thinking of questions to ask, and knowing straight away the answers to typical questions people may ask you without having to stop and think. There is also no face to face meeting, so you don’t have the pressure of someone looking at you while trying to think of things to say. Just relax and start to type. You will be amazed at how good you already are at being social when you are allowed time to relax.
Of course, sometimes being more social is easier said than done. If you feel you need more help in social situations check out this online self help guide to overcoming shyness
Bonus information on ways to be more social
Social activity and confidence can only be honed through experience – there’s no PhD in being good at talking to people, unfortunately. Your own experiences in life are usually decided by the actions of other people, and this means that your own social confidence will be linked to that as well. If you constantly feel on the outside of social circle and work groups, then it’s time to make a structured change to the way that you approach social situations.
Living life on the periphery of being involved with other human beings is a terrible thing, and with some hard work and determination you can avoid problem in the future. The best way to do that depends on your own mindset and personality, but if you are stuck for ideas then these simple solutions might help you do just that;
Get Out There
One thing that people who aren’t social don’t do enough of, obviously, is meet new people. The fear of rejection outweighs the benefits of making a new friend for most of us. Listen, even if you live in a small town you could still have thousands of people to potentially befriend – one knockback from somebody isn’t going to be the end of the world. Some people just do not see eye-to-eye, so don’t let the fear hold you back.
Getting out there and talking to somebody new and introducing yourself with some basic small talk can be enough to get you both chatting away for what could be hours. The conversation does not need to leave you with their contact details and blood type, but just enough to get yourself remembered is a good way to get started.
Social shyness and even anxiety can usually be put into the same basket. When you are asked a question by somebody in a social function, or even just one-on-one, how is your reply typically? Is it detailed and exhaustive with plenty of eye contact? Or is it more a slight mumble, some platitudes and a look around the room for someone to save you?
For most people who want to be more sociable, it’s the second. If you feel like you regularly find yourself making minimal eye-contact and are struggling to answer questions in the right way, then you need to work on your stock answers. For example, “So, what do you do for a living?” can be a much more diverse answer than what your job title is!
These are the two easiest ways to get you feeling more social. They might be logical and quite typical, but when you are suffering from social anxiety problems the easiest way to get started is by being logical. Anxiety causes things like clarity & logic to go for a little walk out of your mind, so re-introducing them to your thought process can really help you relax in social situations. Don’t let your fear of saying something stupid or making a mistake paralyze you!