I looked at each of the interviewers staring at me from around the table.
“So I need to convince you that I deserve this job even though I’m unqualified and have no experience.”
The boss smirked: “Basically.”
Though I grew up shy and socially awkward, especially with people older and more experienced than me, They still hired me.
If I had lacked social skills my whole life, how did I suddenly succeed in this situation?
First, social skills require experience. I knew that if I wanted to be successful, I had to force myself to get experience, even in small things like casual conversation.
For that experience to be beneficial, I had to be prepared beforehand. I had to have goals that I wanted to achieve with a specific conversation, try different methods, and see what worked.
In order to consistently follow through with my plans, I had to form habits that were effective in social situations, and break my bad habits of social ineptitude.
Before taking control of my social life, I viewed myself as a victim.
I’m just not good at talking. It’s just the way I was raised. I’m an introvert.
The number one thing I had to do in order to start having productive social skills was take responsibility.
I am responsible for every outcome of social encounters. Not my parents. Not my personality. Not my subconscious psycho stuff.
Since I am in control, I must have a clear idea of what I want. If I let them control the direction of the conversation, I lose.
Every social encounter has a purpose, even small talk. Enjoy it!
To get what I wanted, I had to form better social habits. Many of these are the popular ones that everyone suggests, but it was harder for me to adopt these habits than most people. I needed a step by step process of changing my social life.
Here is the process in general:
- Take complete responsibility for your own social life.
- Define the core of your character. What are the principles in your life that guide all of your communication?
- Determine the specific outcomes that you want from social interaction.
- Develop habits by planning and following through with multiple experiences. These would be anything from smiling and good body language to specific questions to ask in certain situations.
The advice of blogs and books is almost all helpful, but the trouble is you eventuallly have to put it into practice in your life.
Actually following this process wasn’t only helpful in my business life; it made me finally successful with women!
Whenever I saw a girl I liked, I would avoid her, even turning and hiding behind walls just to spare the embarrassment of my lack of social skills.
After systematically working on my skills, I was shocked one night when I met my future wife.
The conversation flowed naturally, there was not one moment of awkward silence, and when we had to leave, both of us just wanted more.
If I had not been working on forming these habits, I might be sitting in my parents’ basement playing video games right now.
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