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15 Things Socially Skillful People Don’t Do

15 Things Socially Skillful People Don’t Do

Do you know people who just seem to fit in right away? They know what to say and do to be liked and easily accepted. They have Facebook friends by the thousands! What do they have that seems so elusive to many of us?

Perhaps we’ve been thinking it wrong. Maybe it’s not what they have, but it’s what they don’t have! It seems to me that socially skillful people don’t do certain things – they don’t have ‘off-putting’ mannerisms and habits that push folks away which makes them more attractive to people.

Here are 15 things that socially skillful people don’t do. Let’s learn them so we can avoid doing them in our next party, networking, or even a dating experience!

1. They don’t have bad hygiene.

This seems logical enough as an offending smell would deter instead of encourage closeness. Most of us got the memo in Kindergarten, but just in case some of us were napping that day let’s get crystal – if you want to be liked smell good and look clean.

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2. They don’t dress inappropriately.

It wouldn’t be socially acceptable to go to a black-tie party in board shorts, neither would attending a networking or trade event in a ball-gown. Let’s think about the place where we’re going and what style of attire would best showcase our intentions which should be about charming and not alarming our counterparts.

3. They don’t forget their manners.

Socially apt people say ‘thank you’, ‘please’, and so forth to show that they have good manners. Use of these words are simple acts of kindness that leaves a good impression on most folks.

4. They don’t forget names.

People appreciate it when we take time to remember their names. It shows a kind of interest and awareness that they have been noticed and accounted for and that makes them feel special.

5. They don’t interrupt others.

Letting a person speak uninterrupted is an uncommon thing in many conversations. Most people don’t listen, but instead are silently preparing their next rebuttal while being oblivious or only half-listening to what the other person is saying. Be easily liked by learning to listen well and give timely responses.

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6. They don’t act conceited.

Condescension is not a favorable trait on anyone. This behavior alienates others. It’s best to show your commonality rather than your superiority in cases where you’re trying to get along.

7. They don’t brag.

Socially skillful people know that when meeting new folks it’s not about sharing what they’ve done that ingratiates the person to them, but it’s in the asking of what’s ‘new and cool’ with the other person that really gets them engaged and interested in continuing the conversation.

8. They don’t act ridiculous.

First impressions are important when meeting new people. A potential turn-off is when a person asks inappropriate questions, says dumb things, or acts in a way that is childish or asinine.

9. They don’t use abusive language.

In normal social settings one should refrain from using foul or unbecoming language. Not everyone is comfortable with curse words, dirty jokes, or unpopular remarks so their use should be limited to interactions with close friends.

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10. They don’t do mean things.

Most would agree with the bumper sticker, ‘Mean people suck.’ Although, we sometimes see despicable individuals get ahead in life, in general they are not liked.

11. They don’t get into fights.

Brawlers usually don’t get second invites. (Just sayin.)

12. They don’t take personal offense to minor things.

Small infractions slide off their backs like water off ducks. When people of different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives come together there is a chance that feathers may be ruffled.  Most people don’t want to offend anyone so with this thought in mind, forgive them easily.

13. They don’t laugh at another person’s expense.

This is an extension of the not being ‘mean’ thing because to make fun of someone in a social setting is pretty egregious unless it’s a sanctioned roasting then by all means fire away. But don’t dish out what you yourself can’t take! (I didn’t make up the rules.)

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14. They don’t purposely ignore people.

In a perfect world cliquey types would be booted off the island faster than the Survivor dude can say, ‘I’ve got nothing for you, head back to camp.’  It’s just not nice to exclude individuals in social events. It’s counterproductive! Hello? We’re trying to get to know people and be liked!

15. They don’t overstay their welcome.

When hanging out with new people or person there is an undisclosed time-frame of tolerance – basically, how long a person can stand the sight of you and not want to chuck a cellphone in your direction. Everyone’s clock is slightly different, but socially quick people have their finger on the buzzer and it seems to go off at around 27 hours give or take. (Borrowed from a pseudo statistic from an article on the Do’s and Don’ts of One Night Stands – seemed interchangeable)

Social acceptance is a goal for most individuals and traversing through the many scenarios of where you can meet people can be more appealing and your efforts more successful when these simple guidelines of things we shouldn’t do are followed. (All those in agreement say aye!)

Featured photo credit: Phillip Stearns via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

Better Alternatives to New Year’s Resolutions to Reduce Your Stress

The end of the year is the time when everyone tries to give you advice on how to live healthier, look better, and earn more money.

