How do I become socially adept?


#1

I’m a teenager and sometimes I’m not very good in social situations. How can I become really good in social situations?


#2

Join the debate team and/or find a job that forces you to interact with others, preferably doing public speaking and making lots of small talk. All of those things really helped me. I’m still VERY shy and get nervous around new people, but I’ve learned how to make small talk and to be a little more adept socially.


#3

As a teenager of course you have some things to learn about being socially adept. Even those of us who were teenagers some time ago still can feel a little out of place in social situations at times.

Here are some hints in no particular order.

If you are genuinely interested in what people have to say, people will pick up on that.
Look at people, ask questions based on what they said.
Don’t just listen in order to jump in when the other person draws breath.
Ask questions which require more that a yes or no response.
People like an interested listener.
Act confident, people are drawn to people who seem interesting.
You will not become socially adept overnight. :slight_smile:


#4

toastmasters.org/
Check this out. I have been and not only do you learn to speak well and effectively; but you have a lot of great fun as well! I am sure there is a chapter near you…


#5

dude i was just like you. just um like ye join a club seek out peolepl of simular interest. the bug theing is though is just go out nad put yourself online. i knw it sounds hard. but thats the way a total stranger becomes your best friend. (thats how all our friends start out)just go out and do stuff. its the only way to meet peoeple. i hope that thelps.


#6

Be Friendly!

Just today I made a new acquaintance. We had a beautiful 70 deg. sunny day going, and I pulled into a spot next to the “Motorcycles Only” area.

There was a guy just climbing off his bike. We made eye-contact and did the “guy-head-nod Hello” thing… just courtesy.

As I was walking past I said “There aren’t too many days left for a nice putt on the scooter, is there?!”… “Nope, that’s why I rode today!”

That sentence turned into a 15 minute conversation… Nothing important, but just two guys “shooting the breeze” for a bit.


#7

A long time ago I learned that people really want to talk about themselves and their own interests. They aren’t usually too interested in yours. That’s okay, and I wouldn’t worry about it. Most folks are kind of lonely and don’t feel too appreciated, and so it’s not vanity, exactly, that makes most of them want to talk about themselves or their interests.

The trick, I think, is in finding the “handle”. In other words, “what does this person want to talk about”. That’s not always easy to know, but sometimes its best to just observe someone for a bit. Does he or she seem to be pretty big on clothes, or their car or their house or pet or what? Sometimes it can just be a name. “That’s a nice Irish name, are you all Irish?”…“No, my mom is Polish”, and you’re on your way. Lots of times people just want to talk about anything at all, but you always have to at least figure a way to start the thing with them.

But the biggest thing is actually learning to care. The more practice you have with this, the more you learn to see how people are in themselves, and you can sympathize with them. It makes it easier to talk to them if you, yourself, actually do care about them. As I said, I think most people are at least a bit lonely, and I think most feel at least a bit unappreciated. Most feel just a bit inadquate. I don’t care who they are or what they are. Most of them really want to talk to somebody who’ll listen and who seems to care. Again, the more you do this, the easier it becomes. And try to relax. If you aren’t worried about yourself in the conversation and are focusing on the other person, you can be the one in it who is at ease. If you are at ease, the other person will pick up on it and will want even more to talk to you.


#8

Don’t worry it will come with time. Most people feel socially inferior or insecure at times. The best advice I can give is get socially involved with people you enjoy being with (Catholic youth groups, pro-life groups, or a hobbie type group). I think with time you will learn not to care what other people think about you. The only person you need to answer to is God. :bowdown2:


#9

Focus on what the other person might need. As you practice this, your brain will actually develop neural circuits specialized for it. You will find it easier and easier to read people over time.


#10

Ridgerunner is right on target. He is giving good advice. If it’s okay with your folks consider reading how to win friends and influence people. It’s kind of corny but it amplifies much of Ridgerunners posts. Most importantly talk to the adults who love most and that you trust the most. They can guide you with the care you need . You have a lot of courage to even ask, I admire that. It’s rare in your generation. Mine too.

You have a rare condition, only every other teenager to live in the history of the world ever, has experienced it. You aren’t unique or odd. Remember all the other kids feel the same way too. Especially the super cool ones. that’s why they work so hard on the image.

When I was young my Dad realized I was an idiot. He gave me two peices of advice. the first was simply, restraint of tongue and pen. the second was , Son, You’re an idiot. Keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re an idiot, or open you’re mouth and prove it to everyone. This advice can be adapted by the wise for use in certain situations. Plus people think your deep because you don’t say too much.

Have fun, stay straight and true in every way, listen to your parents and life will be so great you’ll wake up 22 years old wondering where all the time went. With a treasure of memories you will always cherish. Remember parents know things that’s how they got to be so old listen to them and talk to them, they love you no matter what. Good Luck Dan


#11

Some very good advice here. A few more tips:

Ask questions and listen to others–this is not as common as it sounds but it works. In other words, let others do the talking (they will love you for it!) and encourage them to talk about themselves and their interests with appropriate comments (civil and respectful, of course) of your own.

Read very widely, especially a good national newspaper and whatever opinion magazines you like. You can’t talk if you don’t know what others (and you) are talking about.

Watch how other successful schmoozers do it. Adapt what they do to your own style and personality. But, always be yourself.

Get a sense of etiquette and context. Things and talk appropriate in some settings are wrong in others.

Be patient. The social will (I can guarentee this) will come with practice. There is no other way.


#12

Iwannabe,
you sounded exactly like me a few months ago. I found a really good group of people, a good influence, with whom I really bonded and so it then helped me go out and be more social.
I don’t know your situation, but I suggest that one of the best ways to become more social is to be surrounded by a consistent group, a good influence, that will help you bring out who you are. An example is a youth group or at a seniors home, or a centre for diabled adults. It has been my experience that such people really help you love yourself because they love you. And when you see that people love you so consistently, you won’t be as afraid to take it easy in front of others. To be social doesn’t mean you have to be loud, I think that more than anything, it just consists in being comfortable around people.

Hope this helps. Say a little prayer that you may find a good group of friends, Christian friends, or friends who will help you appreciate your human dignity as a person.


#13

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