The only constant in life is change.
Those who thrive and succeed are those who can adapt to changing circumstances, relationships and situations.
Here’s how they manage to adapt to change so flawlessly.
1) They’re purpose-driven
Socially adaptable people don’t wait for good luck or favor.
Whether others like them and approve of them or not, they start building the life they want from the very start.
Socially adaptable people always have a bigger mission that ensures they don’t get sidetracked by the changing opinions and desires of others.
They are able to adapt to changing relationships, friendships and social conditions because they put mission first.
This means that they have a purpose-driven life that doesn’t rely on anybody else to make it happen.
2) They’re resourceful
In order to be socially adaptable, you also need to be resourceful.
This means connecting with other people, organizations and opportunities as much as necessary, rather than existing only in one network or narrow social circle.
Socially adaptable people don’t rely on being given what they need or meeting the exact right person at the right time:
They reach out and they make connections happen that get them closer to their goals.
As legendary life coach Tony Robbins says “the ultimate resource is resourcefulness.”
3) They limit expectations
The more you expect from other people, the harder the fall when they let you down.
You can love others, believe in them and support them.
But when you expect them to come through for you in various ways, it hurts even more when they simply don’t do that.
We’re all fallible human beings. Socially adaptable people keep their expectations of others modest, even those close to them.
4) They find the silver lining
Socially adaptable folks find the silver lining even when nobody else can see it.
If their relationship breaks up, they find a way to double down on a hobby they’ve always wanted to do solo.
If they get in a fight with their friend, they take it as an opportunity to learn more about their friend’s point of view and why their fight bothered him so much.
If they have an issue at work with a colleague, they look at the dynamics and what led to it and use it as an opportunity to fix other aspects of work, too.
“Being able to find the silver lining in all the work you do is a brilliant example of adaptability skills in action…
“…It requires you to reset and reframe your focus, often taking a step back and viewing things less critically and more objectively.”
5) They’re curious about new ideas and people
Socially adaptable people are curious about new ideas and people.
In the previous example of a fight between friends, for example, say it was because one person said their friend doesn’t understand their political views.
Perhaps because the other person simply doesn’t understand or grasp what those views are or why they matter so much to this individual.
The mark of a socially adaptable person, then, would be a willingness to learn more about those views.
What are they? What are their roots? Why does their friend care so much?
6) They’re willing to compromise
Being socially adaptable also means a willingness to compromise.
There are times when you’re just not going to see things the same as somebody else and you have to agree to disagree.
There are also times when you may reach an impasse in a relationship or a friendship and have to cede some ground.
Socially adaptable people don’t always need to be right or get their way.
They understand that some relationships require compromise.
7) They don’t focus on who’s to blame
Many social issues come up over blame.
Who’s to blame, what they did wrong, how bad they are, and so on.
Let’s be honest: sometimes there really are some people more to blame than others.
But focusing on this and holding grudges leads to lost time and energy and prevents people from rolling with changes.
That’s why socially adaptable folks don’t focus on blame.
“Adaptable people don’t hold grudges or eschew blame needlessly but instead absorb, understand and move on,” notes Jeff Boss.
8) They don’t take disagreement personally
Part of compromise is not taking disagreement personally.
Whether it’s in their professional life or personal life, a socially adaptable individual is able to accept disagreement.
They may want to transition into a new role at work, but their boss says it’s not a good time or they don’t agree that they would be a good fit.
If it’s a dealbreaker, so be it.
But they won’t take it personally.
9) They value feedback
Socially adaptable folks value feedback.
If you tell them they’re being annoying they aren’t going to lash out and say “well you are, too!”
They’re going to ask what you mean and try to figure out if your criticism has any validity to it or should lead to them changing in some way.
Instead of treating feedback as a negative, why not treat it as an opportunity to get better?
“Being more receptive to feedback improves your ability to learn as you’ll transform potential problems into possibilities for growth.”
10) They don’t dwell in the past
There are lessons to be had in the past and it does matter.
But those who stay on their toes socially don’t dwell in the past.
They know that whatever problems or successes they had in past friendships and relationships aren’t a prescription for the future.
They know that they have to live in the present as much as possible if they want to be ready for the new relationships, friendships and connections that life is going to bring their way.
11) They don’t over-idealize the future
In the same way, socially flexible people don’t over-idealize the future.
They know that friendships and relationships they have now, no matter how special or unique, are never a full guarantee.
As such, they keep their expectations modest.
They talk about the future when it comes up, but they avoid big plans until and unless they’re really going to happen.
This ties into the next point…
12) They leave room for relationships to change
Socially adaptable people understand that everyone changes and, as such, every relationship also changes.
You may be married for life, which is an admirable thing, but there’s no doubt that your marriage itself will undergo changes.
Socially adaptable people are realists at heart.
They accept that even a lifelong relationship will go through changes, including big ups and downs.
That’s not a bad thing, it’s just the flow of life.
13) They communicate honestly and flexibly
Socially adaptable people try to communicate as honestly as possible.
They’re confident, direct and up front.
They know that each different social setting has different customs, rules and expectations, and they try to communicate to the best needs of whatever situation they’re in.
14) They accept rejection
This may sound counterintuitive, but the more you fight against rejection the worse it gets.
Socially adaptable people accept rejection.
If somebody wants to reject them and cut them out of their lives, so be it.
That’s outside their control, and even if it hurts, it’s not their problem.
Rolling with the punches
Many social changes are painful and not what we want.
The key in such situations is to be prepared for disruptions to relationships and social connections.
The key is to fully accept that much of these changes are outside our control.
Social adaptability means accepting this and adjusting accordingly.
You don’t need to like all the changes that occur in your social life and connections, but you do need to find a way to accept them.
Staying ahead of the curve
Being socially adaptable is all about becoming the master of your own life instead of its victim.
When you’re willing and able to adjust to changing social situations, you gain a kind of superpower.
You become a survivor and are able to thrive in the midst of shifting expectations, roles and relationships.
Social adaptability is a skill everyone would do well to develop to the fullest!