Photo credit: Tomasz Szimanski
Hmm…Strange topic for a socially anxious individual. However, I have had to think about improving the social aspects of my existence, so maybe this is not so strange. I think I’ll list five that I have learned myself, instead of researching on the internet.
The main advice is KISS (keep it simple stupid).
1. Say hello and smile. (An oldie but a goodie, and it’s easy to forget, in our anxiety, that it’s not so complicated to acknowledge and chat with others.)
2. ‘How are you?’ (Seems silly to mention, but I never knew about this phrase until I started working.)
3. Mention an aspect of the setting. (E.g., the produce or sale if in a store, the weather, the length of the line, etc.)
4. Carry a Whatsit or comment on someone else’s Whatsit. (This is a prop you or someone else might have, such as unusual jewellery, a book they are carrying, an unusual purse, a type of laptop, etc. etc.)
5. Give a compliment and possibly ask where they got it (E.g., hair cut, clothes, shoes – this may work best for women).
A big thing to remember is that most of the communication happens in the tone of voice, facial expression and body language. What you actually say is not that important when trying to chat with others.