It’s understandable if you find yourself lost among all the tips and opinions. Sometimes you no longer know what you truly want to achieve next year – and what’s just imposed by society.

To help you out, we’ve made this article about the things you should remove from your new year’s resolution list – instead of adding to it – to make your daily life more harmonious and peaceful.

So just make sure you cross these off your New Year’s to-do list – your body, mind and soul will be thankful.

1. Stop Buying Meaningless Gifts

We all know the sense of obligation – when we have to buy a gift for an event or celebration that’s already tomorrow, but we still have no idea of what to give.

Take these tips close to heart for all upcoming holidays, including birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc.:

Stop focusing on the material objects

Instead of focusing on what material object to give, think about the emotion you want to evoke[1] in the gift recipient, and then pick a symbolic gift that can support or represent that emotion. For example, you can gift coziness by presenting a “comfort set” with warm socks, tea, candles, etc. Or give motivation by presenting a beautiful planner or notebook.

Plan gifts in advance

We know this is easier said than done. But if you try to plan which gifts you’ll need in the upcoming months (try making a list three or four times a year), ideas will more likely come to mind and you’ll avoid that last-minute shopping. Not to mention, you’ll be able to keep an eye on sales to get the best prices.

Suggest a better way

If you’re tired of exchanging gifts for birthdays and holidays, initiate a different approach. For example, draw names among family members and agree that each one only buys a present to that one person they got. Alternatively, you can agree not to share gifts among adults, and only give presents to kids of the family. Or, ask friends to donate to charity instead of buying a gift for you.

Go for common experiences instead of exchanging gifts

You can agree (with your partner or the extended family) to go on a common trip, dinner or another activity, instead of spending money on gifts.

Sometimes you’ll have to be the one who initiates breaking the rules that have been accepted in the family for years. But if you suspect that you’re not the only one in the group who’s tired of gift-hunting, you’ll surely find support for your suggestions.

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2. Don’t Exaggerate with Diets and Fitness Resolutions

It’s no secret that TV shows, article headlines, and ads (not to mention our healthy diet-obsessed friends) make us feel like we need to look better, slimmer and younger than we actually are. But going on yet another diet or starting a fitness plan with the wrong motivation rarely leads to great results.

If you are like many people, you have probably signed up for an annual gym membership at least once in your life – only to drop it one month later.

How do you balance a good resolution for a healthier life without pushing yourself into commitments that won’t last?

Here’s what you can do:

Set a healthier pattern

For example, do meat-free Mondays or reduce meat consumption to three days per week (less saturated fat for you and better for the environment). Or choose to eat only healthy food at least three days a week or only on weekdays (e.g. make sure your meals contain vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and protein). This way you’ll already have a healthier diet while still being able to treat yourself with a snack on weekends or parties.

Get a fitness watch

Fitness watches like Fitbit or MiBand are tiny accessories that will count your steps, calories burnt and will serve as an excellent motivator to move – or to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Find a physical activity that you enjoy

Even if you are not that fond of doing sports, you can definitely find an activity that you’d do with pleasure. Think about what you’d like – from taking up Nordic walking to pilates or even exercising at home.

Try intermittent fasting

This is an alternating cycles of fasting and eating. For example, stop eating at 8 pm and restart not sooner than 12 hours later. This approach has been proven to have numerous health benefits, in addition to weight loss.

Skip cabs or driving to work and opt for cycling or walking instead

You’ll burn calories, breathe some fresh air, and save money – win-win!

3. Put a Cap on Your Daily To-Do List

In today’s busy world, planning your day in a stress-free way is actually an art in itself. It’s natural to want to be a loving parent, a diligent employee, an active member of the local community and probably several other individual roles.

But playing all these roles requires energy and meticulous planning. How not to lose yourself amidst all the appointments and responsibilities? And – most importantly – how to still find time for relaxing and recharging yourself?

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These daily planning tips will help you have more stress-free days:

Leave bigger intervals between meetings

If you schedule too many appointments or chores in a day, you’ll probably end up late at some point, and as a result – more stressed. There are many different reasons why people are late, but poor planning is a major factor too.

Plan time to relax

As weird as it may sound, you should try and schedule your resting time. For example, if you only have one free evening this week, and a friend tries to squeeze in a meeting, feel free to say no. Don’t feel obliged to specify the reason for your refusal, just say that you are busy.

Try to be a little pessimistic

We’re often packed with plans or running late for errands because we tend to be overly optimistic – about the traffic, the time it takes to do things, etc. Instead, try an opposite tactic — assume you’ll hit traffic or the meeting will take longer.

