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Ten Powerful Psychological Hacks to become More Social

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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 November 23, 2020

How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

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How to Develop Big Picture Thinking And Think More Clearly

Your neighbors downstairs are playing loud music. Again. How do they not get tired of partying? And why do they choose songs with such a heavy downbeat that the glass in your cupboard is vibrating every two seconds? What can you do to get some peace that you deserve? What should you?

Human mind tends to go in circles whenever faced with a problem without a clear solution. It becomes easy to forget the big picture and get lost in anger and self-pity, wasting our precious time, energy and enthusiasm.

Would it not be nice if we always remembered to put things in perspective?

Would it not be more efficient to face all kinds of problems, from tiny annoyances to life-changing emergencies, with a calm demeanor, sharp focus and fearless determination to promptly take the most efficient action possible?

Alas, humans are not like that. All too often we let anxiety or greed get the best of us and make a rushed or shortsighted decision that we quickly come to regret. Other times, we spend weeks or months at an impasse, rehashing the exact same arguments, unable to accept the compromise required to move forward with any of the available options.

Buddhists talk about getting lost in the “small self.” In this state of mind, we literally forget the big picture and focus on the small one. We start taking our daily problems too personally and, paradoxically, becomes less capable of solving them in an efficient manner. And this is the opposite of big picture thinking.

Let me share with you a story related to big picture thinking…

In 1812, the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Russia.[1] After a decisive Battle of Borodino, the capture of Moscow and therefore Napoleon’s victory in the war seemed inevitable.

Unexpectedly, the Russian Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov made a highly controversial decision of retreating and allowing the French to capture Moscow. Much of the population had been evacuated taking supplies with them. The city itself was set on fire and large parts of it burned into the ground.

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After waiting in vain for Russia to capitulate, Napoleon had to retreat in the middle of a bitterly cold winter. He won the battle but lost the war. The campaign ended in a disaster and the near destruction of the French army.

What can we learn from this historical lesson?

1. Focus on the Consequences

Napoleon focused on the important part: capturing Moscow. Nobody could accuse him of thinking small. Yet he overlooked that the Russian army could still fight even after giving up the country’s most important city.

So was Moscow not an important target after all?

Success expert Brian Tracy has a litmus test: things are important to the extent that they have important consequences. Things are unimportant to the extent that they have no important consequences.[2]

When faced with a choice, ask yourself, what would be the consequences of each option?

  • Want to spend an hour studying or watching the new series on Netflix? What would be the consequences of each option? Netflix can sometimes be a better choice, but it helps to put things in perspective.
  • Want to maintain your apartment by yourself or to pay a cleaning service? Would would be the consequences of each option?
  • Want to meet up for coffee with this acquaintance of yours or catch up on your work instead? What would be the consequences of each option?

The choice can be different for different people. An aspiring filmmaker may have a legitimate reason for choosing Netflix. Personally, cleaning your own apartment can be relaxing and nourishing even if the economics of hiring a cleaner looks compelling because you are earning a high hourly rate.

This is where you will need a basic idea of who you are — what are your goals, values and aspirations.

2. Flip Defeat Into Victory

Kutuzov managed to turn Russia’s defeat into a historic victory by recasting the problem in a wider context: losing Moscow need not mean losing the war.

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Despite the symbolic meaning attached to the Kremlin, the churches, the priceless treasures that had been stored in the city for centuries, the outcome of the campaign was ultimately determined by the strength of the remaining armies.

If you can adopt this result-oriented perspective, many of your personal defeats may be flipped into victories as well. Few events in a human life are absolutely good or absolutely bad, and it usually takes many years to recognize in retrospect, what role a particular encounter did play in your story.

Therefore we have every reason to look for the good in the things that happen to us.

This is a very practical attitude, far from baseless “positive thinking.” After all, if something unfortunate has happened to you and you find good sides in this circumstance, you will then be better positioned to take advantage of those good sides.

