Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Trending in Brain

1 How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential 2 Are You Right-Brain Dominant? (7 Right Brain Characteristics) 3 What Is Creative Thinking and Why Is It Important? 4 How Systems Thinking Makes You a Smarter Person 5 15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

You may have heard someone say they are “totally right brained” or that they’re “a left brained person.”

There is a pervasive myth that’s been making its rounds for over a century: people have two hemispheres of their brains, and if they have a dominant left brain, they’re more analytical; and if they have a dominant right brain, they are more creative.

Before we go debunking this theory and then giving some tips for how people can access their creative brain centers, let’s first take a look at where the left brain/right brain lateralization theory comes from.

The Left Brain/Right Brain Lateralization Theory

In the 1800s, scientists discovered that when patients injured one side of their brains, certain skills were lost.[1] Scientists linked those different skills to one side of the brain or the other. Thus began the left brain/right brain myth that continues to this day.

Then, in the 1960s and 70s, Roger W. Sperry led 16 operations that cut the corpus callosum (the largest region that connects both brain hemispheres together) in order to try to treat patients’ epilepsy. Sperry wrote about the differences in the two hemispheres as a result of those surgeries.[2]

Sperry’s work was popularized in 1973 with a New York Times article about his lateralization theory—that people were either right brained (read: logical) or left brained (read: creative). From here, Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his work and numerous other publications spread the right brain/left brain myth.

Debunking the Right Brain/Left Brain Myth

If anything, the lateralization theory of the brain is a gross exaggeration. It is true that people have two hemispheres of their brains. It is also true that there are differences in the composition of those two hemispheres.

Advertising

However, the hemispheres are actually much more interconnected than Sperry’s work initially made it seem.

In a 2013 study,[3] scientists scanned over 1000 people’s brains, checking for lateralization. They confirmed that certain brain functions occur predominately in one hemisphere or the other but that, in reality, the brain is actually much more interconnected and complex than the right brain/left brain lateralization theory makes it seem.[4][5]

A New Metaphor for Right Brain/Left Brain

How do we get past this right brain/left brain myth?

First, let’s look at what contemporary cognitive science says about brain regions, and creative and logical modes of thinking.

My background is as an improviser and improv researcher. I wrote Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition and think looking at improvisation and the brain can shed light on a new model for talking about unlocking the brain’s creative potential.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans have shown that while trained improvisers improvise (musically on a keyboard, rapping, and comedic improvisation) an interesting shift happens in their brain activity. [6]

A region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreases in activity and creative language centers such as the medial prefrontal cortex increase in activity. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is linked with conscious thoughts—that inner voice that tells you not to say something or criticizes you when you do.

Advertising

The medial prefrontal cortex is among the brain regions linked with creativity. So, instead of thinking about right brain and left brain, perhaps it’s more current and correct to think about more specific brain regions instead of hemispheres. Perhaps, it’s more useful to think about which activities and strategies will allow us to inhibit our dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes and allow our medial prefrontal cortexes to flourish.

How to Enhance Your “Right Brain” — Creativity

Whether we’re talking about right brain versus left brain, creative versus logical, or medial prefrontal cortex versus dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, we still know enough to talk about strategies to tap into your creative brain’s full potential.

So, now that we’ve dispelled the right brain/left brain myth and looked at a more contemporary, cognitive neuroscience theory of brain regions and creativity centers, let’s look at how to tap into the potential of your creative brain.

1. Performing Arts

One way to tap into your creative brain centers is to participate in the performing arts. Whether you improvise, act, or dance, the performing arts allow you an embodied experience that will help you snap out of your habitual, logical thoughts.

Another benefit of the performing arts is that it changes your attention. Attention and creativity are inextricably linked. When we improvise, act, or dance, we have to focus intently on our fellow performers. This means we are forced to focus less on our conscious, logical thoughts. This frees us up for more creative thinking and expression.[7]

One of the conclusions of my research on improvisation is that focusing intensely on fellow improvisers and the task at hand makes it more likely that we experience a flow state. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi,[8] a Professor of Psychology and Management defines flow as an optimal psychological state when our skills match the difficulty of the task at hand. Our perception of time is altered as we get into the zone and become more present and in the moment during our chosen activity.[9]

A flow state is a creative state. It’s the opposite of crunching numbers and forcing ourselves to work out a problem with the conscious regions of our brain. So, get up, improvise, act, or dance to access your creativity.

Advertising

2. Visual Art

Art teacher Betty Edwards[10] wrote a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Here again, we see that a shift in our attention can lead us to an increase in our creative thinking.

Edwards’ book gives art students tricks to shift the way they see the world. For example, one exercise encourages students to literally flip whatever it is they’re drawing upside down before they draw it. This forces budding artists to literally see the object in a new way. This shift allows them to focus more on the individual components and patterns of the object, which allows them to draw it better.

Shifting how we see things is another way we can access our creative brain centers. Take an art class to shut off your conscious, critical thoughts and start seeing things from a new, more creative perspective.

3. Zone Out

If there’s one thing creativity doesn’t like, it’s being coerced.

I think we’ve all felt that awful feeling of trying to force ourselves to be creative. When we force it, we’re really trying to force our logical brain regions to be creative. It’s like asking your gardener to perform your appendix surgery. It’s just not what she does.

Instead, stop forcing it. Take a break. Take a long walk or a relaxing bath or shower. Let your mind wander.

Whatever you do, stop forcing it. This break lets your creative centers rise to the surface of your attention and get heard.

Advertising

4. Practice Mindfulness

The final trick to start accessing your so-called right brain is to practice mindfulness.

Now, there’s a lot of different ways to go about mindfulness. You can take a more physical approach with a yoga class. Or you can try meditating to become more aware and in tune with your thoughts and feelings: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

You could also try to incorporate fun mindfulness exercises[11] into your everyday routine like forcing yourself to go on detours or pretending you’re a detective who needs to examine people and places closely.

Any way you do it, mindfulness exercises and training can help you become better versed in how your brain works and what your normal thought process is like on a day-to-day basis. If we’re ever going to reach our optimal creativity, we have to become an expert in how our individual brain functions. Mindfulness is one way to become your very own brain expert.

Mindfulness also has added benefits like calming us, slowing our breathing, and helping us become more observant, which are also great ways to start tapping into our creative potential.

Final Thoughts

So, it may not be correct to say that our right brain is our creative brain, but it is still a valid pursuit to try to optimize our creative brain centers.

The key to do so is to relax, become observant, shift your perspective, move your body, try something new, and, whatever you do, don’t force it.

Creativity can feel slippery. It can abandon us when we need it most, but by slowing down and looking at things from a new perspective, we can give ourselves a better chance of tapping into our ultimate creativity, even if that doesn’t exactly mean our “right brain.”

More Tips on Boosting Creativity

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next