No one can deny being socially skilled is one of the most crucial traits one can ever have. As Dale Carnegie once noticed, more than 80% of your success is due to your character and people skills. Your ability to lead people and convince them with your ideas will always remain important.
But it`s not always easy to mingle with people, especially for people with severe social anxiety who can get all freezing and meltdown from the slightest normal interaction with strangers.
Here are four science-backed tips which will improve your social life regardless of your social background:
1. Make People Open Up with The CCA Technique
Do you want to always have something to say and never worry about awkward silence? Author and Speech Pathologist, Carol A. Fleming has an interesting technique she uses to break the ice.
She calls it, “Comment, Comment, then Ask.” Fleming realized that if you want to ask someone a personal question, it is less creepy and more comfortable to throw in a couple of comments in order to justify your request for information.
For instance, if you are in a convention and want to ask a stranger what brought them here, you can get a good response if you phrase it like this, “They certainly have a lot of booths set up. There were not nearly as many people last year. Have you been to this convention many times before? If you’ve noticed, this request consists of three pieces:
- The first comment: They certainly have a lot of booths set up.
- The second Comment: There were not nearly as many people last year.
- The final question: Have you been to this convention many times before?
I`ve been using this technique for years, and it’s amazing, especially when I’m with strangers and don’t know what to say. To be good at this, use it on everything you see, from the stuff in your room to what you watch on T.V. Practice for two weeks straight, and I guarantee you’ll amaze yourself.
2. The Snowball Technique: Do What Athletes Do
The Snowball Technique is very simple. Anytime you have an important meeting make sure you first warm up your social skills by talking, smiling or even saying hi to 10 or 20 people.
Conversations are more like sports, you can’t play well until you warm up. People who have excellent social skills goof around with others the moment they leave home. They greet neighbors, wink at toddlers and have small talk with anyone they can talk to, so they`re already at their peak when it’s time for important meetings, dates or hangouts.
The next time you feel anxious, don’t blame or judge yourself, just remember to warm up and slowly build your confidence by talking to 10 or 15 easy targets. Eventually, your snowball will grow, words will come naturally, you will smile more, and begin to feel more confident.
3. Point Out Similarities
According to studies, people will like you more if you let them know how similar you are to them.
Social psychologists Elaine Walster and Ellen Berscheid, believe people make friendships based on their shared interests. In other words, we like to be around those who agree with us because their similarities make us feel less alone and their predictability makes us feel more in control.
Behavioral investigator and bestselling author, Vanessa Van Edwards, shares the same beliefs. She believes that people magnets use every opportunity to highlight the common grounds they share with others. A magnet will say things like, “Wow, you like Orange Is the New Black? I’m an addict,” or ”You’re gluten-free? Join the club.”
Whereas a people repeller will shut others down with stuff like “You know, I never really got into Orange Is the New Black. I thought it was kinda boring.” Or “You’re one of those gluten-free people? Don’t you think that’s a fad?”
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
4. Observe and Imitate
The easiest and fastest way to learn social skills is to hang around those whose social skills are better than yours. As studies have found, you will soon pick up some of those skills and your performance will improve without consuming your reservoir of willpower and mental energy.
Entrepreneur and bestselling author, Scott Adams used this technique to build his social skills. He noticed that outgoing kids usually come from outgoing families not because they have specific genes but because they mimic their older peers. If you do the same thing and find yourself some role models, then you will become like them without even knowing.
Originally published at addicted2success.com