How To Be Social
Curious about how to be social? Connecting with people is a lot harder than it used to be, so pretty much everyone needs to learn at some point how to be social. Being social is an important skill that can increase your enjoyment of life. Here's how to do it:
- Create a social persona. Often, when people try to learn how to be social, they hear two pieces of advice: "be yourself" or "be like someone else." Instead of trying to "be" like anyone, just follow basic social etiquette: listen when someone speaks, reply in a socially acceptable manner and maintain an open and welcoming demeanor.
- Surround yourself with people. You tend to like things that you're exposed to on a regular basis. This means that people will start to like you simply because they see you a lot—unless, of course, you give them reasons not to. Just being in a place with people can make you more social.
- Connect through mutual interests. If you want to learn how to be social, an easy step to take is to find a social activity that you enjoy. Whether it's a sport, a community college class or a Toastmaster's club, any activity in which you get a chance to talk with other people about mutual interests can make you more social.
- Treat online social networking as a means, not an end. Social networking sites are great tools that let you be social even when you can't meet up with people in real life. However, chatting, texting or poking isn't the same as meeting face to face. Don't get so involved with avatars that you neglect the real people behind them.
- It's all about family. If you want to figure out how to be social, your family is a great place to start. Attend family gatherings if you can, or start some family traditions of your own. Don't forget that you can define "family" in any way that you like.
- Don't lose old connections. It's not always easy to stay in touch with old friends, but if you want to be social, you can't just toss away old friendships. Connect through social networks and try to make a phone call or visit when you can.
- Practice basic conversation skills. The more you practice being social, the better you'll get. Whenever you get the chance, practice plying strangers with interesting or engaging remarks. For example, you can ask someone at the grocery store whether they think the fish is fresh, or question a fellow park visitor about his or her dog.
- Be persistent. Because of the constantly moving and changing populations of the world today, people tend to be more introverted and less social than they used to be. Chances are you'll have to put a decent amount of effort into developing relationships, and you might sometimes feel like you're the one doing all the work. But if you stick with it, you will reap enormous rewards.