5 Keys to Better Social Interactions

No matter what type of social interaction you’re in there are a few guidelines that will help you leave a great impression.  Follow the five keys outlined below, and you’ll be able to meet and connect with all kinds of people in any type of social interaction.

Start light

When first meeting or getting to know someone a lot of people will pepper the other person with an onslaught of “interview-style” questions (Where do you live?  What do you do?  How do you like your job?  Etc.).  This type of conversation is not only boring, but it’s wildly uncomfortable to answer a barrage of questions from somebody you don’t know.

So instead of coming out of the gate with these kinds of questions, you’re better off getting a conversation rolling with some light, content-free banter.  You could, for example, comment on something going on in your environment.  Or open up with a bit of playful teasing (just be sure to keep a smile on your face when you tease her so she can see you’re joking).  If you’re not feeling the banter, you can always start things off with a compliment – perhaps on something the person is wearing that you find interesting.

Build rapport

In every type of social interaction, whether it’s a business deal or meeting a girl at a bar, it’s important to build rapport.  How do you do this?  You can start by using the “I” perspective when you speak about your thoughts, feelings, and opinions.  For instance, rather than saying “basketball is the best sport ever” like it’s some objective fact, say “I love basketball”, and maybe go into a bit about what you get from it that makes you love it.

This may seem like a subtle difference, but using this “I” perspective gives people a glimpse into your inner world – your thoughts, feelings, etc.  And when you give people this deeper look it gives them a chance to see you as someone who experiences the same emotions as them.  This creates an emotional connection, which gets people to feel a stronger bond with you.

Be a giver

There’s a particular mindset that is going to help you tremendously in any type of social interaction.  It can be tough to get at times, but if you do people will want to be around you as much as possible.  That mindset is that of a giver.

In your interactions don’t look to “get” anything.  Don’t walk up to a girl just looking to get a number, or reach out to a business VIP just so he’ll get you a better job.  If you want to build a strong relationship with that girl so she’ll want to date you, or that VIP so he’ll want to hook you up with a job, start by giving value first.  Look to give the girl a fun experience and brighten her day.  Offer to help the VIP overcome whatever problem he might be facing.  If you keep your focus on continually giving with no expectation of getting anything in return, many people will feel compelled to give back.  That girl will want to give you her number, and that VIP will want to help you find a great job.  This won’t be the case 100% of the time, but in the long run focusing on what you can give rather than what you can get is going to pay huge dividends.

Make yourself vulnerable

In almost every type of social interaction people are worried about how they come across.  It’s incredibly refreshing then when someone comes along and shows them it’s okay to take off that “social mask”.  That they can stop worrying about trying to “look cool” and fit it, and that they can be their authentic selves and still be accepted.

A great way to open this door and show people it’s okay to relax, open up, and truly be themselves is to take the lead and make yourself vulnerable.  For example, if you’re insecure about something (your weight, how you’re dressed, how nervous you feel…) don’t try and hide it and hope nobody notices.  Instead, shine a big light on it.  Bring it up and even make fun of yourself for it (just don’t be self-deprecating).  Pointing out your own imperfections and laughing at them is going to help others feel better about their perceived imperfections.  As a bonus, this is also a great way to create incredibly deep rapport.

Keep it positive

There is no type of social interaction that is enhanced with a negative attitude.  The more positive and upbeat you can be in your interactions, the more people are going to enjoy being with you.  Attitudes, after all, are contagious.  And if you insist on staying warm and positive in any type of social interaction, it’s going to rub on off the people you’re with.  And they will love having you around.

To keep your interactions warm and positive avoid senseless negativity.  Don’t gossip, complain, whine, talk trash, or put people down (even if they deserve it ;)).  Instead, keep your words positive.  Focus on what you enjoy about the environment you’re in and the people you’re with.  Throw around compliments to everyone around you.  Let the people you’re with know you appreciate and value them.

More keys of social interaction

The Art of Charm has hundreds of resources for in-depth tips and advice on how to handle various types of social interaction.  To find the resources that are right for you, talk to the customer service representative on the bottom right of your screen.  They’ll help you find the articles, podcasts, and programs you need to get positive results from almost any type of social interaction.

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