Say your noisy neighbors are affecting your productivity. What if it is a blessing in disguise? How can you turn this defeat into a victory?

  • Perhaps you are too serious about life and could learn how to have more fun. Join your neighbors or go out for a walk instead of working;
  • Perhaps you only wanted to be productive while instead procrastinated on social media. Now that your procrastination has been interrupted, stop and acknowledge this much greater obstacle to your productivity;
  • Perhaps you are too sensitive to interference. Take this opportunity to practice ignoring the noise and doing your best anyway;
  • Perhaps you have a victim mentality and the feeling of unfairness drains you more than any actual nuisance your neighbors might have caused. Try accepting this lapse in your productivity the way you would accept bad weather.

Get used to finding opportunities in your problems. This is the quintessential big picture thinking.

3. Ask for Advice

Both Napoleon and Kutuzov had trusted advisers to discuss their affairs with. In general, getting a different perspective — or several — can only help inform your understanding and lead to better decisions. Just ensure that the people giving you advice are competent in the particular area where experience is needed.

Paying money for advice can also be a wise investment. Lawyers, tax accountants, medical doctors spend years learning how to assist people like yourself in living more successful, more fulfilling lives.

A quick legal consultation can save you a fortune down the line or even keep you out of big trouble. A medical check-up can uncover potential issues and help keep you healthy and active for years to come.

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Even big, complex dilemmas at your job or in your romantic relationship can be tackled more effectively by partnering up with a coach or a therapist or, of course, with the help of a wise friend.

4. Beware of Biased Advice

Many imperfect decisions occur in response to an imperfect piece of advice that you choose to act on. This advice often comes from a biased party.

For example, we are often encouraged to buy something that we supposedly need:

  • Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using a special lotion.
  • Fortify your health by taking multivitamins.
  • Connect with your friends by sending them elaborate gifts.
  • Brighten your weekend by consuming a delicious pastry.
  • Become more productive by getting a faster computer.

However, most purchases are unnecessary.

Some, such as the sunscreen, do have legitimate benefits when used properly.[3] Others, such as multivitamins, only make a difference for a small group of people.[4]

Advertisers of those benefits inevitably want to narrow your focus in order to overstate the importance of their product. They frequently present it as the only solution to your problem, whether real or imaginary.

After all,

  • Skin can also be protected from the sun by wearing appropriate clothing.
  • Health can be better fortified by consuming a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.
  • Spending time or talking on the phone with your friends is the foremost way of connecting with them, and it is virtually free.
  • Your weekend can be brightened by doing something that you love.
  • You can become more productive by focusing on the tasks that have the most important consequences. A faster computer can, in fact, decrease productivity by making it easier to multitask and by enabling your favorite distractions.

There are other sources of imperfect advice. Politicians also frequently want us to focus on a particular “big picture,” to the exclusion of the alternatives.

Even loving parents can be guilty of the same. They can advise their children to pick a career path that is safe and respectable, based on their “big picture” that in life one has to make a living. A child may disagree, however, based on another “big picture” that one’s life has to have meaning and fulfillment.

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Bottom Line

It is human nature to make rushed, emotional decisions based on incomplete information, then regret those decisions later on.

You can protect yourself from poor judgment by striving to attain the big picture when careful consideration is called for.

Focus on the consequences of your decision before considering how you feel about it.

Play with the cards you’ve been dealt, but look for opportunities in each situation and you will find them.

Ask knowledgeable mentors for advice, but beware of biased people who have an opinion, but do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.

Yet remember, true big picture thinking comes from hard-won experience. Legendary military commanders Napoleon Bonaparte and Mikhail Kutuzov were both injured on the battlefield.

Clear thinking comes from putting your big picture to the test of reality.

More Tips on Thinking Clearly

Featured photo credit: Haneen Krimly via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Wikipedia: French invasion of Russia
[2] Brian Tracy: No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline
[3] American Academy of Dermatology: Say Yes to Sun Protection
[4] Harvard Medical School: Do multivitamins make you healthier?

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