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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 July 16, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

What to have for dinner tonight?

Which route to take to work?

How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

For example:

If the problem is “always late to work”…

  • Why am I late to work?
    I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
  • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
    I feel so tired in the morning.
  • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
    I slept late the night before, that’s why.
  • Why did I sleep late?
    I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
  • Why did I drink coffee?
    Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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3. Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

5. Think Laterally

Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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