Some people may be naturally gregarious and easily find themselves socially connected. For most of us, feeling truly integrated into a social scene takes some effort. Luckily, there are predictable patterns to social success. Do certain things, and people will be drawn to you.
Below are seven skills that all socially successful people possess:
They focus on quality over quantity. People who feel socially connected may have a thousand Facebook friends and even more Twitter and Instagram followers, but they know deep down that this is not the heart of their social circle. In other words, they know that most social media friends are acquaintances at best.
While having many acquaintances is certainly not a bad thing, those who succeed socially understand that acquaintances need to eventually turn into actual friends if they want to feel truly tied to that friend group. They don’t settle for quantity, they always go for quality.
They prioritize face-to-face interactions. Most socially connected people recognize that maintaining relationships requires a bit of effort, and one of the efforts they prioritize is seeing other people in person. While in-person interactions can feel much less efficient than online or phone interactions, there’s a value to in-person communication that socially successful people understand. It’s how you start seeing people as just that — people!
They share. To feel socially connected to others, it’s vital to feel seen by the people around you. But to feel seen, you have to let others get to know you. Socially connected people understand this and are willing to share at least bits and pieces of personal information with others. This doesn’t mean oversharing to complete strangers. It simply means making yourself a little vulnerable to those you want to feel close to.
They listen. While introverts often have a hard time feeling as socially connected as extroverts, it’s definitely not a given that the most extroverted person in the room is also the most socially connected. He may garner a lot of attention, but if an extrovert can’t learn a bit about those around him by quietly listening to them, those around him will hardly feel close to him. Listening to others makes people want to be around you, and wanting to be around each other is the essence of feeling connected.
They ask questions. Socially connected people get that, fundamentally, all social interaction is about demonstrating interest in one another. If you don’t act like you’re interested in those around you, you’ll come across as aloof, cold, possibly even rude.
The easiest way to demonstrate interest in others is to ask them questions. The most socially successful people ask factual questions (“What do you do for work?”) but they also ask questions that are more subjective (“How do you like what you do for work?”). These two types of questions used in conjunction accelerates feelings of connectedness.
They see past differences. As you learn more about those around you through listening and asking questions, it’s inevitable that you’ll notice some differences between you and them. Be it politics, religion, or lifestyle choices, differences will arise.
Socially connected people realize that nobody will be and act and look exactly like them, so they make an effort to not let differences stand in the way of closeness. They understand that fundamentally we’re all human, and we can all naturally relate to one another.
They don’t worry about rejection. It’s perfectly natural to fear rejection when entering a new social group or meeting a new person you really like. The leap that socially connected people make is that while they likely feel this fear, they don’t worry about it.
In other words, they don’t dwell in the fear and allow it to turn into an unproductive rumination on everything that could go wrong. Instead, they identify the people they want to be close to and march bravely into that relationship despite any fears that may arise.
These seven habits of socially connected people are straightforward and easy to get started on right away. Pick the one you think would have the biggest impact on your social life and give it a try!