18 game-changing tips to instantly improve your social skills

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Are you looking to improve your social skills? Well, then, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, I’m going to share some game-changing tips to instantly improve your social skills.

I’ll be covering topics such as how to make a great first impression, how to stay confident in social situations, and how to build meaningful relationships with others.

By the end of this post, you’ll be able to take your social skills to the next level.

Get ready to socialize!

How to make a great first impression

Here’s the deal: Making a great first impression is an important part of improving your social skills.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can make a positive first impression:

1) Take the initiative

Why wait for others to initiate conversations?

If there’s someone you’d like to talk to and get to know, don’t wait around hoping that they’ll come to you. Instead, make the first move. Walk up to them and strike up a conversation.

Yes, it’s a bold move, and guess what – it makes a strong first impression!

2) Make eye contact

If you’re looking to improve your social skills and make a great first impression, then you need to understand just how important making eye contact is.

Think about someone who doesn’t make eye contact.

How does it make you feel? Uncomfortable?

How does it make them look? Nervous; socially anxious, or like they have something to hide? Or maybe it makes it seem like they’re not interested in being here talking to you and would rather be elsewhere.

The bottom line is that if you want to make a good impression and show the other person that you’re interested in what they have to say, it’s important to make eye contact. (And yes I understand that for people who are shy, it’s not going to be easy at first, but trust me, with time you’ll get used to it. It just takes practice.)

3) Use positive body language

Like eye contact – body language is an important part of socializing.

You see, your body language says a lot about how you feel and what your intentions are.

And when it comes to making a great first impression? What you say with your body language is just as important as what you say with your words.

Pay attention to your posture.

Don’t cross your arms – you want to show the other person that you’re open to them.

And remember to smile – you’re not at the doctor’s, you’re trying to make a friend!

4) Remember names

People really appreciate it when someone remembers their name. It makes them feel special, like they’re not just another in a long line of people you’ve met. It makes them feel like they have a certain quality that makes them memorable.

So, try your best to remember people’s names and use them in conversation. I personally have a hard time with this one. I’m terrible with names and it’s almost impossible for me to remember someone’s name after hearing it only once.

That’s why I have a little trick that helps me remember – an association with their name. For example, if someone’s called Mary, I’d think of the Virgin Mary. Or if someone is called Alexander, I’d think of Alexander the great…

If it’s too cheesy for you, you can find a trick of your own. Whatever works to remember people’s names.

5) Show interest

First of all, put that phone away.

I’m serious! I don’t care if you’re a millennial or a gen x, looking at your phone every few seconds when you’re in someone’s company is just plain rude.

If you want to improve your social skills and make some friends, then you need to be engaged in the conversation.

  • Show them that you’re interested in what they have to say
  • Ask them – what they do, where they’re from, what kind of music they like. etc. and actively listen to their responses
  • Laugh, frown, sigh, nod – when appropriate

6) Avoid interrupting

Come on, wait for them to finish before you speak.

I’m serious!

If you want to improve your social skills, you need to stop interrupting people mid-sentence, no matter how tempted you are to comment on something they said or relate it to your own experience.

Just be polite and wait for your turn. Can you do that?

7) Be open-minded

When you meet people who are different from you, you need to give them a chance. Don’t judge them for being different.

Consider what they have to say.

But what if you don’t agree?

That’s okay, you don’t have to agree with everyone. The important thing is to respect their right to have their own opinions and beliefs – just like you do.

Instead of focusing on your differences, try to find some common ground you can bond over.

Sounds good?

8) Use humor

Well why not?

It’s a great ice-breaker and a good way to make people feel at ease around you. And if you’re really funny, you’ll definitely make a great first impression.

Personally, if you have a sense of humor like Chandler from Friends, I’m sold.

Just try not to say anything too “out there” that could offend someone unintentionally.

Keep in mind that making a great first impression is part of building strong social skills. Keep practicing and working on your communication skills, and you will continue to improve over time.

How to stay confident in social situations

I know it can be challenging to keep your cool and remain confident in social situations, especially if you’re feeling nervous or anxious. I used to be like that for years, I was terrified about what people thought of me.

