Are you nervous about social situations? When there is going to be people you do not know, how does your stomach or neck feel? Tight and choking? Do you regard yourself as too quiet or too uptight to relax in groups? Are you concerned that others will expect you to be witty and sophisticated?
If you feel that you are shy or suffer from social anxiety, this is the article for you.
You don’t have to be witty, or smart or a sparkling conversationalist in order to make friends and influence people. All you really need is to understand the art of listening.
People Don’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care
We will be talking about how to be more comfortable in social situations. We will also share about what makes a good listener and the five qualities to develop if you want to be popular and make lasting friendships.
1. Body language of acceptance – Non verbal or body language is the communication of relationships. When people first meet you they are receiving lots of messages about interested you are in them. Smile with your eyes and look directly at the person, or if that makes you uncomfortable, look at their right ear.
2. Ask questions and don’t give advice – When people come to you with a problem, it may appear they want your opinion. But more often than not, they really just need someone to listen to their story. By asking small questions or nodding your head, you are giving them permission to get the problem out, so they can see the issues in a new light and make their own decisions.
3. Never break a confidence or gossip about others – Even though it may be tempting to share a “tidbit of news” it will always backfire on you. One of the signs of deepening friendships is that people will trust you with secrets. If someone gossips with you, you can be assured they will also gossip about you.
4. Complete the loop of conversation – Just as you don’t give unwanted advice, you do want to make sure what the other person needs from you. Sometimes our words can be taken out of context or misunderstood, so it is best to clarify our message. If someone says; “Do you like baseball?” Don’t just say yes and drop it. Ask open ended questions and give clarifying comebacks. For instance; “Yes, I do. Would you like to go to a game sometime?” Then be sure that you give a phone number or way to contact you if they are interested.
5. Show appreciation and gratitude – Shake hands warmly and say you were glad to meet them. Perhaps you could say something like; “I am grateful I had the opportunity to spend some time with you, your ideas will give me something to think about this week.”
The Secret to Being Interesting is to be Interested
To overcome social anxiety and gain confidence in life is to ask questions the other person will enjoy answering. As you encourage strangers to talk about themselves, they will soon turn into friends. Since so few people really go to the effort of listening to other people and making them feel comfortable, if you do, you will be successful.