The Mother Of All Social Skills: Learn How To Enjoy Social Settings Instead Of Fearing Them
I got a haircut the other day. See, it was a legit one too: my long locks suddenly became a member of Backstreet Boys.
Then the thought behind this blog post came to mind:
If I did this 4 years ago, I would be anxious about what others thought about it — NO LIE.
A haircut would make me doubt if my looks were cool enough for the people in my social circle. Although I knew it wasn’t about life or death, I did seek the approval from other people.
I could act the same way in conversations too.
That is, I would wonder what others thought of me during chats. I still do, occasionally, while I nowadays tend to ask myself what I think of the people I’m talking to instead.
That difference in thinking is MASSIVE!
See, when some people fear being judged by other people, and somehow try to avoid it, I think they get judged even more. On the other hand, when socially skilled people truly enjoy chatting with others, and assume those people enjoy it too, I think the people start to actually like them more.
It’s the law of attraction, baby!! Better learn how to use it.
If you fear others’ opinions and beam out anxiousness onto the people you’re talking to, they are going to feel it. They’re like sharks looking for blood, but don’t worry, most people are nice sharks…
If you are comfortable and confident in yourself, while you actually take interest in the people you’re talking to, they are going to feel that. Then, they’re going to enjoy chatting with you and become more comfortable, because that’s the vibe that you spread.
Anxious vibes are just as infectious as confident vibes, so it is surely valuable to start spreading the confident ones.
The One, Secret Trick To Instantly Become Super Confident:
There is none, sorry.
Let me tell you this though, there is hope. My haircut didn’t bother me at all, remember?
I view self confidence as a muscle, which grows anytime you feel confident in your ability to handle a situation. In order to make this muscle stronger, you have to start stacking the times where you feel able to deal with whatever you’re facing.
I would consider my muscle of confidence pretty well developed. That is not to be mistaken with cockiness, but simply with a feeling of being able to handle most things that are thrown at you…
Are you an anxious introvert or a social superman? Same goes for either: confidence in yourself feels better the more of it you have.
This is what I did, to eventually start enjoying conversations and stop being anxious:
I had to push my comfort zone, so I jumped head-first into uncomfortable situations that became more difficult each time. My way to getting there was long, but here’s what the long story made short looked like:
- Be the one who says hi first when walking past someone
- Start a conversation with the person sitting next to you at the bus stop
- Join your friend for a party where he/she is the only one you know
- Accept the invitation to speak in front of every student at my Australian high school
- Let your friends water their throat at the nightclub bar, walk off and start cool conversations with everyone crossing your path on the dance floor
- Enjoy talking to anyone, anywhere
You won’t stop fearing rejection and judgement over night. You will start enjoying conversations with confidence after repetition and time.
It’s not a sprint… It’s a marathon. Better start now, hey?!
Are you already confidently on top of your social game? Then the list above might seem a bit trivial to you. Push yourself to do even more uncomfortable things and you’ll get even more socially skilled. You will enjoy any conversation more than you do now, because you’ll realise how many cool people that are out there.
Are you a hard case rookie who wouldn’t ask an old lady what the time is? Start easy and step it up one challenge at a time.
A good comparison to this is skateboarding, which my mates and I try to do more often than not. An amateur skateboarder would surely not hit a vertical ramp the first day of riding, am I right? That person would plant his or her face to the floor in no time…
Why would social skills be any different? A shy introvert who speaks up in a group of 14 strangers will most likely panic and end up coming across as awkward, since the confidence was surely faked. Start small and you’ll enjoy the benefits in no time.
What experiment will you do today to level up your social game? (Excluding the things that would get you in trouble or give you a panic attack)
I hope you enjoyed this. If so, make sure you heart this below and master more social skills over at my site!
I pushed my social self today and looked like a fool…
Long story short: Several mates and I are becoming scuba diving professionals here in Costa Rica and it was my turn to hold my first ever dive briefing (explain safety procedures and other dive info to the customers on the boat)…
They were all WAY more experienced than me and I forgot about telling a TON of important info. At least that’s what it felt like.
I got damn awkward. Also felt pretty lucky to have a smarter friends who’s felt just as dumb…
That right there is what hustle and progress looks like people! Go get em!