Lots of people tell me, “I hate small talk.”
And in truth, small talk can be tiresome sometimes. When you’re discussing a topic you don’t care about, it’s natural to get bored.
Small talk can be doubly frustrating when you’ve craving deep interactions. After you’ve experienced true heart-to-heart conversation, how can you go back to discussing the weather?
It’s understandable to feel like small talk is a waste of time — the “busywork” of social interaction.
Understandable — but wrong.
Small talk has huge potential to help you connect with others. Let’s look at the three reasons why. (more…)
Self-confidence is a catch-22.
If you don’t feel confident, then you feel anxious and your anxiety causes mistakes. But when you’re afraid of feeling anxious and making mistakes, it’s very hard to feel confident.
Of course, it is possible to build self-confidence. You can give yourself a pep talk, or straighten your posture, or work on your areas of weakness. But building self-confidence can feel like building a house of cards — one failure and it all comes crashing down.
Fortunately, there’s a better way. (more…)
Would you climb a mountain with a backpack full of rocks?
You would probably stop and remove the rocks first — even if this means you don’t start your climb right away. Or, if you couldn’t remove the rocks, you would still understand that you don’t need to climb as fast as someone who isn’t weighed down.
For some reason, we don’t apply this same logic to self-improvement.
We might be weighed down by social anxiety, or past trauma, or an empty bank account, or problems with physical or mental health, or by a schedule that is jam packed with commitments — the rocks that we carry can look very different.
But our response to them is unfortunately very similar. Either we try to ignore them and push ourselves towards incredibly ambitious goals (and then pay the cost in burnout and shame when our burdens block us from those goals), or we give up and say “I can’t even try to climb this mountain — my rocks are too heavy.”
I’d like to propose a different way. (more…)
With the right support, a child with Asperger’s can go far.
I should know. I have Asperger’s, but thanks to the support of my parents (and some hard work), I have overcome many of the challenges of Asperger’s.
If your child has Asperger’s or a similar condition, you play a pivotal role in leading your child to success. Read on to learn how my parents helped me, and how you can help your child succeed too! (more…)
Hi everyone! Today’s post is by Nick from GoBodyLanguage.com. He shares how your body language can impact your confidence, and gives some excellent tips for improving your body language. His tips will help you both feel and look more confident, so read on!
Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are is the title of a recent TED talk by Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, and with nearly 7 million people having viewed the talk, the world is finally becoming aware of the impact that our body language has not only on how others perceive us but how we perceive ourselves.
We have cognitive dissonance to thank for that, which describes a process wherein we hold two or more conflicting ideas about ourselves, which are in disagreement with one another. Our mind protests this disagreement, and if we hold these conflicting notions for some period of time, the mind will eventually try its best to bring each conflicting idea closer to the other.
In case the previous paragraph were a bit confusing, let me break it down more simply: if you’re an unconfident person who forces him/herself to use confident body language, over time you will actually start to feel more confident as a result. Your mind will actually alter your unconfident feelings to become more in line with the confident body language you are using.
With this understanding in mind, let’s cover some of the quick things you can do in the next 5 minutes to make your body language more confident. Remember that if you force yourself to consistently use this type of confident body language, over time you will actually being to feel more confident. (more…)
The way you speak matters.
If you don’t sound like you expect respect, you might not get it.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a natural leader to speak with authority, or the king of self-esteem to speak with confidence. With a little practice, anyone can begin to speak with authority and confidence.
Don’t believe me? Just keep reading (more…)
Fear often keeps us from the things we want.
Maybe we want to go talk to that guy, or ask that girl out, or go to that party. But we’re afraid.
What if he doesn’t want to talk to me?
What if she says no?
What if I feel awkward at the party?
In the moment, these fears can seem really big. And when our fears are big, we play it safe, which means we avoid the things we really want to do.
Fortunately, there’s one simple rule you can use to give yourself courage. (more…)
Although most of the visitors to Improve Your Social Skills are adults, I do get a lot of questions from parents who are interested in social skills training for their kids. Sometimes it’s because the kids have Asperger’s or a similar condition, and sometimes it’s just because kids are kids and need a little help learning the social skills.
While Improve Your Social Skills (and most other resources) can be adapted to work with kids, it’s great to find resources that are specifically designed for kids. That’s why I’m excited to tell you about Being Frank, a book about a kid named Frank who is, well, too frank. (more…)
Hey guys! I wanted to let you know that Improve Your Social Skills was featured on my local TV station, KXAN. If you’d like to learn more about my story, check out the video below! You can also read the story online at http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/local/austin/making-a-weakness-a-strength
Hey guys! I know things have been a little quiet at Improve Your Social Skills recently, but never fear — cool things are in the works, and you’ll be able to see the fruits of my labor soon.
In the meantime, I wanted to let you know about a cool new resource for learning body language. It’s called GoBodyLanguage.com, and I recommend it highly. It’s comprehensive, has videos, and best of all it’s totally free (at least at time of writing.)
There’s tons of body language books out there, but it’s tough to translate a picture on a page to a real-life person, so the videos really make GoBodyLanguage stand out. It’s free, so click on over today! (more…)