How to develop social skills

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to develop social skills

Do you know why you feel anxious around strangers or the opposite sex?
its because you don't trust your ability to run a successful conversation.

Lets suppose that you were the world champion in boxing, will you feel anxious if an amateur player dared you to a match? Of course you wont because anxiety is a feeling we get when we find ourselves unsure of our abilities or skills.

So what does this has to do with social skills? in simple words if you managed to develop your social skills you wont feel anxious around others!

How can social skills be developed?

now the important question is , how can social skills be developed?

  • The egg or the chicken & social skills: Most people think of social skills the other way around by believing that they can't run good conversations because they feel anxious around people and while that is partially true still the only way to end this anxiety is to develop their social skills. If you kept thinking about your anxiety you will stay anxious forever and you wont be able to develop any skills while if you tried to develop your social skills even if you were feeling anxious then sooner or later you will succeed.
  • Trail and error: The best way to develop your social skills is to go through a process of trial and error. Approach a stranger even if you don't feel like it, try to talk to him even if you can't find the right words and evaluate your performance at the end of the day. During the first time your performance might be horrible but as you keep fixing your mistakes and trying again you will become more and more capable of running smooth conversations and your self esteem will go up
  • Get over your fears: Most people never manage to do the previous step because their fears hold them back. The fear of rejection and the fear of failure are among the two most common reasons that prevent people from developing their social skills. Usually both of these fears stem from false beliefs such as "everyone must accept me" and "rejection is shameful". If you are a perfectionist or if you believe that its too shameful to make a mistake then know that you are seeing the world from a different angle than the angle normal people see it from. If you don't make mistakes then you will never develop your social skills and if you didn't manage to develop them then you will stay where you are forever
  • How to choose your targets: In the beginning you are going to be more sensitive to rejection because your faith in your abilities will be low and that's why its better to start with easier targets. Learn body language well then watch for the signals people are sending before you approach anyone. Make sure you approach those with open body language or those who are sending positive signs. If you did so your success rate will be much higher and you will develop your social skills faster

False beliefs and developing social skills

Brave people are the ones who manage to go forward even if they feel afraid. Some people on the other hand prefer to run or to escape instead of facing their problems directly.

Because those people hate to admit the fact that they lack courage they try to find excuses such as "i dont look good", "i am so fat"...etc just to allow themselves to escape while feeling good.

If you mistakenly got involved in that sort of self deception then remind yourself of the fact that you will never build your social skills if you didn't become brave!

In short, developing your social skills is all about trial and error! those who keep trying manage to develop them while those who don't become socially withdrawn.

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