12 Simple Social Skills That Will Make You Shine like the Sun!
Keep eye contact. The very first thing people will try to decide about you when they meet you is if they can trust you - and it's fairly hard to like someone if you don't trust them. Their decision is made almost entirely unconsciously, and it usually comes down to how well you can balance conveying two things: warmth and competence. One simple way to show you're paying attention is to make eye contact and hold it. It seems easy, but it remains one of the hardest things for most people.
Remember that eye contact is also an effective way to convey competence, and studies have shown that those who do so are consistently judged as more intelligent.
Start this habit immediately and see the difference for yourself almost instantly. It requires no practice or special skill - just the commitment to meet someone's gaze and look them in the eye while conversing.
Smile. Don't underestimate the power of smiling, another simple and effective way to convey warmth. Additionally, laugh and tell jokes, as people unconsciously mirror the body language of the person they're talking to. If you want to be likable, use positive body language and people will naturally return the favor.
Show enthusiasm. There’s nothing more contagious on this planet than enthusiasm. Along with a smile, show some enthusiasm and energy, also known as charisma. This not only draws people to you, but it is contagious. After spending time with you, people will walk away with a warm and fuzzy feeling, which most likely, they'll pass on to someone else.
Give a firm handshake. It should not be too hard, certainly not limp and soft, and with no dominance play. Research shows that people decide whether they like you within seconds of meeting you. A firm handshake can contribute largely to that first impression.
Call people by their name. The next time someone greets you by name or uses your name mid-conversation, remember how great that feels.
If you have trouble putting names to faces, try different strategies, such as using imagery or rhymes associated with the name. Here are a few tips:
- Repeat people's names numerous times as you speak to them.
- Tell someone else these people's names, in case you do forget and need a reminder.
- Write names down in your phone with a short description of who they are/how you met them.
Remembering people's names can help you build stronger relationships and avoid awkward situations. People also appreciate when you remember their names - as it's a sign of respect and thoughtfulness.
Don't just hear words — actively listen. Simply hearing words doesn't cut it. Likable people show that they're listening to the person they're talking to. Active listening requires four steps: hearing, interpreting, evaluating, and responding. Step one requires dropping what you're doing and paying attention. Next, paraphrase what you've heard and ask clarifying questions. Evaluating means steering clear of quick judgment and jumping to conclusions: Make sure you have all the pertinent information before forming or expressing an opinion. Finally, give feedback to let the speaker know that you heard them.
It's OK to stroke egos. Flattery grabs people directly by their ego and is therefore extremely effective. Flattery comes with a caveat though. Too much can be a huge turn off, especially if it doesn't seem genuine and it feels too tacky.
For those uncomfortable about doling out praise, which makes another person feel effective and valuable, is to ask questions that allows them to focus on what is meaningful about themselves and their lives. Using conversation openers that make the other person feel like an expert, such as "You know a lot about social marketing, don't you?" or "Do you know why I always get this error message?" This way, you learn something new and the other person gets to feel needed. It's as easy as that, it's a win-win, and it works 100% of the time.
Say you're sorry. Of course, taking responsibility for your mistakes is instrumental in changing someone's bad impression of you. But an "I'm sorry" when you're not to blame for something can also be surprisingly helpful. Saying "I'm sorry" when someone tells you about something bad that happened to them is an effective way to show that you're putting yourself in their shoes and are trying to relate, otherwise known as showing empathy. In fact, researchers have found that people
were far more likely to lend someone their cell phone when subjects first said, "I'm so sorry to bother you."
Practice good posture. Stand and sit up straight. Bad posture sends a message that you're apathetic or unapproachable, and if you convey negative body language, no one will get close enough to find out if you're likable. Studies suggest that standing or sitting in an expansive way (legs apart, arms spread wide, leaning forward) not only conveys your confidence to others, but it also triggers immediate changes in your body chemistry that make you more powerful, which goes hand-in-hand with competence.
Don't complain. Being around negative people is draining. That's why we call them "energetic vampires" - because they suck your energy. Being a "Negative Nancy" is an instant turn off. If you notice yourself complaining while everyone else starts to look distracted, do yourself a favor and pick a new topic.
Make everyone feel included. It stinks to feel left out when you're talking in a group. You can avoid this by making sure you look at everyone involved. Make everyone feel like they are a part of the conversation and their attention will be yours. If it appears that someone in the group is trying to say something but keeps getting cut off, take it upon yourself to help them jump in. You can try, "Jim, did you want to say something?" But never put anyone on the spot of making them feel uncomfortable.
Put your smartphone in your pocket. And keep it there until your conversation or meeting is over. Pay attention. Look at them. Stop what you're doing. No interruptions. This is another simple yet effective habit that can be executed immediately and does not require any effort or skill.