Here Are 9 Useful Social Skills You Can Pick Up Quickly
I’m an introvert, which means it’s a challenge for me to start conversations. Especially with strangers. How do you deal with that?
Make it easier for others to talk to you.
I’m trying to do that by being nice without saying a word. So here are 9 silent social skills that don’t cost a thing.
1. Hold the door
The single greatest social skill I’ve picked up in the US. Whichever door I go through, I always turn around and see if there’s someone there I can hold it for.
Don’t hold the door expecting a ‘thank you.’ Hold the door simply because you’re the type of person who holds doors for others.
You don’t have to go all Julia Roberts on everyone, but it’s always nice to see the corners of peoples’ mouths tilted upwards. Helps them deal with their day.
“Peace begins with a smile.” ― Mother Teresa
3. Establish eye contact
They say eyes are the gate to the soul. I don’t know about that, but it definitely builds trust. Especially if you pair it with that smile.
“For she had eyes and chose me.” ― William Shakespeare, Othello
You know what we’re missing a lot these days? Acknowledgement. A nod is the simplest form of that. “Hey, I see you, I know you’re here.” “Thanks for letting me know, I appreciate that.” All wrapped into a single head tilt.
“To be noticed is to be loved.” ― Ali Smith
Just raise two fingers. Make a peace sign. Salute. Spice up your nods. Get others to smile too.
“I love waving at random people, because you know for the rest of the day they’re trying to figure out who the hell you were.” – Anonymous
Okay, this one’s not so silent. But it shows you’re not a downer. People want to be around people who laugh. Don’t hold back.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” ― Anthony Burgess
The whiners are loud already. We need more whistlers. Maybe someone will recognize the song or chime in. Worth a whizz.
“Whistle while you work.” – Walt Disney
If you see me waiting at a pedestrian crossing with my ear buds in, I’ll definitely subtly be shuffling my feet. It shows people you’re in a good mood and not taking yourself so seriously.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
9. Make way
On the sidewalk, at an event, in the grocery store line if someone behind me has only a few items. Letting people pass is a nice reminder that life isn’t a race.
“Make way for the positive day.” ― Bob Marley
10. Bonus: The most social skill of all
Here’s the best part about these things:
During any single one of them, you can still listen.
That’s how you really crack the social code. Listening is the best EQ training there is.
It’s also silent, but it might be the most underrated social skill of all.
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart