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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 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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