I’m reposting this older article as it is still relevant.
I thought that just before Valentine’s Day, this may be a useful post.
Having suffered from intermittent depression, I’ve had difficulty making friends due to my lack of confidence and self esteem. Over the years I’ve put together strategies to help me cope socially and here’s what I’ve found works.
• Don’t cover up your lack of confidence. People do actually appreciate those of us who are shy and quiet. You’re also more likely to attract like minded souls if you behave naturally and don’t put on a front.
• Regularly go somewhere to do an activity you enjoy. You’ll see the same people every time and build up companionship. You’ll also be showing them your best side because you’re enjoying yourself.
• Practice conversing with people. For example: at the supermarket checkout, at the doctor’s. It’s just to keep in practice; the conversations don’t have to be deep and meaningful.
• Practice smiling in the mirror. This sounds daft, but often your face doesn’t show the expression you want to project: people are reassured by a smile, even if you don’t feel like smiling. This is one occasion where its okay to do some acting.
• Don’t tell people too much about yourself too quickly or they will get bored. People love to talk about themselves, so ask them questions instead.
• Remember the acronym FORE: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Education. These are good categories to talk to people about because everyone has experience of at least one of them.
I hope these tips help: everyone struggles with their social life sometimes. I’d be interested to know if there are any other strategies people recommend and if anyone has any feedback on my ideas.
Read the entire article here: Catherine Chisnall at Wikinut