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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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Published on July 7, 2020

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

Brain Training: 12 Fast, Fun Mental Workouts

Exercise isn’t just for your body. Just as important is keeping your mind strong by training your brain with fun mental workouts.

Think of your mental and physical fitness the same way: you don’t need to be an Olympian, but you do need to stay in shape if you want to live well. A few cognitive workouts per week can make a major difference in your life.

The Skinny on Mental Workouts

Physical fitness boosts your stamina and increases your muscular strength. The benefits of working up a mental sweat and brain training, however, might not be so obvious.

Research suggests that cognitive training has short- and long-term benefits, including:

1. Improved Memory

After eight weeks of cognitive training, 19 arithmetic students showed a larger and more active hippocampus than their peers.[1] The hippocampus is associated with learning and memory.

2. Reduced Stress Levels

Mastering new tasks more quickly makes the work of learning less stressful. A stronger memory can call information to mind with less effort.

3. Improved Work Performance

Learning quickly and remembering key details can lead to a better career. Employers are increasingly hiring for soft skills, such as trainability and attention to detail.

4. Delayed Cognitive Decline

As we age, we experience cognitive decline. A study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that 10 one-hour sessions of cognitive training boosted reasoning and information processing speed in adults between the ages of 65 and 94.[2]

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Just like in physical exercise, what’s important isn’t the specific workout. To be sustainable, cognitive workouts need to be easy and fun. Otherwise, it’s too easy to throw in the towel.

Fun Brain Training Exercises for Everyone

The best about fun mental workouts? There’s no need to head to a gym. Feel free to mix and match the following activities for daily brain training:

1. Brainstorming

One of the simplest, easiest ways to engage your brain? Coming up with solutions to a challenge you’re facing.

If you aren’t good at solo ideation, ask a partner to join you. When I’m struggling to come up with topics to write about, I call up my editors to bat ideas around. Friends or co-workers are usually happy to help.

2. Dancing

Isn’t dancing a physical workout? Yes, but the coordination it requires is also great for training your brain. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

Studies suggest that dance boosts multiple cognitive skills.[3] Planning, memorizing, organizing, and creativity all seem to benefit from a few fancy steps.

3. Learning a New Language

Learning a new language takes time. But if you split it up into small, daily lessons, it’s easier than you might think.

With language learning, every lesson builds on the last. When I was learning Spanish, I used a tool called Guru for knowledge management.[4] Every time I’d learn a verb tense, I’d create a new card to give me a quick refresh before moving on.

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4. Developing a Hobby

Like languages, hobbies take time to develop. But that’s the fun of them: you get a little better—both at the hobby and in terms of brain function—each time you do them.

If you’re trying to train your brain and improve a certain cognitive skill, choose a hobby that aligns with it.

For example:

  • Attention to detail: Pick a hobby that requires you to work patiently with small features. Woodworking, model-building, sketching, and painting are all good choices.
  • Learning and memory: Choose an activity that requires you to remember lots of details. Your best bets are hobbies that require lots of categorization, such as collecting stamps or coins.
  • Motor function: For this brain function, physical activities can double as fun mental workouts. Sports like soccer and basketball build gross motor functions. Fine motor functions are better trained through activities like table tennis or even playing video games.
  • Problem-solving: Most hobbies require you to problem-solve in one way or another. The ones that test your problem-solving skills the most, however, take some investigation.

Geocaching is a good example: Using a combination of clues and GPS readings, geocaching involves finding and re-hiding containers. Typically done in a wooded area, geocaching is a fun way to put your problem-solving skills to the test.

5. Board Games

Playing a board game might not be much of a physical workout, but it does make for a fun mental workout. With that said, not all board games work equally well for cognitive training.

Avoid “no brainer” board games, like Candy Land. Opt for strategy-focused ones, such as Risk or Settlers of Catan. Remember to ask other players for their input.

6. Card Games

Card games build cognitive skills in much the same way board games do. They have a few extra advantages, though, that make them worthy of special attention.

A deck of cards is inexpensive and can be played anywhere, from a kitchen to an airplane. More importantly, a deck of cards opens the door to dozens of different games. Challenge yourself to learn a few in an afternoon.

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7. Puzzles

Puzzles are great tools for building a specific cognitive skill: visuospatial function. Visuospatial function is important to train because it’s one of the first abilities to slip in people struggling with cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.[5]

Choose a puzzle you’ll stick with. There’s no shame in starting with a 500-piece puzzle or choosing one that makes a childish image.

8. Playing Music

Listening to music is a great way to unwind. But playing music goes one step further. On top of entertaining you, it makes for a fun mental workout.

Again, choose an instrument you know you’ll stick with. If you’ve always wanted to learn the violin, don’t get a guitar because it’s less expensive or easier to pick up.

What if you can’t afford an instrument? Sing. Learning to control your voice is every bit as challenging as making a set of keys or strings sound good.

9. Meditating

Not all cognitive exercises are loud, in-your-face activities. Some of the most fun mental workouts, in fact, are quiet, solo activities. Meditating can help you focus, especially if you have pre-existing attention issues.

Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never meditated before. It’s easy:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes, or for however long you have to meditate.
  • Close your eyes or turn off the lights.
  • Focus on your breathing. Do not try to control it.
  • If your thoughts wander, gently bring them back to your breath.
  • When the timer goes off, wiggle your fingers and toes for a minute. Slowly bring yourself back to reality. Remember the sense of serenity you found.

10. Deep Conversation

There’s nothing more mentally stimulating than a good, long conversation. The key is depth: surface-level chatter doesn’t get the mind’s wheels spinning like a thoughtful, authentic conversation. This type of conversation helps in training your brain to think more deeply and reflect.

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Choose your partner carefully. You’re looking for someone who’ll challenge your ideas without being confrontational. Stress isn’t good for brain health, but there’s value in coming up with creative arguments.

11. Cooking

When you think about it, cooking requires an impressive array of cognitive skills. Developing a cook’s intuition requires a good memory. Making sure flavors are balanced takes attention to detail. When something goes wrong in the kitchen, problem-solving skills come into play. Motor control is required to stir, flip, and whisk.

If you’re going to cook, you might as well make enough for everyone. Invite them into the kitchen as well: coordinating with other chefs adds an extra layer of challenge to this fun mental workout.

12. Mentorship

Whether you’re the mentee or the mentor, mentorship is an incredible mental workout. Learning from someone you look up to combines the benefits of deep conversation with skill-building. Teaching someone else forces you to put yourself in their shoes, which requires empathy and problem-solving skills.

Put yourself in both situations. Being a student makes you a better teacher, and teaching others gives you insight into how you, yourself, learn.

Final Thoughts

Your mind is your most important possession, and training your brain is needed to maintain its health. Don’t let it get soft.

To keep those neurons firing at full speed, add a few fun mental workouts to your schedule. And if you’re still struggling to get your brain in gear, remember: there’s an app for that.

More Tips for Training Your Brain

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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