Try waking up earlier

Sometimes even waking up 30 minutes earlier can give you the much-needed head start for several errands of the day. But remember to get enough sleep every night, even if it means going to bed earlier.

Plan your day the day before

Chances are your day will be much better organized if you pack a lunch and lay out an outfit before going to bed.

Designate a time for checking emails and social messages

If you start checking your messages between appointments, you risk getting lost in a sea of messages that need replies. Designate a time for this activity or do it in case you arrived early to a meeting.

4. Let Go of Unhealthy and Time-Consuming Habits

If there’s one thing we should get rid of in the new year, it’s the habits that steal our time, provide instant gratification but don’t offer any value in the long term. Or even worse, leave a negative impact on our health.

Here are some common (and pointless) habits along with tips on how to get rid of them:

Binge-watching TV series

Even if most online television platforms offer you lists of “Best TV Shows to Binge Watch”, being addicted to series is a major time-waster.

You can manage this addiction in several ways, for example, watch one episode per day (or a few per week) as a reward, only after you’ve finished an assignment or done a house chore. Or try replacing this habit with exercise or reading a book – this will be hard at first but should stick after a few weeks. You can also try to track how much time you spend on TV or movies – seeing how much of your life you are wasting might urge you to do something about it.

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Running on coffee

Being a coffee addict is kind of a stylish addiction nowadays, but it’s not that innocent as it may initially seem. Besides addiction being a problem in itself, drinking too much coffee (more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day) may lead to nervousness, insomnia, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.[2]

As a solution, try switching to tea or edible coffee – a more sustainable, healthy, and productivity-enhancing alternative. For example, Coffee Pixels are solid coffee bars that generate a more even energy kick throughout the day without the coffee-induced abstinence and dehydration.

Procrastination

Fighting procrastination requires some serious willpower. If it is a problem in your daily life or work, try ”eating the frog” in the morning – get over your biggest or hardest tasks first, then tackle everything else.

Alternatively, use time tracking software to monitor exactly how much time you waste on unproductive actions, websites or apps. Once you know exactly how much time you’re spending unproductively, try to limit your time on social media, for example to just 20 minutes per day.

If nothing else works, try bribing yourself — promise yourself to do something fun or pleasant when you finish your assignment.

Whichever habit you want to give up, consider using some habits building tools to make a contract with yourself and reward yourself for milestones achieved.

5. Stop over-consuming

We live in the age of consumerism – huge manufacturers with their promise of a comfortable life on the one hand, and growing environmental threats – that are the direct result of our modern lifestyle – on the other hand. There’s only one solution – try to consume less whenever and wherever you can.

Before making additional purchases, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really need it? Did I need it yesterday?
  • Can’t I buy it used or borrow it from friends?
  • Can I rent it?
  • Can I make it myself?
  • Am I buying the most sustainable version of this product?

For example, check if the brand you chose is conscious about the environment, for example, are the products they manufacture energy efficient? Do they try to use less packaging?

Also, if you often find yourself buying too many groceries, promise to buy only the amount that fits in one shopping bag (that you bring along). If you often forget to take your shopping bag with you, get yourself a 2-in-1 wallet with a built-in shopping bag for more eco-friendly shopping.

6. Learn to Unplug from Your Phone

Today’s world is crammed with information, and many people struggle to keep focus on what’s truly important. There’s just too much going on in the world – too much to read, to watch, to know, too many conversations to participate in.

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But how to refuse the temptation to check the phone and start using social media in a controlled, not a compulsive way?

Some tips for managing your phone-dependency:

Spend only a limited amount of battery per day

For example, start your day with 50% battery life, and manage your phone usage so that you’ll make it till the evening.

Block distracting apps and notifications on your phone and computer

Choose one-hour, two-hour or longer blocking sessions and enjoy the positive impact this will have on your mood and productivity.[3]

Set your phone on flight mode

When you start doing an important task that requires full focus, set your phone on flight mode so that nobody can disturb you.

Leave your phone at home or in the office when you go for lunch

You’ll see that the feeling of being unreachable for a moment is actually very liberating.

The Bottom Line

As a new year begins, we’re all excitedly looking forward to what adventures await ahead of us.

But this year, promise yourself this:

Instead of having a never-ending list of tasks and commitments, focus on the truly meaningful ones. And cross-out all the rest without feeling guilty.

Less is more. Make this year count. We’re all rooting for you.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

Reference

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