Author Topic: Social skills  (Read 7915 times)

Mr. Minsc

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Social skills
« on: June 26, 2013, 12:49:54 PM »
Ahh social skills, this is an area where I've made quite a bit of improvement in my adult years.  There was once a time not too long ago simply walking in to a bar or coffee shop alone would leave me feeling awkward and out of place.  While I'm now to the point where I can walk up to a table (depending on my state of mind that day ;) ), introduce myself and join in.  Still I have a long way to go.  It is my belief seeking out people with similar goals and ambitions in life will help me achieve my own.  Of course, I can not do this by standing in the back ground with my mouth shut.  The main conclusion I've come to so far is I simply have to be comfortable with who I am and not try to be what I believe others expect me to be.  That can be easier said than done. ;)

So I ask the Mustachian community, what are your recommendations for blogs or other literature on improving ones sociability?

footenote

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 01:23:24 PM »
In my experience, it's like public speaking: practice, practice, practice. The more you do it, the less self-conscious you will be and the more benefit it will return to you.

Congratulations Mr. Minsc on self-awareness of the importance of 1) socializing with those who share you values and 2) being comfortable in your own skin.

hybrid

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 01:39:53 PM »
Talk to people who are not like you.  A recurring theme on The Big Bang Theory (and with nerds in general, of which I am a card-carrying member) is that Leonard and Co. are perfectly comfortable in their own comfort zones (science fiction, the comic book store, their academic fields) and far less so outside of them.  So practice where you can outside of your own comfort zone, whatever that is.

Oh, and the easiest way to carry the conversation is to let the other person do more than half the talking.  If you can find a way to ask a person about something they enjoy talking about, just sit back and let them talk a while.  Interject with good questions you may come up with as they describe something.  Voila, instant social skills and you don't have to do the heavy lifting. Most people love to talk about the things they know (including themselves) and are happy to get more than half the conversation time.

Also, it never hurts to be knowledgeable about a wide array of subjects.  My annual subscription to The Economist is money well spent, I am always learning from that publication. 

jrhampt

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 02:11:11 PM »
I solve this problem by working at home as much as possible :-D

Dee18

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 02:46:48 PM »
Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" really is the best on this. It has helped several of my students.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 02:47:38 PM »
Social skills are overrated. :)

dragoncar

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 03:45:34 PM »
This reminds me of the backlash to a recent resurgence of tech workers in SF.

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/dotcommentary/article/In-defense-of-San-Francisco-s-techies-4616783.php

There were a few commenters that really pissed me off.  Here's one:

Quote
My only frustration is that many of the "young tech people" that I meet don't seem very interested in anything beyond their own startup/project/whatever. In fact, they don't seem very much interested in anything, or passionate about anything. I know I'm generalizing, but it's something i've noticed for years now. They're the kind of people I have a very hard time talking to at a bar, or making small talk with at a cocktail party. I don't mean to be a hater, but that's my honest observation. I even lived with one of these people for a while - I still don't know what makes her tick. weird.

Oh noes!! An introvert has moved in next door!  Call the conversation police!

That said, I think there's a reddit page for that.  Maybe /r/socialanxiety or socialskills

kkbmustang

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 04:19:23 PM »
Coming from a southern sorority girl, here are some tips we used during rush that have proved helpful in social and professional scenarios post-college:

1. Think outside of yourself. In other words, show genuine interest in other people and don't monopolize the conversation.
2. Try to identify common interests, history, etc.
3. Don't invade someone else's personal space.
4. Read body language and other non-verbal cues. I'm sure there are some books on this.
5. Try to sympathize and/or empathize with people.
6. Listen.
7. Don't talk in a language the other person doesn't understand. For example, this could be using technical language with someone who doesn't share that technical knowledge.

Hope this is helpful.

lifejoy

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 07:11:29 PM »
penelopetrunk.com

and how to win friends and influence people (the book)

dragoncar

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2013, 07:31:44 PM »
penelopetrunk.com

Ugh, no wonder I stay away from people

George_PA

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 07:45:22 PM »
Thats good that you want to be more socialable; one thing to watch out for is don't push yourself onto people if the situation is not right;

For example, if a bunch of people are standing in a line bored, then this is a good time to strike up a conversation because they most likely would appreciate some conversion to pass the time;

however, if a guy or girl is sitting at a table in a restaurant with their parents who live across the country who they hardly ever see, they want to focus on their time with only their group or family at the table, a stranger interjecting themselves onto such a conversation would not be appreciated and the stranger would be seen as needy or low value
 
there is nothing more annoying that a stranger trying to push a conversation on you when it is not a good time; it has to flow and make sense naturally and not be artificial;



Osprey

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 01:48:39 AM »

http://www.succeedsocially.com

This is a detailed, non judgemental resource written by a guy who used to be shy and lonely but worked at improving his situation. I would recommend it because it incorporates attitudes and beliefs as well as behaviour change. He knows what he's talking about because he's been there, and he's totally relateable.

gooki

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 02:19:14 AM »
http://socialtriggers.com/

Although its geared at selling/business owners it does address how to better interact with people.

marty998

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 04:19:13 AM »

http://www.succeedsocially.com

This is a detailed, non judgemental resource written by a guy who used to be shy and lonely but worked at improving his situation. I would recommend it because it incorporates attitudes and beliefs as well as behaviour change. He knows what he's talking about because he's been there, and he's totally relateable.

thankyou for the link, appreciate it

MgoSam

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 05:26:35 AM »
Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" really is the best on this. It has helped several of my students.

THAT! Also for public speaking (in case you don't feel comfortable doing so) I recommend Toastmasters.

BlueMR2

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2013, 06:38:50 AM »
Social skills are overrated. :)

This.  It's a lot easier to save money doing projects around the home than if you're out with friends all the time!  :-)

Fletch

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2013, 07:43:23 AM »
penelopetrunk.com

Ugh, no wonder I stay away from people

agreed. If that is about "good" social skills I'm keep my "bad" ones, thank you very much.

spider1204

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2013, 09:29:23 AM »
Here's the "How to Win Friends and Influence People" book.

Quote
Oh, and the easiest way to carry the conversation is to let the other person do more than half the talking.

Yes, absolutely, this has improved my social skills more than anything else.  I also just try and learn at least one thing from every conversation, either directly from something they want to talk about, or indirectly by just maybe learning something about human behavior.  So when they say something crazy, I try not to judge and instead try and learn why they think that way.

Mr. Minsc

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2013, 10:13:06 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll look the stuff over. :)

From my own observations what I need to work on is entering in to the flow.  Once I get in to the flow, usually when someone else initiates the conversation, I'm perfectly fine.  In general I say I'm long past feeling awkward when another starts the conversation.  I suppose what gets me is the past part of myself that does not want to intrude.  Instead I should test the waters to se if something clicks then move on to the next person/group if not.

@kkbmustang:  Body language, there's something I need to start studying.  Thanks for reminding me of the topic.

@hybrid: Haha, I already know that trick of letting the other person do most the talking.  I'll always be more a listener than the primary talker and I'm perfectly fine with that.  Still, I don't want to go through life keeping my mouth shut. ;)

@MgoSam:  Ahh yes, Toastmasters.  It's on my mind of something to look in to but the procrastinator in me keeps forgetting about it. :p

Anyways, now I have this thread here for an active reminder to check in to this stuff. :)