If you've come to Improve Your Social Skills, it's probably because you want to be more social. You don't study social skills so you can sit in your room alone---you study them so you can go out and be social!
But how do you actually make that happen? And what does "being social" even mean, anyway?
Well, the first step is to spend some time building up your social skills. If you try to be social and then run into trouble because your social skills need work, you're going to get discouraged and it will be harder to be social in the future.
But let's say you've already put in the time to study and practice your social skills, and you feel confident. You've studied how to make conversation and you've brushed up on your body language. You may not be perfect, but you're ready to put your social skills to use.
If that's you, then becoming more social is easy. Here's how you do it.
Many Roads To Social Success
First, realize that there is no one right way to be social.
"Being social" for you will look different than it does for others, and that's ok.
I have a friend who plays in a different Dungeons and Dragons game almost every night. He dedicates the majority of his social time to these games, but it's a social life that works for him. He gets to spend hours with his friends, doing an activity he enjoys.
I have another friend who goes out dancing 3-4 times per week. Most of her social time is dedicated to meeting new people on the dance floor, and that's the social life that works for her.
I prefer to bounce between a lot of different social activities--my social calendar is always different week to week. That's the social life that works for me.
Find Your Social Rhythm
By now, you've realized my point.
"Being social" doesn't mean that you have to hit the bar scene, or go to parties.
"Being social" means that you discover what a rich, fulfilling social life looks like for you, and then live that out.
If you need a long time to rest between social engagements, being social might mean one social event per week. If you thrive on interaction, being social might mean a new event each day.
If you already have a solid group of friends, being social might mean that you spend most of your time with them. Or, it might mean that you split your time between your old friends and opportunities to meet new friends.
In any case, it needs to be something that works for YOU.
Your "Be Social" Blueprint
Of course, you might not know what a rich, fulfilling social life looks like for you. And that's ok.
Like many other areas of life, being social takes time to figure out. But there's an easy two-step process that can help you through it. I call it "Ponder & Go Yonder."
First, ponder your social goals and your previous social experiences.
Think through what has worked for you in the past, and what has been flawed in the past that you would like to improve for the future. The goal is not to figure things out completely, but to discover a few possibilities for areas where you can grow your social life.
Second, go yonder.
By this I mean try something that is new but achievable. The word "yonder" refers to something that is distant but within view. Try for that balance of "distant but within view" when pondering new ways to be more social.
In other words, explore new social opportunities that may be a bit challenging or scary (ie, "distant") but make sure they are still achievable (ie, "within view.")
Growing Towards Social Success
"Ponder & Go Yonder" is a repeating process.
You'll spend some time thinking, which will give you an idea for something new for you to try. That new experience will give you more fuel for thought, and your thinking will in turn lead to new experiences.
The cycle keeps repeating, and every time it does, you grow a little closer to a full understanding of what "being social" looks like for you.
So there's no rush. Just commit to a slow and steady cycling of "Ponder & Go Yonder" and you grow steadily closer to the rich, fulfilling social life you desire.
But before you embark on that journey, why not share your thoughts in the comments? I would love to hear your ideas on what "being social" looks like for you, or your tips for how others can apply "Ponder & Go Yonder" successfully.