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15 Things Socially Skillful People Don’t Do

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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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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

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