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Ten Powerful Psychological Hacks to become More Social

Ten Powerful Psychological Hacks to become More Social

Who is a sociable person? Do you like sociable people? More importantly, are you a sociable person? A sociable person is one who is willing to and enjoys talking and participating in activities with other people. A sociable person is friendly and need not necessarily be much of a talker but people feel comfortable around him/her and get along with him/her quite easily.

For some people being sociable comes naturally. In fact, many have to work to contain how sociable they are as times get increasingly dangerous. For others being sociable requires some effort and may even be difficult. Some people feel sick just thinking of certain social situations. If you are one of those people, consider these cool psychological hacks to becoming more social.

1. Be yourself.
You may ask who else you could be, but oftentimes in a bid to appear sociable we adopt certain airs or behaviors that are not natural to us. We put up a façade to appear more sociable. You should never feel that you have to do this. Be genuine. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not because you think it will make others like you more. Don’t say what you think the other person wants to hear.

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2. Remember you’re not invisible but that doesn’t mean they’re talking about you.
In a harsh bit of irony, those people who are insecure and feel they are invisible also have a tendency to think they are always under scrutiny, or being criticized or laughed at. There are two faults with that kind of thinking.

(1) You are not invisible. (2) People have a life. It is quite nonsensical to hang onto the belief that strangers are always watching you, waiting for you to mess up. The truth is that people are often so involved with getting the best out of their own lives that they rarely notice you doing or saying something that you think is embarrassing. Even if they happen to notice, they will most likely forget the incident within a few hours, while you may never get over it. Finding a way to get around feeling that people are always watching and judging you will allow you to loosen up a bit. You will learn to relax while in the company of others and ultimately you will become more sociable.

3. Focus on what’s good about you.
If necessary, make a list of the positive qualities that you possess, the things you like about yourself, the things others will like about you, and your accomplishments. This will help you to see yourself in a positive light and can also help to root out any selfishness that is holding you back.

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4. Pay attention to your insecurities.
All of us have a few things that we don’t like about ourselves or that we are not sure or confident about and that make us feel inadequate. What do you tell yourself? Do you tell yourself you’re not good enough? Do you tell yourself that they will never accept you, that you’re weird, unattractive, or even ugly? Do these thoughts get in the way of having a good time and enjoying the company of others? You need to identify these things and address them. Sometimes the things we’re not sure about are truly things we need to work on, so work on them. Work to be more trustworthy or responsible and tell yourself that you are worthy of the other person’s friendship. Most times, your flaws aren’t the first things people notice when they see you.

5. Don’t compare yourself with others.
This may be hard, especially when you really want to be sociable. You may put out the effort yet it doesn’t turn out quite right, but you see your friend as a social butterfly. Remember that your strengths are another person’s weaknesses and by now you should know your strengths (having made your list at point #3). Remember that you shouldn’t compare a person’s strengths with your weaknesses. Everybody has things that they are not confident about or are not proud of. Happiness most times is not determined by your situation but rather your outlook– your attitude. When you have all that down pat, remember to work on other aspects of your life to make yourself more interesting so that others will reach out to you and you don’t have to do the reaching out, especially if that is not your strong point.

6. Let your body language be welcoming.
– Smile.
– Put away your phone. If you are constantly on your phone people may assume that you have something more important to do or that you are not in the mood to talk.
– Avoid frowning, crossing your arms, or sitting/standing in a corner.
– Make eye contact.
– Greet people. Try to be warm and look happy and ready to talk; others will more likely come over.

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7. Get over fear of rejection.
You won’t be everyone’s favorite but that shouldn’t stop you from getting around. One person who doesn’t want to hang around you is hardly the end of the world. Think about the nine other amazing people you miss out on meeting because you let that one horrid person (who you haven’t even met as yet) stop you from meeting them. Recognize that you won’t be everybody’s friend but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any friends.

8. Sign up for a club.
To make new friends and feel comfortable doing so, it makes sense to look for people with whom you have something in common- who like the thing you love the most just as much as you do. If you are good at sports or have a special interest in a thing or activity, sign up for a club that focuses on it and meet like-minded individuals. It won’t be as hard to strike up a conversation with someone with similar interests.

9. Get over yourself. Be interested in others.
After you have gotten over your insecurities and you are comfortable in your skin, resist the urge to talk about yourself or something related to you all the time. Ask people about themselves and listen attentively. Try to be really interested in what they are saying. Respond throughout the conversation as well so they don’t think you are uninterested and stay off your phone! Accept invitations to go out, sleep over, or do something fun. Don’t cancel. Remember that being sociable takes effort.

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10. Make your social life a priority.
Last but by no means least, you need to do this if being sociable doesn’t come naturally for you. No matter what you have going on you need some down time- some me time which you share with friends. Remember that socializing helps you face problems better and you may even pick up a few solutions in idle chatter.

Being sociable doesn’t take much. Tell us what you do to make yourself more sociable. Try these tips and watch your social life blossom.

More by this author

Felipe Tognarelli

Entrepreneur, Wellness and Life Coach, Two Times Cancer Survivor and Best Seller Author.

Ten Powerful Psychological Hacks to become More Social Small Things That Will Tell You About A Person’s Personality

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Last Updated on June 6, 2019

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for VisitFinland.com said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.

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     A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.

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    The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

    “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

    In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

    The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence

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      A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.

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      Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

      “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

      When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

      The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

      As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]

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      “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

      Silence relieves stress and tension.

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        It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

        A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

        “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

        Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

        Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.

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          The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

          Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

          But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]

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          Summation

          Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

          Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via unsplash.com

          Reference

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