How To Become More Social and Friendly – 7 Easy Tips
Nobody likes being the party pooper in a room full of people. In fact, in an ideal world, we would all be friendly and pleasant beings. But the reality is that some of us struggle to socialize more than others. Sometimes it's easier to shrink back into the shadows than to strike up a social strike-up conversation. Unfortunately, some situations arise where being friendly no longer becomes an option; it becomes a necessity.
It's not as terrible as you think. Keep reading if you're keen to learn the skills required to improve your presence around people and to be a more friendly person. You will find out that improving your social skills is not that hard, and doesn't' require spending time in front of the mirror. So, How to become more social and friendly? read on to discover some cool and practical tips.
What does being sociable mean?
An easy search on Google will tell you that the term 'sociable' means being willing to talk and engage others in activities, or at least being friendly. A sociable and pleasant person is approachable and willing to approach others - this includes non-threatening strangers.
Such a person can hold long conversations with people. Making friends it's easier for a sociable person. They are usually funny, engaging, and confident.
There is a difference between being social and sociable. A social person is someone who has a lot of friends and goes out a lot. But, that is a different topic for another time.
Why should you be more likable?
So why is it important to be sociable? Well, it's nice to be a likable person, for starters. Used wisely, likability can be a powerful tool. It makes relationships more comfortable, and it gives you more opportunities in almost every field. People genuinely want to help people they like. According to research, likable people possess positive qualities like politeness, respectfulness, and incredible listening skills.
Likability is even becoming an essential factor at work. People that are more likable are more likely to get hired, get assistance at work, and have mistakes forgiven.
In an interesting study done in the USA, it was found that an employer was likely to take the suggestions of a likable employee, even if the employee lacked sufficient supporting evidence for their advice.
Likability at work could determine whether you get raises, promotions, and invitations. It could also mean more than competence and skill in some instances. You can go on and inviting people to launch and get to know them outside of the office. A fun restaurant can be a great comfort zone for both of you, make you feel good and more likable.
How to be friendly?
So how does one become more sociable? It's a tricky question because others could reason that you're just born with a positive trait.
"The reality is social skills, being happy and being positive around others — that doesn't come naturally to a lot of people," says Patrick King, author of "The Science of Likability: 27 Studies to Master Charisma, Attract Friends, Captivate People, and Take Advantage of Human Psychology.
However, it has been proven possible to learn how to be friendly. To be friendly and make more friends, you need to make it happen. Waiting for others will just make you feel powerless and lowers your self-esteem. So what can you do?
1. Be approachable
Easier said than done, right?
One of the best ways to increase likability is to be approachable. This has a lot to do with the demeanor and how you come across. Nobody will like a person who seems fake or aloof. These qualities are usually portrayed by people who are uncomfortable in social settings. Being approachable requires lowering your guard and not being afraid to be yourself. Your real personality is what will attract people to you. So don't be scared to make eye contact and smile.
A few tips on looking approachable include:
• Be accessible
• Keep your head up - literally
• Angle towards a person you're speaking to
• Avoid nervous habits (like nail biting)
• Don't always check your phone at social events or even when you are with your close friends
• Improve your body language when you talk to people
• Keep your arms open- don't cross them over your body
2. Be a good listener
Good listeners are a rarity these days. Most people are in such a rush to be heard that they forget to listen to others. It is important to listen and process what someone has said before responding.
So don't get too excited to respond before the speaker is done talking. Often, interrupting a conversation can make the other person feel like you are shutting them down before they have a chance to explain fully.
Act as if the person you are speaking with is the most important person in the world. The art of active listening is essential and involves concentration on the speaker and the words being spoken.
A great way to show that you have been listening is to ask follow-up questions. Sitting silently and nodding does not provide sure evidence that a person is listening, but actively asking a relevant and interesting question tells the speaker that the listener is actively involved in the conversation. Good listening makes the conversation a two-way dialog, keeping it active instead of passive. Good listening also involves building a person's self-esteem. The best listeners make the conversation an engaging and positive experience for the other party. They make the person feel supported. Great listeners create a secure environment for the speaker.
A research study was conducted where data was analyzed that described the behavior of 3,492 participants in a development program. The program was designed to help managers become better coaches. It involved the assessment of their coaching skills. It was identified that the top 5% were perceived as being the most effective listeners.
3. Give others a chance to speak.
Likable people don't hog the spotlight. Yes, they can become the life of the party, but they know to give others a chance. People who are only interested in getting attention often miss many opportunities to offer value and be of service to those around them. Self-absorbed people also often scare the introverted away.
4. Put your phone away - for now
You have to put the phone down, unfortunately. There's nothing worse than speaking to someone who is busy scrolling through their phone. Social media won't help you be sociable in public.
When you Mingle with people in the real world, you have to fully commit to a conversation with someone without the distractions of phone-checking. There is a time and place to post on Instagram or to send out that tweet. But if you're trying to be friendly in a room full of people, you need to be present - with your phone safely in your pocket. Make small talk with those around you to begin building real relationships.
5. Be a copycat
Yes, you read that correctly. Synchronizing yourself with those around you is a powerful socialization tool. When someone smiles, we are inclined to smile back. Look at babies, for example, from just a few weeks after birth. They have a natural knack for imitating the facial expressions of those around them, even if they don't know what they mean.
This can be seen as a natural social synchronization to building rapport with others. Subtly imitating people were talking to makes them feel comfortable. Research has found that matching your voice and tone to the other person is a powerful tool for building a connection. This might be because it makes the other person feel like you're paying attention to them and understand them.
6. Be tolerant and open-minded.
It is essential to be tolerant even of things you don't believe in. Likable people stay open-minded in their conversations. They are willing to talk to and listen to many different types of people without any judgment. It is important to note that disagreement is perfectly fine, and also, it is vital to have clear moral codes, but the idea is to let others have their say. This will allow you to understand them better and make them feel heard. You can then share your own beliefs after you have listened to theirs. This can often lead to interesting debates and discussions.
7. Be a conversation starter.
Knowing how to start a conversation on the right key is very important in likability. A good topic gets the other person interested and can lead to great conversation. Conversations need to be engaging and open-ended. One great way to initiate conversation is by sharing interesting bits of information. This can be done by using good old Trivia.
Bonus tip: How to become a more interesting person with Trivia
Most people enjoy trivia, facts, and riddles, and they're a good way to start and keep a conversation going. It can be fun Trivia like:
- What countries start with the letter G
- What words begin with 't' and end with 't'
Or it can be questions that really make the other person think, such as:
- What Icelandic geothermal site has the same name as a 1980 movie?
- In printing, it's the color black. In chemistry, it's potassium. In baseball, it's a strikeout. Which letter is it?
Trivia questions like this will have others thinking about them and you all evening.
Being charismatic and sociable is a skill many are born with. But with the right tools and tips, many of us can be sociable butterflies in no time.All it really takes is your willingness to put yourself out there and, of course, a brain jam-packed with fun trivia.