Learning social skills

Postby ivenius » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:44 pm

Finished uni, full-time job, living with an old friend... besides work and bars/clubs I don't have no places to meet people - thus I want to train myself to build good rapport with people I meet the first time (for friendships, girlfriends, anything) which is something I'm terrible in.

Problems I identified
1. I'm quite talkative when I'm with friends, but I have problems talking to people I don't usually talk to or meet for the first time. I don't know what to talk about, I'm afraid of saying something stupid, I loose focus during the interaction, and people become bored with me.
2. When I'm in a group of people interacting with a group of people, I can't draw attention to myself over people I'm with, I feel I'm "somewhere in the background", I also often loose focus and am afraid to draw this attention to myself because I'm afraid of not knowing what to say, just like the first point.
3. Speech problems - I'm having big problems with talking too fast and having troubles pronouncing words correctly sometimes, so I have to sometimes repeat myself and people tell me I talk too fast and not clearly.

Traits I am trying to work on
1. Being outgoing - I can modulate my voice to sound confident, I know something about body language, but I want to be talkative with random people, and come off as and intelligent guy leading an interesting conversation, not someone who's boring, doesn't know what to say and looses it.
2. Being charismatic - I want to draw attention to myself when I'm interacting in a group of people.
3. Training to be better at speech - I want to work on speeking slower and more clearly.

Solutions I've found and use to work on these
1. Going to bars/clubs twice a week to interact with people - I do interact with people, but these interaction doesn't seem to get any better - I know what I do wrong, I do draw conclusions, but I don't know how to change how I behave so this practice seems to be for nothing.
2. I've been trying to speak slower a couple of times but it usually didn't do nothing. I don't know how to work on my pronounciation.

I have a good, well-paid job, I have my own apartment, and a couple of close friends - and yet I'd want to have a bit more friends, likely women (I'm a computer programmer so my friends are mostly men - well, that's my environment), not get a red face when I say something I didn't want to, not envy others their personality and social skills. I'm 22, I have planned moving to another country by myself as an adventure (to work), I also want to become a manager, or a leader, in my future career, so I want to develop these skills.


Ok, tons of books about self-improvement, practicing interactions - can it really be learnt? How can I learn it? What books should I read? How should I practice? Any advice or insight would be appreciated, thanks!
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Postby bert_ernie » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:53 pm

have you read "how to win friends and influence people"?
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Postby JuliusFawcett » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:42 pm

Are you getting a good balance between work, rest and play? Well balanced people are easier to get along with.
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Postby tijmenklip » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:43 pm

Yes it can definitely be learned! There are great books, YouTube channels, you name it on it. Learning to interact is about much more than just talking. It is about confidence, body language, storytelling and seeing how it all comes together through practice.

Books on top of my head I would recommend:
- The Definitive Book of Body Language
- How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
- The Charisma Myth
- Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges

First of all – great that you are trying to interact already. But just going to bars and clubs is so limited. Why not go to other public places where you can meet people. And use any other interaction outside and inside of work to practice your social skills.

At the grocery store, on the street, applying for meetings with clients instead of just programming. You name it. Start saying hi to people on the street, initiating small conversations.

If you want to practice your speech – why not do it in front of the mirror. Or tape it, play it and listen how fast you talk. Try again and then adjust. Tape, repeat and learn.

As for becoming charismatic - Read this article (as part of a bigger series) http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/11/12/the-3-elements-of-charisma-power/. It is awesome for getting to know the base principles.

Does that answer your questions a bit?
If you want to know more - you can PM me, I know the struggle and like to help
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Postby cyberpsychology » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:53 am

Being conscious of one's 'shortcomings' is one of the definite ways to feel awkward in social situations. You have to stay out of your own way and let your innate self take over during such times. Self-help books and lectures only help is getting us motivated but is external. They only trigger and can't help us sustain.

Best way forward would be to take it easy and not be conscious of it (that also means not being conscious of being conscious!) . Once you immerse yourself into a particular activity or a lifestyle and start feeling secure or feeling comfortable being under your skin, so to speak, these inhibitions are likely to fade away. And, that's when you have to rely on external sources of motivation. Hope it helps!
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