Author Topic: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills  (Read 13353 times)

cantgrowone

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I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« on: April 01, 2018, 05:56:09 PM »
Hi. I am not a book reader, but I need a recommendation. My social skills are kaput; the conversation part. I can converse 1-on-1 just fine listening and providing words. When I am in a group of 3 or more it is like my mind forgets about words. I listen and follow the conversation, but I can literally provide no input.

Surely there's a book that will guide me through improving social life?

Zola.

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 05:32:02 AM »
What about something about helping you have better conversations with others? Thats bound to help socially etc.

2Cent

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 03:59:41 AM »
Hi. I am not a book reader, but I need a recommendation. My social skills are kaput; the conversation part. I can converse 1-on-1 just fine listening and providing words. When I am in a group of 3 or more it is like my mind forgets about words. I listen and follow the conversation, but I can literally provide no input.

Surely there's a book that will guide me through improving social life?
I have the same problem. I feel sometimes the conversation moves too quickly so by the time I formulate my thoughts to respond someone else is talking. It is mostly due to me wanting to think through what I say, but if you also have to listen to multiple people it's just too hard.

The best way I know to practice is choosing conversations with familiar topics and just starting to talk with a generic statement or repeat of something, using the time to think out my words for what I really wanted to say. This mostly works and when it doesn't it's not as awkward as you imagine. At worst you just made an empty statement which everyone will immediately forget. You can even get people to expand on something by just repeating their last 2-3 words as a question.(As a question?) People won't notice and even appreciate it as it shows you care about their thoughts. The main thing I think is to just do it and get the practice. This is not something you can really learn from a book.

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 05:16:54 AM »
Hi. I am not a book reader, but I need a recommendation. My social skills are kaput; the conversation part. I can converse 1-on-1 just fine listening and providing words. When I am in a group of 3 or more it is like my mind forgets about words. I listen and follow the conversation, but I can literally provide no input.

Surely there's a book that will guide me through improving social life?

I like your username. ;) There are some good books out there, perhaps the most famous being "How To Win Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

Personally I'm pretty bad at following the thread of group conversations, and I don't enjoy fancy dinners or pub gatherings where there is nothing but talking and sitting around a cramped table! My strategy around this is to socialize in group activities instead (sports, games, etc.), where talking isn't mandatory and the subject inevitably revolves around the thing you are doing.

Katrina

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 11:15:33 AM »
Most peoples favorite subject is themselves, even if they don't think so.  "I" is one of the most common words in the English language.   Just ask people questions about themsleves without being creepy or prying.  Like the old saying interesting  is interested.  Start simple  like their job or where their  from.  Compliments are always good too. 

Also I agree with the other post How To Win Friends and Influence People  by Dale Carnegie is excellent.  Read it then read it again.  Good luck. 

whitewaterchica

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 02:55:30 PM »
Not a book, but I found this Ted Talk to be very helpful. I took notes as I watched and refer to them when I need a reminder. https://www.ted.com/search?q=10+ways+to+have+a+better+conversation

applegrapepie

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2018, 10:50:11 PM »
How to Win Friends is a perfect book, helped me tons! If you go kaput during group convos, maybe it has something do with social anxiety. That the issue with me.

scottydog

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2018, 03:32:26 PM »
I'm really enjoying a recent book about social anxiety that touches on this:
https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Yourself-Critic-Anxiety/dp/1250161703/

The author has a weekly podcast too so you can see whether you like her style.
https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/savvy-psychologist

Also, here's a simple trick that I learned from Jerry Seinfeld's cars & coffee series: Ask people questions that have a number as an answer. E.g. How long have you been teaching/skydiving/collecting stamps?

Lady Stash

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 04:20:05 PM »
Way back in the dark ages when I was in college, my counselor recommended Life Skills for Adult Children by Janet Woititz. 

Janet Woititz mostly writes books for adult children of alcoholics and my parents weren't but I found this book super helpful as it is incredibly straightforward and pragmatic. Social skills are like riding a bike, once you get the rhythm of the conversation its as easy as can be and you never forget it.  This book helped break down that rhythm for me - basic training wheels for social interactions.  It may be a bit corny but it lays out all the subtle interaction cues that people use in conversations.  All the trigger words, body language and nuances spelled out plainly.  Once you see them explained so clearly they seem obvious and it just kind of clicks.  At least it did for me - hopefully you have the same experience!

https://www.amazon.com/Lifeskills-Adult-Children-Janet-Woititz/dp/1558740708/
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 04:22:38 PM by Lady Stash »

jengod

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2018, 10:52:35 PM »
Never Eat Alone by Keith Farrazzi is interesting.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2018, 04:31:59 PM »
I don't think that I can recommend a book, but I've noticed that if I'm in a conversation about an unfamiliar topic, I ask questions and listen attentively. That definitely holds up my end of the conversation, even if it's about something I don't understand or something I think is stupid.

Chuck Blazer

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2018, 08:15:21 AM »
I discovered "The secret lives of introverts" a while back via the afford anything podcast. I highly recommend it, even if you do not think you are an introvert. However, based on what you are saying about larger groups, you may be more on the introverted side as I am. The book is great for understanding how introverts think and process information, as well as tips on how to increase success of career and social interactions. If you do not want to commit to purchasing the book yet, you can listen to afford anything's interview with the author and get a great idea of what the book is about. This book really helped me understand myself and others.


