There are loads of unwritten social rules. I know, because I’ve broken plenty. 😉
Here are social hacks that you can only learn outside the classroom:
1. Take it easy! When interacting with strangers, be instantly comfortable. Trick your brain into thinking you’ve known this person your whole life.
2. Listen a lot more than you talk. Don’t think about the next thing you’re going to say while the other person is talking. If you’re actively listening, the next direction in conversation should come naturally.
3. Ask open-ended questions, and be interested! Being interested >>> being interesting.
4. Pay attention to nonverbal cues and mimic body language.
5. Speak and greet others with excitement! Play with pauses, cadence, tone, and use visually engaging vocabulary. Illustrate what you’re saying with a story.
6. Be vulnerable. Admit when you need help!
7. Rephrase what people said to you – this validates your understanding, and the other person feels heard.
8. Repeat the other person’s name in conversation to remember it and to make the other person feel important.
9. Use powerful body language. Smiling and eye contact are key. Exude confidence! Say it with conviction!
10. Avoid “weak” language – “I think” “Just wondering” etc.
11. Be open-minded! Drop the judgment.