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5 Helpful Tips for Mastering Social Interaction

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The further we go into the digital age, the more we socialize online. But what about face-to-face interactions? If you feel more comfortable online than in person, here are some tips to help you rock any face-to-face social situation.

1. Smile more.

There aren’t too many “quick fix,” solutions in life. If you want to improve an area of your life, it usually takes hard work.

Not with this example. It’s simple.

Want to be more effective socially? Smile more! Never to the point where you come across like a grinning, slow-witted idiot, obviously. Just remember to smile once in a while. Think of the rush you feel when that cute girl or guy gives you a big smile.   

I Will Teach You To Be Rich author Ramit Sethi knows all about how smiling can improve your chances of success.

My wife recently posted a picture of us in a canoe of Facebook. The sun was in my eyes, I was squinting and I wasn’t smiling. Someone commented, “looks like canoeing wasn’t your hubby’s idea of fun.” Which wasn’t true. I love canoeing. But I forgot to smile. I tagged the pic as “not grumpy, it’s just my face.”

So remember that you have a face (it’s easy to forget you have one when you can’t see it), and remember to control your face. 

And most of all, remember to smile. 

2. Get people talking about themselves.

What do people LOVE to talk about? Themselves. Having trouble firing up a conversation? Ask the person a question about themselves. This pretty much guarantees that you’ll get the conversation going. 

A word of warning: be careful! You might get a far longer answer than you bargained for! 

3. Embrace who you are and use confident posture

Think about the last time you met someone who slouched their shoulders, kept their head down and didn’t smile. What was your impression of them?

So keep your shoulders back. Keep your chin up, don’t look at the ground. 

Being who you are means just that. Are you a big geek? Don’t act like it’s a bad thing. You’re a geek! You gotta own it, geek! Here are some tips if you are in fact a geek. 

Here’s what not to do. 



4. Give compliments.

Who doesn’t like compliments? If you leave a comment below that says, “you’re an awesome blog writer,” you probably won’t hurt my feelings. 

In fact, a study showed that receiving a compliment had the same effect on study groups as receiving cash.

If you’ve just met someone and the conversation is lagging, give them a compliment. Like their shirt, or boots? Let them know. Obviously you don’t want to lie or embellish. Nobody likes a fake or someone who’s shoveling them B.S. and most people have good B.S. detectors.  


But there’s (almost) no better way to make someone feel good about themselves than by giving them a compliment. 

5. Speak slowly and confidently.

When you are nervous, you tend to talk faster than when you’re relaxed. If you don’t feel confident, you might feel like you won’t be heard, so you speak as fast as possible.

I think this happens with my mom. My dad is very inward and quiet. My mom speaks so quickly to him it is as though she fears that she’ll lose his attention at any second, so in order to compensate, she jams as much information into what she’s saying before she loses him.

Jack Nicholson has a pretty good grip on speaking slowly and confidently in this scene from The Shining, as did Lloyd....talk slowly and confidently, sure, but there is no need to act insane. 

Photo credit: ohhector / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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