And now? Zero Fs given. Like me or don’t, the choice is yours.

Anyway, back to you. Here are several strategies that you can use to help boost your confidence and feel more comfortable in social situations.

9) Practice positive self-talk

Fear, anxiety, and negative self-talk are all things that hold you back from socializing and from being a confident person.

So what can you do?

Come up with some positive affirmations (or statements) to repeat to yourself on a daily basis.

Here are some examples:

  • “I am smart and funny. Anyone would be lucky to be my friend”.
  • “I am worthy.”
  • “I’m just as good as everyone else.”

10) Prepare in advance

This can be especially helpful if you know you’ll be attending a social event in advance. It gives you a chance to mentally prepare yourself as well as to find out more about who will be attending (maybe some people you already know?) and all that kinda stuff.

In short: Knowing what you can expect in advance will help you feel more comfortable and confident when you arrive.

11) Focus on your strengths

Here’s the truth: If you want to remain confident and at ease in social situations – you need to focus on the stuff that you’re good at.

And don’t tell me you’re not good at anything. Everyone is good at something. So, what’s your strength?

Focus on it – remind yourself of what you’re good at when you’re around other people. It will help you feel more sure of yourself and help you socialize. What’s more, it could just give you something to talk about!

12) Practice active listening

If you thought that listening meant nodding your head as you wondered what everyone thought of you, you were mistaken.

Listening, really listening to someone means being focused on what it is that they’re saying. What are they talking about?

Not only is it a good way to practice your social skills, but by engaging in the conversation, you’ll feel less self-conscious.

13) Act confident

What’s that saying again? Live it to believe it? I don’t know, maybe I just made that up…

What I’m trying to say is that if you want to be more confident, you have to act more confident.

Once you get used to acting confident, you’ll start to believe that you’re confident.

Don’t believe me? Give it a try and see for yourself.

14) Take small steps

Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day…

Start by taking baby steps if you have serious social anxiety… Before attending parties and big functions, start by going to small gatherings.

Before talking to someone important or intimidating, strike up a few conversations with people who are more approachable, maybe even shy and anxious like yourself.

Be patient with yourself because it’s gonna take some time to build your confidence. With time and practice, you’ll learn to feel more social situations.

Building meaningful relationships

So, you’ve learned to make a good first impression and to stay confident, but what about building meaningful relationships? What social skills do you need for that?

15) Be yourself

Building meaningful relationships isn’t the same as impressing some people at a party or a work meeting.

This is someone you want to be close to and have as a friend for a long time, right? That’s why they need to get to know the real you.

Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not just to impress them – be honest about your thoughts and feelings and if it’s a good match, they’ll like you for who you are.

16) Share your own experiences

You need to open up if you want to improve your social skills.

You can’t just hide away in your corner, listening to others share their stories. You need to step up and talk about yourself – share some of your own experiences and opinions. Don’t worry about being popular, the right people will agree with you.

Trust me, this is essential for forging strong relationships.

17) Find common ground

Look, we have more in common with some people and less in common with other people. That’s just the way it is. But, that doesn’t stop us from being friends with them.

So, if you find someone you like and would like to build a relationship with them, instead of thinking “we’re too different” or “they’re a Montague and I’m a Capulet” try to find some common ground like – “Hey, we both like Shakespeare”.

18) Be reliable

The final game-changing tip that I have to improve your social skills and form strong relationships is to follow through on your commitments.

  • Don’t say you’ll do something unless you plan on keeping your word.
  • And when you make plans to meet someone, don’t flake out at the last minute.

Why not? Because it makes the other person feel disrespected and like they can’t trust you.

And that’s not a good basis for a strong relationship, is it?

Jelena Dincic

Jelena has a background in photography and film-making and has spent the last few years as a content editor and copywriter. Jelena is a citizen of the world who is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She’s a foodie who loves to cook. And, as an art lover, she is always experimenting with new art mediums. When she’s not at her computer, she’s usually out and about in some forest with her dogs.

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