Are there ways to learn the skill of how to talk to people? Does it really matter how you interact with people?
I think you can certainly learn that skill. If it doesn’t come naturally for you, the thing I would do is to observe people that it does come natural to. Understand what they’re doing, understand how they actually approach a situation, how they conduct themselves in a social situation and learn those little cues. Slowly implement them into your own social situation.
The other thing is to read some material and learn little things that can help you improve your social skills. Slowly implement them as well. The most important thing is that you actually want to be present and in the moment when you’re talking to people. Make them feel like what they’re talking about actually interests you. Whether it does or not, you just want to make them feel like you’re valuing what they’re saying. Be a good listener and your social skills will always improve.
Give eye contact, pretend to actually listen by nodding your head, by really agreeing with certain points and just showing them that you are engaged. So you can be an active listener, even when you really aren’t interested. Asking them questions is a big part of active listening. By slowly doing this and putting yourself into more social situations, you’re going to naturally get better at talking to people. You’re going to start to learn more about social cues and learn how to be a more sociable guy.
When you’re talking about learning social skills and learning social cues, who are the people that you can practice on, without having to go up to a total stranger?
Initially, a good way to practice talking to new people is going and speaking to shopkeepers or people behind a bar. Bartenders are awesome listeners! They have learned the trait to get better tips. Watch a bartender placate someone who is melancholy and spilling their guts at the end of the bar and you’ll learn a lot.
You might give yourself a small task to go to a clothing store and have a two or three minute conversation with the shop assistant.She is almost paid to be sociable, so she’s going to really want to try and make an effort to socialize with you and talk to you. It might be just a good way to initially help make yourself feel more comfortable. Practice a little bit on someone that’s actually paid to do it.
That also could be a great way for you to warm up. If you’re going out one night and you want to be more sociable at night and talk to women, or even during the day, you might want to warm up. Warm up by going to a shop and engaging in conversation with a shopkeeper.
What has worked for you in breaking out of your comfort zone and learning how to talk to people?
For me, the best way was to put myself into more situations where I had to be sociable. The second thing was to actually be a better listener. I really wanted to actually make people feel more valued around me, so I learned to ask questions. I learned to really be inquisitive and to be interested in people. I started to really be more friendly and more of a guy that people could actually open up to and talk to and be honest to.
The most important thing for me was to actually get myself into more sociable situations and second, to be a person that can listen and people can actually talk to and have a great conversation with. A huge part of this is getting out there and finding people to listen to!
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