8 things people with high social intelligence always do when talking to others

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Ever meet someone who’s just really good at talking to people?

They make friends easily and everyone seems to like them.

It’s like they have a special skill for getting along with others.

Good news—you can learn how to be that person, too. 

In this article, we’ll talk about 8 simple things that people who are great at socializing always do.

These tips can help you in any situation, whether you’re chatting with a friend or meeting someone important for work.

Let’s get started. 

1. Listen More Than They Speak

You know the old saying, “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak”?

Well, people with high social intelligence take this to heart.

They know that listening is the key to really understanding someone.

And when people feel understood, they feel valued, and that’s how strong connections are made.

Listening doesn’t mean just waiting for your turn to talk. It means really hearing what the other person is saying.

It’s about paying attention not just to the words, but also to the feelings and thoughts behind them.

By listening closely, you can catch the little details that most people miss, like the tone of voice someone uses, or the way their expression changes.

When you’re a good listener, people will feel like they’re the only person in the room.

They’ll appreciate that you’re giving them your full attention, and that makes them more likely to trust you and want to spend time with you.

So the next time you’re in a conversation, try focusing more on listening and less on what you’re going to say next.

You’ll be surprised how much better your conversations will go. 

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

One of my favorite things to do when I’m meeting new people or catching up with old friends is to ask questions that can’t be answered with just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.


Because it opens the door for a deeper, more interesting conversation.

People with high social intelligence have this tactic down to a science.

Open-ended questions are the kinds that require more than a one-word answer.

Instead of asking, “Did you have a good weekend?”, you could say, “What was the highlight of your weekend?”

This invites the other person to share more about their experiences, thoughts, and feelings.

It shows you’re genuinely interested in getting to know them better, not just making small talk.

I remember once asking a coworker about their weekend plans, and instead of the usual “Oh, just catching up on some rest,” they opened up about a hiking trip they were planning.

That one question turned into a full-blown conversation about outdoor adventures, shared interests, and even led to us organizing a group hiking trip!

Asking open-ended questions helps people open up and share more about themselves.

And when they do, not only does the conversation get more interesting, but you both get a chance to build a more meaningful connection.

So, when you find yourself in a conversation, skip the yes-or-no questions and dive a little deeper—you’ll be amazed at where it can lead. 

3. Be Authentic, Not Perfect

Nobody likes a know-it-all or a fake. You can usually tell when someone is putting on a show, and it’s a turn-off.

People with high social intelligence understand that perfection is not the goal—authenticity is.

Now, I’m not saying you should overshare or be brutally honest about every little thing.

But there’s value in letting your guard down and showing the real you.

This could mean admitting you don’t know something instead of pretending you do, or sharing a small personal story that relates to the topic at hand.

I’ve got to tell you, some of the most meaningful conversations I’ve had came when I dropped the act and was just myself.

Once, I was super nervous about a job interview and decided to be upfront about it.

Guess what? The interviewer told me they were nervous the first time they were in my seat, too.

That honest moment broke the ice, and we had a great, real conversation.

Being authentic helps people see the human behind the words. It creates a level of trust and comfort that can’t be achieved through any rehearsed line or practiced smile.

So, drop the act. Be yourself. You might stumble or say the “wrong” thing sometimes, but that’s okay.

Those raw, unscripted moments are often where the real magic happens in a conversation.

4. Use Body Language Wisely

Be mindful of your body language. Seriously, it’s like a secret code that can totally change the way your conversations go.

People with high social intelligence know how to use body language to their advantage, making others feel more at ease and understood.

We’re talking about simple things here, like making eye contact when someone is speaking to you.

It’s a non-verbal way of saying, “I’m listening, and what you’re saying matters to me.”

Or consider your posture; standing or sitting up straight shows you’re engaged and attentive.

Let’s not forget the power of a smile. A genuine smile can be a conversation starter all by itself. It breaks the ice and sets a positive tone.

But hey, don’t go around grinning like a Cheshire cat 24/7—that can come off as insincere. The key is to be natural.

If you’re in a meeting or a more formal setting, even small gestures like nodding can go a long way.

It shows you’re following along and agree with what’s being said.

Just these tiny tweaks to how you hold yourself can make a huge difference in how people perceive and interact with you.

So when you’re talking to someone, take a second to check in on your body language.

