Hi all! A few weeks ago, David was gracious enough to publish an interview with me. Now, I'm returning the favor. He's got some good tips, so enjoy!
David Morin, author of SocialSelf.com
Several years ago, David Morin realized that he had to make a change in his social life. He often spent evenings and weekends alone and wanted to become a more outgoing person. Today he shares his discoveries on SocialSelf, a site with advice on how to get the friends and the social life you want.
David, what’s most important to think about when it comes to making friends?
First off, becoming a more outgoing person should be on your own terms. Personally, I like spending time on my own and I don’t need partying all the time to feel well. What I appreciate in life is having many close friends that I can be myself with. Find out what you enjoy and try to reach that goal.
It’s important to actually spend a lot of time socializing to improve your social skills, not just reading about it. The majority of your mistakes will correct themselves with enough experience socializing.
Socializing isn’t always fun, especially if you aren’t naturally outgoing. Look for social activities that you actually do enjoy. It can be simple things such as making conversation at the lunch table in school or at work or whenever you get introduced to someone.
Try to expose yourself to social activities that you enjoy and use them as your sandbox to test new things.
What are three things people could do right now to live a more outgoing life?
People mainly meet their friends through social activities. If you aren’t involved in some kind of social activity today, ask yourself if there’s anything you’re interested in that others might be interested in as well. No matter if it’s sports, reading books or taking photos, ask people that you know share your interests if you could either go to the game, join that book club or perhaps go out practicing photography together. No matter how much advice you read, it’s when you do real life practice that you will see change happen.
Secondly, pay attention to where your mind goes when you’re in a conversation. I usually tell my clients to “cultivate an interest in others”. What I mean by that is to practice being curious about the lives, thoughts, struggles and feelings of others. My most socially successful friends are the ones who keep their main focus on others. In practice, this means actively listening to what others have to say, asking them questions and asking them to expand on the present subject. If you can make people feel heard and understood, they will like you.
Third, those who are a bit socially inexperienced tend to overvalue the impact of their mistakes. An awkward silence or saying something out of place doesn’t matter that much. As long as you show genuine interest in people, keep a positive attitude and meet people through a mutual interest, they will like you even if you say something weird every once in a while.
I’ve had some struggle with being outgoing for several years. Today I’m satisfied with my social life and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made. I decided to put together everything I’ve learned into a free guide on how to be more outgoing, which you can find find here.
For people who haven’t yet visited your site, SocialSelf, what can they expect to find there?
SocialSelf is a site for people who want to make friends but perhaps feel like they don’t have anything in common with the people they meet, or just don’t meet others whom they connect with. I’m focusing a lot on giving practical advice and show examples on what you can do to get the friends you want.
I want people to experience how social success isn’t something magical that you’re born with - social skills can be broken down into a science like everything else. It’s cause and effect. If you make adjustments to your behavior people will change the way they interact with you.