Saturday, November 7, 2009

How can I be more social

I finished college and manged to land a great job. Now I am 26 years old and I feel very independent and secure because my grades and career where the only things that mattered to me and it paid off. The bad part is that while my college friends were partying, I was studying. I think I may have missed out because now I feel awkward at social events and don't know how to talk to people. Do you have any tips on how I can be more social?
~ Sarah

First I want to commend you on having your priorities in order and staying focused. You have made quite an accomplishment and you should be very proud. It takes a great deal of confidence to finish college with good grades and compete in a tough job market.

Now, you can use that same confidence to be very comfortable and successful in social settings. The nice thing about confidence is that, once you know how to use it in one area of your life, you can apply it to others. The next time you are at a social event think about it like you are at work. Talk to people as a way of establishing contacts with no other agenda. You're not trying to make friends or get asked out on a date. You're just letting people know that you are someone they can talk to.

Don't be afraid to break the ice. The best way to start a conversation is with a question that doesn't require a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Rather than asking, “Are you from around here?” ask them, “Where are you from?” Don't follow up with, “Do you like it there?” Instead you can ask, “What do you like the most about living there?”

Pay attention to your body language. If someone talks to you, turn to face them. Not just your head, your whole body. Show them that they have your complete attention. Open yourself up, don't cross your arms. That sends the message that you are trying to hide yourself. Position yourself in a well lit area, don't hide in the shadows. Face the crowd and show that you are participating in the event.

Remember, you are not alone. People are social creatures, we like when other people talk to us.

No comments:

Post a Comment