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The Secret to Growing Your Social Circle

The Secret to Growing Your Social Circle

Building your social circle can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve recently moved. If you truly want to do it, following these seven rules will greatly benefit your pursuit.

1. Be open to new experiences and new people.

This is critical. Say “yes” to any new experiences that you can, especially in the beginning. Even if you don’t think you will like the event or situation, if it is something new and gives you a chance to interact with others, go for it — particularly if you are going with somebody else or meeting them there.

On the same note, interact and hang out with anyone you can. You may be thinking, “I know what kind of people I want to hang out with, and these are not them,” but don’t worry about that now. You will eventually meet the “right” people. However, early on you really just want to meet as many people as you can and make as many “allies” as possible.

Not only that, but through these people you can meet more people. Later, once your options grow, you can be more selective with who you hang with and what you do.

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To get started, become more spontaneous and learn how to start conversation with a stranger.

2. Be yourself, unapologetically.

One of the biggest turn-offs is when someone is “faking” who they are. So speak passionately about the things you care about. Tell others what you love about it and why. Don’t be afraid to say what pisses you off. You aren’t trying to be negative, you are just being you.

If you swear, feel free to swear in front of other people (unless you’re in an interview or somewhere this would be deemed inappropriate). Usually when a group of people are talking and no one knows the whole group, nobody is cursing at all. In most cases, once one person does, it opens the floodgates and you will hear way more cursing.

One big secret to growing your social circle is to make people feel comfortable with you. By being yourself, people will be much more comfortable.

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3. Be excited to meet people.

When you first start talking to someone, show some enthusiasm. Let them know that you have energy and that you’re actually interested in talking to them. Don’t act like you’re on your tenth cup of coffee or anything, but even more importantly, don’t just say the words — actually show your interest. If you aren’t interested in talking to someone, they will know immediately and that will greatly impact the way they respond to you.

4. Bring people up.

Give people compliments and make them feel good. When someone tells you what they do for work and fun, respond emphatically with something like “that’s awesome!” It’s even better if you can give them a convincing reason why you think it’s awesome. Also, let them know that they’re a smart person and that you find them really intriguing.

5. Brag about people to others, even if you just met.

Not only should you bring someone up while talking to them, but you should brag about them to other people. This is huge. Let’s say you just met someone and they showed you a photo of a piece of furniture they built. You already complimented them about it. Then your friend, their friend, or even a stranger walks up. Say to that person, “Have you seen the table he built?! It’s insane! You gotta see it.” People absolutely love being bragged about by other people to other people.

6. Be interested in them.

You want to be genuinely interested in what the other person has to say. When they talk about something, ask them questions and try to learn more about it. Take pleasure in learning what it’s like to be this person and show it. Don’t just mutter the words, truly engage and be interested.

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7. Relate to what they are saying.

They need to get to know you too. You can relate to the things they say by telling stories, providing knowledge and feedback, showing your curiosity, giving your thoughts and beliefs, or explaining your feelings.

This will help develop your connection with them. If you can relate to the things they are interested in, they will see the shared commonalities and start to see how hanging out with you makes sense.

Conclusion

By meeting more people and building quality relationships, you are slowly building your army behind you. As it grows, you will get to fine tune which people you choose to spend the majority of you time with. But before you get there, you really want to focus on creating a good bond with anyone you can. It will pay dividends later when you have the social circle of your dreams.

If you want make more friends, regardless of where you live, get your free cheatsheet, packed with 30 tips to help you meet and make the friends of your dreams.

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Need more? Here’s another article with 10 useful tips for making friends.

Featured photo credit: nazka2002 via morguefile.com

More by this author

Rob Riker

Social Skills Coach

Social Circle The Secret to Growing Your Social Circle

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Last Updated on April 14, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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