Podcast: http://podcast.affordanything.com/93-secret-lives-introverts-jenn-granneman/

Book: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Lives-Introverts-Inside-Hidden/dp/1510721029/ref=asc_df_1510721029/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312674808447&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12033057647501845399&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9013179&hvtargid=pla-348206802710&psc=1

Budgie

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2019, 07:28:14 PM »
I'm really enjoying a recent book about social anxiety that touches on this:
https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Yourself-Critic-Anxiety/dp/1250161703/

The author has a weekly podcast too so you can see whether you like her style.
https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/savvy-psychologist

These are good recommendations. The podcast episode packs a lot of info in that it might be helpful to explore with another person--not everyone has a great handle on their safety behaviors, but if you talk about this episode with someone you do know and trust, they can tell you how you come across in those anxiety-provoking situations and that might help you recognize what's holding you back.

Geosoxs

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2019, 09:09:31 AM »
I had a hard time understanding social relationships and this book was a good conversation about the topic form me. Helping me to understand friendships and intimacy in friendships while being myself. 

Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Health and Happiness
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1580056075/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_iFvECb4DFFSY0

I also liked learning some of the skills found in Dale Carnage's book which I think I saw another person mentioned in this thread.

How to Win Friends & Influence People
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0671027034/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_dJvECbSBZEEQA


CNM

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 09:23:11 AM »
I'd recommend reading books or long articles about interesting topics, so then you can chime in with a story of your own. Some recent ones that come to mind are "The Lost City of the Monkey God" and "The Soul of an Octopus."  Both non-fiction and both with very interesting facts/trivia.

Parizade

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2019, 03:16:17 PM »
I highly recommend The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense by Suzette H. Elgin and really any of her other books too.

2Cent

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2019, 01:56:09 AM »
I'd recommend reading books or long articles about interesting topics, so then you can chime in with a story of your own. Some recent ones that come to mind are "The Lost City of the Monkey God" and "The Soul of an Octopus."  Both non-fiction and both with very interesting facts/trivia.
This doesn't work. I know so much random trivia about so many topics I could be in a game show. The problem is that no one really cares. I think it really doesn't matter what you know. It's much more about how you talk. Like OP I get lost in groups conversations. I think I have too much a report like way of talking which is quite boring. People like to hear colorful stories with passion and emotions. I think to be able to keep that up in a group you need to really think like that. If you have to translate in your head, you will always lag behind.

So for me the only way is to talk about things I'm passioned about. Then I can speak from my feelings.

danzabar

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2019, 10:20:12 AM »
Hi everyone,
I work with social anxiety as a professional. Iím wondering would anyone consider paying for evidence based social anxiety treatment as an online coaching model? Iím just curious as Iím passionate about the work and also would love it as a side gig

smileyface

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2019, 12:12:15 PM »
Another vote for How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Going to be honest--  a lot of Carnegie's little stories and anecdotes come off as very dated and even cheesy, but the book is an easy read and there's so much simple truth in what he says.  Cut through the cheesiness and distill the lessons from those little stories...  that book has been IMMENSELY helpful to me.

A Fella from Stella

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2019, 06:36:45 AM »
Tiny pamphlet called "Skill with People," by Les Giblin. Very good

TVRodriguez

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2019, 08:21:12 AM »
I highly recommend How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes:

https://www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Anyone-Success-Relationships/dp/B013GXDRKC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1S75XW5AKXKYL&keywords=92+ways+to+talk+to+anyone&qid=1565360350&s=gateway&sprefix=92+%2Caps%2C201&sr=8-1

Really easy to read, funny, and extremely useful.  I've seen it work.

Another vote for How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Going to be honest--  a lot of Carnegie's little stories and anecdotes come off as very dated and even cheesy, but the book is an easy read and there's so much simple truth in what he says.  Cut through the cheesiness and distill the lessons from those little stories...  that book has been IMMENSELY helpful to me.

This, too.

hodedofome

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2019, 10:11:03 PM »
Another vote for How to Win Friends and Influence People. Warren Buffett was terrified of public speaking but he took a Dale Carnegie course and now heís one of the best speakers in the entire world.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2019, 08:28:15 PM »
Any of the early Miss Manners books will teach you the basics of social interaction. You will learn how to make an invitation (what the invitee needs to know), how to respond to an invitation, and how to set a table. I recommend "Miss Manners' Guide to Exceedingly Correct Behavior" although some of the forms of communication are obsolete. There is nothing there about E-mail or text messages. But the content is the same.

RWTL

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2019, 05:13:48 AM »
Most peoples favorite subject is themselves, even if they don't think so.  "I" is one of the most common words in the English language.   Just ask people questions about themsleves without being creepy or prying.  Like the old saying interesting  is interested.  Start simple  like their job or where their  from.  Compliments are always good too. 

Also I agree with the other post How To Win Friends and Influence People  by Dale Carnegie is excellent.  Read it then read it again.  Good luck.

I was going to say this as well - The point and the book.

People love to talk about themselves.  Just ask them questions....

1. Do you have kids?
2. What are the kids up to?
3. Do you have any vacations planned?
4. Where have you been recently?
5. What do you do for fun?
6. I'm looking for a good book, have you read anything good?  Same for movies, Netflix, TV...
7. Admit something that you wish you wouldn't have done....but it needs to be small.  "I tried to make a new dish last night but it didn't turn out very good.   Do you have any favorite recipes?"....Not "I was arrested when I was a kid."

I try to make a connection with each person around something small - an inside joke or something that we share.  With the receptionist, I know she loves her grandkids - so I always ask how they are doing, what did they do for X-Mas, that kind of stuff.

I try to listen more than talk - I just use questions to get them started.


norajean

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Re: I need a book suggestion to improve my social skills
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2019, 06:50:43 AM »
Reading about conversing is like dancing about architecture.

Get a buddy to help weave you into the conversation. Practice as much as you can.