3 Tips On Making Friends & Gaining AMAZING Social Skills
By Judy Helm Wright
January 31, 2014
Expand your circle of friends! Learn how making friends and creating lasting friendships can enrich your life.
You meant to compliment your boss on the new jacket, but it came out in a negative way. “That outfit looks much better than the one you wore yesterday.”
Your child wants friends, but is often rude, bossy and unkind to others. You want to make friends with the people in your yoga class, but honestly don’t have a clue on how to begin.
Friendship Skills Don’t Come Naturally
Along with the ability to show and receive empathy, it is important to listen, negotiate, compromise and look at situations from another person’s point of view. Of course, just as some people are more inclined to be gifted at music or math, there are those who have a talent for making friend.
Even if they are more outgoing or social, most people and children can increase the social skills needed to navigate through life in a pleasant way.
Here are three important ways to increase your “likeability.”
1. Read and respond to body language.
Non-verbal communication is the language of relationships. Verbal communication is the language of information.
Being people smart means tuning into the nonverbal clues and facial expressions of those you come in contact with on a daily basis. If someone is smiling and looks friendly, you are probably safe to start a conversation like: “Wow, I like your earrings. Are you the artist who made them? Bet there is a story behind how they came to you.”
Watch for subtle clues on how the other person is feeling and thinking.
2. Learn the art of the question.
After you have asked the question about the earrings and indicated that you were interested in the answer (lean forward a bit and smile) then hush up and listen. Nod as you listen to indicate to them that you are interested and want them to go on.
Don’t try to top their story or act like you are in a hurry so that you can talk again. Be sincerely interested in their sharing and look for places to ask more questions.
Here are some great “starter questions” that get friendly conversation going and make more friends:
-What went right for you today?
-What brought you to this city?
-That is a wonderful accent, what is the language? Tell me about it.
-What are you planning for this weekend?
3. Be ready to compromise.
There is a big difference between an empowered person who speaks and acts with confidence, and one who is cocky, conceited and know-it-all.Above my desk hangs a quote by Dale Carnegie, author of How To Win Friends & Influence People, a primer for personal relationships first published in 1936.
“Remember that other people may be totally wrong. But they don’t think so. Don’t condemn them. Only wise, tolerant exceptional people would even try to do that.
There is a reason why the other fellow thinks and acts as he does. Try honestly to put yourself in his place.” Essentially the best and only way to gain social skills and enlarge your circle of friends is to practice the golden rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated and you will always have friends and be welcome in any social situation.