Hi there damnyoud………..many folks on this site have social issues, then there are others like myself who don’t. My two children are both ADD, one who is not socially gifted, the other is to the extreme, like me??? There is no rhyme or reason to it, it seems. My partner who is not an Adder is not a social person at all…..but is an “adult child” from an alcoholic home…..so, read into that what you will???
I will share my social persona with you…it’s not difficult but like any skill (and it is) it takes commitment and practice before it becomes natural and flows easily. This works in any environment from the Board Room to the bar. It is based on the concept of “Active Listening”…. I have personally used it when speaking to both the Corporate Executive and the waitress in the restaurants I frequent…it works!!!!
When joining a group already in discussion STOP. Listen, to catch what the group is discussing, get a feel for the gist of where the conversation is going…what position people are taking…but Wait……..wait……and smile (a little) it’s an “approachable” signal……90% of communication is non-verbal!!!!
Relax……tension is visible and a turn off….try remember none of these people actually is focused on YOU at all….they are are just hangin’….that is a fact!!! While you are ‘Waiting”…… there are other tools you can use BEFORE you speak. A Nod from time to time is an acknowledgement, it is a form of conversational engagement, without speaking (non-verbal). A chuckle at a bit of humor, or a simple “Sure”, acknowledges the speaker or the conversational concept. There, your in a conversation and active too!!!. A real good thought is not to linger too too long in a group (it can get uncomfortable) move on to another group or drift off by your self for a bit…you can re-engage later. Sounds dumb???? It works. Remaining slightly aloof is intriguing to others.
I generally tend to LISTEN a lot, and ask people about themselves, or what they do…. especially in smaller groups, or one on one conversations. People are most comfortable talking about themselves, it shows interest on my part, it is conversationally endearing to others. Simple statements like…. “wow that’s interesting”, or “how long have you been doing that”….simple simple questions that encourage others to speak. Folks will be drawn to speak to/with you. If they ask about you….keep it short, down play it, and turn it back to them. I never, never argue or contradict…….I have no need to do that, it is not a great conversational quality. Now…if you get the impression I’m superficial or a wimpy dork……forget it!!!! I am the most controversial bastard on the planet…you wanna fight I’m your boy…. but……I pick my places and battles, a social setting for me is not appropriate. I keep my lofty ideas to myself, keep them for a safe setting where it’s more appropriate.
These concepts may sound simple or shallow but I ask, how is what your doing working so far??? These conversational tools are actually set out in many managerial courses and some are part of negotiating skills, but, they work in many situations. It does take time to build them into your persona, to where they are not mechanical. At first they may seem forced but practice and diligence will turn them softer and more natural.
I talk to everybody too, EVERYBODY……. the clerk in the store, the waiter, the teller at the bank. Short stuff ‘Hey how are Ya’….how’s it going and a smile. simple chatter, one two words, short……..people like it, it makes their job and their day go better. If I was a clerk in a store I would sooner assist somebody who was openly friendly than somebody who was the opposite!!! People you see frequently will remember you and even start to chat you up, once they get comfy with you??? Worst case you will end up with great service in places you frequent!!!! Service and relationships other don’t get!!!! Cool eh???
That’s the sort version….it does work, it does take time to cultivate. The human interaction is worth it!