Are you the kind of person that absolutely sucks in social situations? I’m talking about starting conversations, making new friends or even getting people to want to hang out with you. If so, there are five simple things you can do right now that’s gonna elevate you to a god-tier status in being social.
First off, you don’t need to be super funny or really attractive, or insanely popular to get people to like you. All you need is one basic quality that most people value above all else, and that is authenticity.
The fact is, people want to be around other people that are real and genuine with them. So what I’m about to share with you is not something that you should use and abuse just to become more popular. Do it the right way because it’s going to lead to the highest potential outcome.
Step #1: Build up the self-esteem of other people.
By complimenting them and acknowledging what makes them unique and special. They’re gonna feel like you’re really noticing them, and when you take time to really notice someone, they feel seen, they feel understood, they feel cared about.
Imagine if someone randomly walked up to you and complimented you on how cool your jacket was, or someone stopped you after class and said they were really inspired by something that you shared, how would they make you feel? You’d feel on top of the world. Well, this is something that you can do to other people. It’s a simple, easy step to take, and it’s going to make other people want to be around you more.
Step #2: Listen to people’s stories and take time to learn about their lives.
Now, this is an important step because the more you can learn about someone, the easier it becomes for you to engage in conversations with them. Learning about their hobbies and their interests, what they like and what they don’t like, what they did last weekend, are all conversation topics where you don’t have to generate some random brand-new conversation. You’re just working off of basic things that you know.
A lot of people struggle with starting conversations because they feel like they need to come up with something brand new every time they talk to someone, or else it’s going to be boring. But the reality is this: referencing something from the past that that person shared is going to show them that you were listening, you cared about what they had to say, you were actually interested in what was going on in their lives.
Not to mention the fact that expressing empathy in a conversation over their hardships and their struggles, or excitement over something that they’re proud of or when they recently had, it’s going to make them feel that much closer to you.
Step #3: Be assertive in the things that you like and don’t like.
Now, you’re probably thinking the easiest way to just kind of fly under the radar and have people just accept you is to go with the flow, to never challenge anyone’s opinion, to never stand up for yourself, to never speak out in any way. But that is a hundred percent wrong.
Not standing out, not being assertive, not allowing your unique voice to shine is never going to make people want to spend time with you because you have nothing to offer in those conversations. Yes, you may be a safe, reliable background character in someone else’s story. You might even be a great afterthought for people to invite to things but no one’s really going to understand the uniqueness that you bring to the table, who you really are.
Instead, you’re going to fade into the background, into obscurity, into nothingness. And eventually, people are not going to care to bring you to things at all.
By standing up for yourself and sharing your thoughts and feelings, you’re showing everyone else around you that you have something to say, that your opinion is just as important as anyone else that’s willing to put themselves out there. And the mere thought of challenging someone or disagreeing with them might make you super nervous.
You might be afraid that people are not going to want to be around you if you’re constantly vocalizing what you think, but trust me, people are going to value what you have to say more because they know you’re being honest, you’re being real, you’re not afraid to speak your mind like so many other people are.
Step #4: Embrace the awkward and volunteer to be in more social situations.
This is where a lot of people struggle because they want to build their social skills but they’re not really putting themselves out there in social situations. They kind of just hope that someone’s going to invite them, hope that something falls into their lap. But you need to be actively going out there and finding things because that’s the only way you’re going to step outside of your comfort zone.
And that might mean taking small steps like raising your hand in class more often to answer questions so that people know what your voice sounds like and they see you more often. Or it could mean joining after-school clubs and groups, just getting to meet more people and being involved in more things. Or it could even mean asking your co-workers to go out after work just to hang out, spend some time together to unwind. Doing more social activities is going to allow you to kind of be more prepared for social situations and to be able to put these activities actually into practice.
I mean, there are so many ways for you to embrace the awkward that you can write a book about it. Wait a second, I did write a book about it: Embracing the Awkward: A Guide for Teens to Succeed at School, Life, and Relationships.
If you want to improve your social skills, have a better dating life, and find your path and purpose, this is the guide that’s going to help you get there.
It’s also available on Amazon. This is the book you need to read. Alright, enough self-promotion.
Step #5: Stay far away from gossip, insulting others, or bullying people.
Now, this might seem like a fast track to building your social rep. If you come together with other people to bully some other kid, you might instantly become popular at the expense of someone else. But I can assure you, this is not a good long-term strategy.
People who build their social credibility by aligning themselves with the powerful against the powerless sacrifice one important thing, and that is the respect of everyone else. Sure, you may have a few people prop you up and tell you that you’re the best, but you’re actually putting a major target on your back. Not just by everyone else, but actually the people that are holding you up.
By participating and dunking on someone else, you establish a norm amongst you and your friends that that’s just how things are. Today it’s someone else, but tomorrow it could be you. And when it is you, they’re going to come together and just shoot you down. It’s going to hurt. You’re going to feel rejected, you’re going to feel alienated, all because that’s just how they are and how they interact with people.
But if you were to focus on not doing any of that stuff and instead prioritizing building respect for your peers and allowing them to do the same for you, you’re going to demonstrate that authenticity that makes you likeable. It makes people want to share things with you, open up, trust you, and just be in your presence. You’re going to be the most social, credible, and likable person out there, and you didn’t have to step on anyone to do it.
Because I know I want to be around people that are going to lift me up, that genuinely care about what I have to say, that are going to call me out when I step out of line, that are actually going to be willing to try new things, and they’re not going to spend time bullying and hurting other people. Those are the kind of people I want to surround myself with. What about you?
On that note, I’ll catch you next time.
As always, love and peace.