August 2015 Update

Hi everyone!

I just finished my first year of graduate school (whew!) so I thought I'd take this opportunity to update everyone on what's been going on with the site. I realize that there have been no new blog posts for several months, but there has been a lot of other great things happening at Improve Your Social Skills.

So without further ado, here are five major updates!
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New Video On “How To Avoid Talking Too Much”

Hi everyone! I've decided to start up a YouTube channel, where I'll share social skills videos. I'm still a beginner at the world of YouTube, but I'm hopeful I can provide some helpful videos. My first video is up now -- it's a 60 second explanation of how you can avoid talking too much. Enjoy, and let me know what you think 🙂

Bids for Connection

Dr. John Gottman has been studying couples for four decades. He has dedicated his life to figuring out what separates healthy relationships from unhealthy ones, and he's written more than 40 books on the subject. This guy knows relationships.

Dr. John Gottman

Dr. John Gottman

Most of his research is primarily focused on romantic relationships, but one of his findings can help you in friendships, too. It relates to something Gottman called "bids for connection." If you figure out how to recognize bids for connection and respond to them appropriately, you can supercharge your ability to connect with others.Read More

Finding Your Uniquely Attractive Vibe

Hello readers! Today's post is from Sarah Jones, the author of IntrovertedAlpha.com. Sarah is a dating coach who focuses on helping people find a partner naturally, with no sneaky tricks or manipulation. She's got some good thoughts about uncovering  and expressing your positive qualities, so read on!Read More

How to Be More Outgoing (Guest post by David Morin)

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

David Morin, author of SocialPro.com

8 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 SocialPro, a site with advice on how to get the friends and the social life you want.Read More

Give It 100

Social skills are like any other skill -- if you practice, you get better.

But in order to practice, you have to start, and you have to keep going. And both of those things are very hard. It's really easy to wait to start until you're totally "ready" (which will be never), or burn yourself out by pursuing a new goal in an unsustainable way.

So instead, I want to show you a better way.

There's a website called Give it 100. The basic idea is that you practice something for 100 days in a row, and you film a 10 second clip of you doing it every day so you can see how you improve. You can also see what other users are doing, which is sometimes incredible and sometimes adorable.

Unfortunately, social skills don't really lend themselves well to 10 second clips (in fact, a great social skills tip: don't randomly start filming the people you're talking to.) So instead I want to give you a different "Give it 100" challenge. Are you ready? Here it is: Read More

Fight Back

Life is really hard sometimes.

There are times when all of the encouragement in the world doesn’t seem to help, times when it feels like the only emotions available are rage or grief or numbness, times when starting another day feels like getting in the ring with Mohammed Ali.

Maybe that's your story today.

Maybe that's been your story for a long time.

If that's you, I want you to know that it will get better. You will not always suffer. You will find healing and you will find people who will love you very much and you will have moments when life will be so good that your heart will feel like dancing right out of your chest. You are not a mistake. You are not a lost cause. It is good that you are alive and one day you will believe that.

But I also want to recognize that things might not get better right away. And I know that when people tell me, “This will be better someday, but you just need to wait,” I don't find their words very helpful.

So I want to give you more than just waiting.

I want to give you the chance to fight back.Read More

How To Teach Kids Social Skills – Guest Post

Hey guys! This week I have a guest post from Rusty May. Rusty is a veteran school counselor who runs SchoolToolsTV, a site with videos that teachers can use to teach social skills and positive values to their students. He's an expert on helping kids succeed, and I'm excited to share his thoughts on teaching kids social skills. Although his advice is aimed at teachers, with a bit of creative thinking anyone -- parents, coaches, friends -- can apply his tips as well. Enjoy!Read More

The Case For Small Talk

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.Read More

Choose Courage

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.Read More