Are your arms crossed, or are they open? Are you slouching or sitting up straight?

A little awareness goes a long way, and your conversations will be better for it.

5. Embrace Awkward Silences

People with high social intelligence aren’t afraid of awkward silences.

In fact, they often use them to their advantage.

I know, it sounds crazy, right? Most of us are trained to think that silence equals awkwardness, and awkwardness is the ultimate social faux pas.

But that’s not necessarily true.

Silence can actually be a powerful tool in conversation.

It gives both you and the other person a moment to think, to process what’s been said, and to truly consider what should come next.

Sometimes, the urge to fill every silence leads to blabbering, oversharing, or saying something you might regret later.

Once, during a somewhat tense discussion with a friend, instead of rushing to fill a lull in the conversation, I let it hang there.

You know what happened? That momentary pause gave us both the space to cool down and collect our thoughts, and the conversation actually became more thoughtful and less heated as a result.

People with high social intelligence recognize that not all silences are awkward.

Some are thoughtful. Some are reflective. And some are downright necessary.

So the next time you find yourself in one of those “awkward” silences, don’t rush to fill it.

Take a breath, embrace the pause, and give the conversation room to grow.

You might be surprised by what happens next.

6. Know When to Change the Subject

Navigating conversations is a bit like steering a ship—you have to know when to turn the wheel to avoid rocky waters.

People with high social intelligence have a keen sense for this.

They can tell when a topic is making someone uncomfortable or when the conversation is going down a dead-end road, and they know how to subtly steer it in a different direction.

I had this experience when I was at a family gathering, and two of my relatives started diving deep into a political debate.

The tension was rising, and you could see everyone else in the room getting uncomfortable.

So, I casually brought up a funny story about a recent hiking mishap I had.

The mood instantly lightened, and the conversation took a more pleasant turn. Crisis averted!

Changing the subject isn’t about avoiding important or difficult topics; it’s about recognizing when a particular line of conversation is doing more harm than good.

And, when that happens, having the tact to shift gears without making it feel forced or awkward.

Whether it’s switching from a controversial topic to a lighter one or moving from small talk to something deeper, knowing when and how to change the subject is a skill that can keep conversations enjoyable and meaningful for everyone involved.

So the next time you sense the need for a conversational U-turn, don’t be afraid to take the wheel.

7. Admit When They’re Wrong

Nobody likes to be wrong. It’s a hit to the ego, and it can be downright embarrassing.

But everyone is wrong sometimes, even people with high social intelligence.

The difference is, they’re not afraid to admit it.

In fact, they see it as an opportunity to grow, both personally and in their relationships with others.

I’ll be the first to admit, saying “I was wrong, and I’m sorry” is tough.

I’ve been in situations where I’d rather chew glass than admit I messed up.

But in those times when I’ve swallowed my pride and come clean, the respect and understanding I’ve received in return have been tenfold.

It’s a simple equation, really. Admitting you’re wrong shows humility and authenticity. It tells the other person, “Hey, I value our relationship more than my ego.”

This builds trust and invites open, honest communication—the cornerstone of any meaningful interaction.

So, when you catch yourself in a mistake, resist the urge to double down or deflect. Own it, apologize if necessary, and learn from it. 

You’ll be amazed at how this simple, raw act can transform a conversation and elevate your standing in the eyes of others.

8. Follow Up and Follow Through

People with high social intelligence know that a conversation isn’t a one-time event that ends as soon as you say goodbye.

It’s part of an ongoing relationship, whether that’s with a friend, a coworker, or a new acquaintance.

Say you’ve promised to send someone a link to a helpful article, do it as soon as you can.

Or maybe during a catch-up session with a friend, they mentioned they had a job interview coming up.

A quick message afterward to ask how it went can go a long way.

These small gestures show that you’re not just all talk—you’re someone who follows through.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a simple follow-up text or email.

It turns a casual conversation into a lasting impression and often lays the groundwork for a deeper, more meaningful connection down the line.

So there you have it, keep your promises and circle back when you say you will.

It’s an easy, practical way to show you care and to stand out in a world where many people let these small but important details slip through the cracks.

By adopting this simple habit, you’re not just improving your conversations but enhancing your entire social presence.

So go ahead, set that reminder to follow up, and make someone’s day a little better. 

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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