How To Make Eye Contact

Making good eye contact is tough.

Give too much eye contact, and you come across as too intense (at best) or a creepy starer (at worst).

Give too little eye contact, and the other person might think you don't care about what they have to say.

Plus, when you're worrying about making good eye contact, the rest of the interaction suffers. Instead of enjoying a great conversation, you're stressing about eye contact.

That's not good for anyone.

The Secret Of Great Eye Contact

Fortunately, there's a simple trick that will help you master great eye contact.Read More

Music Mondays: Imagine Dragons

So it seems to be a thing for bloggers to do Music Mondays, and share their favorite music on Monday.

Now, I don't know that I exactly qualify as a blogger (most of the content on Improve Your Social Skills is in the guide, not this blog). But I recently found a new band called Imagine Dragons that I'm feeling pretty fanboyish about and I thought, hey.

Let's put that on the blog.

So that's what I'm doing. I doubt that Music Mondays will become a thing for me, but for now, I'm going to take the opportunity to share some cool tunes with you.

Here's the video for a song called "It's Time." It's basically wonderful, although I have no idea what's going on in the video. If you want to listen to samples of their other stuff or buy the album, you can head to Amazon. Enjoy!

your daily beautiful

Read The Dating Guide Now!

Hi everyone! I'm proud to announce the release of the Improve Your Social Skills dating guide.

It covers everything you need to know to have a healthy, fulfilling relationship, and it walks you through the whole process, from first meeting to first kiss to lifelong love story.

It is now the largest section of the guide, with 7 lessons (and an 8th lesson answering reader questions coming soon!). If printed in a physical book, it would be nearly 30 pages long---and I'm so excited to share it with you.

The dating guide is included in membership, so you can become a member today to read both the full dating guide as well as my guides on making friends, meeting people, and more! You can also read a sneak peek of the dating guide by checking out my guest post at The Dating Specialist---it includes an excerpt from the guide.

I hope that with the introduction of the dating section, Improve Your Social Skills will become an even more valuable resource for you on your journey of social skills. Good luck!

your daily beautiful

Speaking Truth To Yourself (And Others)

So I go to a wonderful church called Soma. It's full of people who try to love Jesus and each other, and although they are often messy at it, there is some really beautiful stuff that happens there.

In a recent service, my pastor said something incredibly profound, and I want to share it with you.

He said that many people know that it's good to listen to yourself---you should try to understand and acknowledge the way that you are feeling. (Indeed, my section on empathy talks about this in depth.)

But it's also good to talk to yourself, because sometimes you need to speak truth to yourself.

Sometimes your emotions will be saying that you are a screw-up or that nothing matters, and you need to speak into that and remind yourself of all the people who love you and all of the good things in your life.

Sometimes your anger will be saying that another person is worth your hate, and you need to remind yourself the answer to anger is not hate but love.

Sometimes your anxiety will tell you that terrible things will happen if you try to accomplish your goals, and you need to  tell yourself that your fear is lying to you.

Speak truth to yourself today. You are an incredible, brave, beautiful person, and life holds so much promise for you. Don't let fear or depression or loneliness or anger blind you to the truth of who you are.

And hey.

Maybe speak truth to someone else, too.

Remind them that you care about them, and tell them about the greatness you see in them. Tell them that you are grateful to have them in your life, and tell them that they matter. Everyone needs to be reminded that they are loved and that they matter, so give that gift to someone today.

And don't be afraid to ask for that gift from someone else. If you're feeling weighed down, tell someone you need to talk. If it's too hard to speak truth to yourself, tell someone else how you're doing, and ask them to help encourage you.

We all need each other, amigos, and we all belong somewhere. Hold on to the truth of that.

your daily beautiful

r/SocialSkills

I am now the moderator of r/socialskills on Reddit!

I think r/socialskills could become both a social skills resource hub and a community for folks on a journey of social skills improvement. I made a post to explain my vision and my hopes for r/socialskills, and I hope you decide to play a part. Cool things are happening there, so swing by and check it out!
your daily beautiful

World Autism Day

Today is World Autism Day. It's been great to see blogs and newspapers lighting up with articles about autism, and I think the exposure will help build awareness and understanding both for the unique challenges and unique strengths of people on the Autistic spectrum. Take a minute today to check out the great stuff that's been written, and perhaps get involved in an event in your area!

To start you off, here's an encouraging article showing that kids with autism can greatly improve their social skills, and a thoughtful look at how different families and individuals have been affected by autism. Feel free to share your favorite article in the comments, or your story of how autism has affected your life.

your daily beautiful (scroll down to the photoshoot)

Ask Me Anything

So over the past few days I did a very successful "Ask Me Anything" interview over on Reddit. Lots of people had good, insightful questions and I did my best to offer a meaningful answer to everyone who asked. The interview is now over, but you can read all of the questions and answers (more than 70 total!) here.

Of course, even though the interview is over I'm still very happy to answer any questions that you have. So if you're curious about social skills, Asperger's syndrome, the guide, or anything else, feel free to ask your questions in the comments of the blog or by emailing me directly. I really do love to hear from my readers, and (as you can see from the interview), I do my best to give good, thoughtful answers.

Thanks to everyone who came out and asked a question, and to those of you who found this site from the interview---welcome! 🙂

your daily beautiful

Dating Guide Coming Soon

Hey guys! I'm currently writing the next section to the Improve Your Social Skills guide. It's going to be about dating, because romantic relationships are such a big deal, and it's important to know how to do them well.

I want to cover both the social skills side of dating (like how to meet potential partners, how to let someone know that you are interested, and how to behave on a date) as well as the relationship side of dating (like how to manage conflict, how to have healthy relationships, and how to have good communication in a relationship.)

I'm very excited, because the dating section will be the first full-length section added to Improve Your Social Skills since the site launched in January. Improve Your Social Skills already has a ton of great content, but I've got ideas for so much more, and it's exciting that some of those ideas are finally coming to fruition.

As always, I'm eager to hear your feedback, so please let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestion for the next dating section. Look for this new section in the next 1-3 weeks, and thanks for your support of Improve Your Social Skills!

your daily beautiful

International Listening Month

So March is international listening month.

I'll admit, the thought of dedicating a month to listening seems a bit silly (and who gets to decide what month is dedicated to what?) But listening is important stuff.

It's easy to think that a conversation is about what we bring to the table. We focus on sharing something that is interesting or funny or exciting, in the hopes that it will draw our partner in.

But you know what? A lot of times, people just want someone to listen to them. And if you prove that you care about your partner by being a good listener, they'll be happy to listen to what you share in return---even if it's not incredibly funny or exciting.

So take the opportunity this month to work on your listening. There's different ways you can do this.Read More

Testing Adsense

So as you might have noticed, there is now a shiny new ad bar along the bottom of the site. I decided to test some Adsense ads on the site for the next 2-3 weeks and see what the results are. Because it's very important that you guys have a positive experience with Improve Your Social Skills, the ads will only appear on the bottom of the site, where they don't distract from you reading the content. If you have any feedback about the ads, let me know. They are still very much an experiment, so I will only keep them if my readers (aka, you!) find them relevant and not distracting.

Oh, and if you are a member, the ads will not show for you. So that's a nice perk 🙂

Update: Nobody seemed to have much issue with the footer ad, so I added a sidebar ad too. I have no plans to put any additional ads on the site, and again, I only want the ads on there if you guys don't mind. So if you have feedback, if you have feedback, let me know.

your daily beautiful