“I don’t know how to act in social situations.”
Have you ever walked into a room full of people and you’re unsure of what to say? Most of us have.
This is ok though! There are plenty of reasons our mind goes blank or we forget our memorized lines. Below we talk about it.
We think you can overcome this mindset by reading our tips below and joining our community.
Let us know what you think and enjoy the tips!
#1 You haven’t learned the right social skills yet. But you can.
Sometimes we don’t know where to start when we’re talking to people or trying to mingle at a friend’s party. You get home, reflect on the day and you say, “Damn. I don’t know how to act in social situations.”
But, don’t get so down on yourself. The number one reason is you haven’t learned the skills yet. But you can starting today.
If you’d like to get some free tools, check out our Free Tools page. Join our community to improve your skills today. Or, take the social skills quiz to your right.
Now, let’s talk about a quick tip. If you want to improve your conversations and overall social skills in just a few minutes (we’re serious) then, change how you ask questions. Become a better questioner and you’ll see a difference immediately.
Remember, ask questions the other person will enjoy answering.
Instead of asking “How’s your day?” Ask, “What’s your day been like?” Do you see the difference?
Use the phrases: “What” and “Tell me about” in front of your questions and you’ll get more elaborate answers with clues to thread your conversations. The small talk will be much more interesting.
If you want to learn more about how to ask better questions, check out our free tools page.
How you learn is up to you. Below are learning styles most people use to improve their skills.
#2 Anxiety can be overwhelming in social situations.
Have you ever felt nervous or have had some stomach pain because you were overwhelmed with social anxiety? Yes, most of us have. It’s actually normal and a lot of people go through this. The difference is, some people have learned how to manage anxiety and practiced.
Sometimes, our breathing gets out of control and we feel like we need to leave the situation. But you can manage this. Use box breathing or any type of breathing exercise to get your anxiety under control.
Breathing quiets down parts of the brain that activates your nerves. So, if you can use breathing methods when you’re anxious, you’ll feel your heartbeat slow, and nerves will relax easier.
We give you a lot of tips in our course, next-level conversation. Check it out here.
Another thing that causes anxiety is negative thoughts.
One of the most important pieces to becoming a better communicator is to believe in yourself. This starts with the thoughts in your head. It makes a huge difference.
Keep it simple too.
Before a social event, say a few words of confirmation such as, “I’m going to enjoy meeting new people tonight.” “I know I’m likable and I look forward to good conversations.”
Now, take a few moments to think about what your dominant thoughts are. If they’re mainly negative, maybe you need to work on self-talk.
Also, seek professional help if you think you need more guidance on anxiety.
#3 You’re not preparing. Planning and practicing before the social event can help.
If you watch some of the best athletes in the world you’ll be amazed at their abilities and talent. However, if you ask them how they’ve become such successful, they’d all say, practice. Even on an amateur level, practice is important.
To improve any skill you’ll need to take time to build muscle memory and gain experience so you know what to do in situations. Experience also reduces anxiety and pressure which helps you focus on moments you want to thrive in.
This all relates to social skills. You have to practice, even if it is in the mirror or with the cashier at the grocery store. You have to start somewhere.
We know it’s hard to get started, especially if you’re feeling anxious. But, bring a friend or go somewhere you feel comfortable. Give yourself small goals to attain and don’t make it hard for yourself.
You’ll start to see momentum build, confidence grow, and more friends accumulate over time.
Some quick tips are:
Know where you’re going to be and who you’re going to be talking to. Knowing your audience is very important. This can give you an idea of what to talk about or conversations to bring up or avoid.
Lastly, have some conversation starters in your back pocket. Having three or four will make a difference. Also, people love to talk, so ask their opinions. This will create a longer and more interesting conversation.
In our course, we give you a long list of conversation starters.
#4 Starting a conversation is difficult for you.
Opening a conversation isn’t easy but you can make it easier. You can even be strategic and go somewhere you’ll know conversations will happen naturally. Such as a meetup or dog park.
Picking the right social event can make a huge difference in your life.
Check our article about where you can meet people.
But once you’ve picked the right place to socialize, you can look around and see what you can mention to the person next to you. If you see a beautiful view you can say “Wow, such a great view. I love the cityscape. What do you think?”
Using what’s around you or what people are wearing can help you open a conversation. If you see someone with great shoes or a hat from your favorite team, say something!
“Go Yankees! How do you think they’re playing?” Or, “I love your shoes. They go great with your outfit?”
From here, you can then introduce yourself.
Lastly, a simple “Hey” or “Hello” is good enough most of the time. “Hey, I’m John. I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.” Then you can lead with an open ended question.
You got this! Remember, positive thinking. Turn “I don’t know how to act in social situations” to “I do know how to act in social situations”.
Sometimes, all it takes is to just do it and start. When are you going to start the conversation? Today!?!
#5 Don’t overthink the situation. You’ll talk and look better than you think.
First, overthinking in any situation can make you second guess yourself. This can backfire at a social event, especially when trying to think of something to say.
This can be hard to shake especially if you’re nervous. Your “I don’t know how to act in social situations” mindset can get in the way.
Overthinking might look like this for you:
“I shouldn’t have said that tonight. They must think I’m an idiot and weird.” This is a common thought people have but you can overcome the thought pattern by first breathing and trying to ease your anxiety.
Next, be aware of your thoughts and that you’re overthinking. If you’re replaying a situation over and over in your mind or worrying about things you can’t control, realize it’s not productive.
Some other tips: Are mindfulness activities, knowing you’re not perfect, reflect, and understanding that most people probably aren’t even thinking about what you said. It’s ok.
If you want to learn more about overthinking, click here.
What can you do right now?
Talk to a close friend about the feelings you have when you socialize.
Prepare more when you go out to socialize. Joining our community and Download our Tool Kit for free (mini-course, blueprint, and more)
We think if you join our community, take our course, or just read a few more blog posts, you won’t be saying, “I don’t know how to act in social situations”. But you’ll feel more confident and know what to say.