Socializing is one of the most important steps to success. It’s undeniable that you need to be able to communicate openly in order to make the most of your skills and career. If you’re naturally shy and withdrawn and notice that it interferes with your career or personal growth, then becoming more social should be one of your first steps.
- Expand your comfort zone and seek opportunities
For introverts or people who just aren’t used to socializing, this is the hardest step. Your comfort zone would be being by yourself or with a close friend. In order to become more social, you need to seek more opportunities to be social. For example, if you’re at a party or event, try talking to a stranger instead of just staying with people you already know well.
- Use engaging conversation starters
The key to becoming social is the way you converse. If you’ve already attempted the above step but still failed to have a good conversation with a stranger, it might be because you said things they had an autopilot response for. Instead of asking someone how they’re doing, try to ask them about the highlight of their week or day. If someone’s holding a book or waiting in line for something, you can ask them about that too.
- Take interest in others
Would you prefer to talk to someone who’s just making small talk to fill the silence or someone who seems to have a genuine interest in you? Chances are you would prefer the latter. Therefore, it can hardly be much different for other people. You’re probably just used to making small talk because that seems to be the norm. But people love to have someone take an interest in them. Ask them about childhood stories, or anything related to their current activity. What motivates them, what are their favorite activities, etc. You’d be surprised by the positive response!
- Try to find things in common with people
Everyone loves talking to someone who’s a lot like them. You’d instantly feel comfortable around people who share the same personality traits and interests as you. If the person you’re talking to isn’t that similar to you, you can put an effort into finding something in common with them. You could ask them how they know the host of the party you’re at right now, or if they’re watching the TV show that you love. It can be anything!
- Avoid negativity
Never start a conversation with a negative remark. Nobody likes people who complain continuously. Unless the situation calls for it, it’s best to keep your negativity to yourself. Instead, you should make a positive comment. Of course, refrain from making positive comments about an obviously bad situation. That would make it seem like you’re being mocking.
- If you have a hobby, make it social
Do you enjoy reading? You can join a book club! There are social opportunities for all types of people. From online communities to classes at your local institute to neighborhood clubs — the possibilities are endless. In fact, you’ll get to do something you love as you become more social!
Becoming more social is not as difficult as it seems. After all, humans are social animals. There may be a limit to the amount of social interaction you can tolerate, but it’s true that you’ll enjoy meeting new, interesting people. Follow these steps and you’ll eventually become more social!