In this post, I share 10 social skills you can easily implement as well as a tap along to show you a little of what is possible.
By the end of this post, you will have social skills to try out for yourself and you will get an experience of a healing technique.
Here are some things you’ll learn:
- How to move to the next topic when a conversation dies off.
- What to say when being introduced to new people.
- How to be the one to break the ice.
- How to use your keen ability of sensing what others feel to your advantage.
- An easy tip to practice when you want to connect with someone, and more.
These tips will help you to do what comes naturally to people who don’t have social anxiety, but we’re also going to start to address the social anxiety problem as well. But this is just the start, be sure to subscribe by clicking on the ‘Get new posts via email’ button under the video for more resources to start your journey to social confidence.
Sebastiaan: Hello, my name is Sebastiaan from socialanxietysolutions.com. I’m a social confidence coach and I help people with social anxiety feel calmer and relaxed in social situations so that they can have a good time, connect and create a satisfying social life. And I do that by combining Western traditional psychology with Eastern energy psychology.
Sounds a bit weird but more about that later because by using this combination you can actually overcome your social anxiety completely so they’re totally at ease socially and it doesn’t require you to forcefully face your fears. You know, grit your teeth and you know, push yourself to do these awkward exposures. So, more about that later.
What this video is gonna be about is social skills. So, I’m going to give you my 10 best social skills and after that I’m going to tell you why you actually don’t need more social skills.
Now I’ve set it up in this interesting format because people with social anxiety you know, a lot of my clients they say, “I just don’t know what to say. I just would know what to say but I blank out you know, my mind blanks and then you know everything goes out of the window and so I need more social skills”. I’ll tell them that they don’t need more social skills and have a very good reason for it. However, since you might be here for the social skills, let me actually give you some social skills.
Alright. Maybe you already know them, but these are once, so I just thought, “Okay, well, what are some social skills that I actually use a lot?” And these are just my personal social skills I’ve probably learned them somewhere or you know stole them from someone or whatever, but I still use them today and I find them very helpful.
Here we go.
#1: The beauty of “anyway”
Alright. This is very simple. You can change any topic with this beautiful word “anyway”. Alright, so end of the conversation and you’re just like “anyway” and you can launch into something completely different. Right, so, we might be talking about you know my mom just got remarried two days ago so I might have a conversation about that and you know, that conversation kind of bleeds to a dead end. Then it’s like, “Anyway, what’s going on with your life these days?” Or “Anyway, are you very traveling anywhere cool in the nearby future? Anyway, how’s your daughter doing?” Whatever, doesn’t matter. You just completely switch topic and you just say whatever you want to say.
#2: Look – eye contact – question
Alright, this is also literally as easy as it sounds. You know, there’s a person that you want to connect with then you simply look at that person and that person will notice that you’re looking at them then you have eye contact then you ask a question. Pretty simple.
So, for example I went salsa dancing with my aunt of all people a couple of days ago and you know in the break there was a was a girl there she was a salsa instructor so she wasn’t paying attention to me, so I looked over and then she saw that I was looking at her and I smiled, that’s helpful as well and then I just said “How long you been dancing salsa?” Easy. Alright.
#3: “You look…”
Fill in the blank. This one’s really simple. It’s kind of like you’re observing what people are looking like and we people prone to dealing with social anxiety. We tend to be very sensitive as to how people are feeling. And so, you can just say “Well, you look…” Fill in the blank. Well, you look tired. – Yeah, I’m having a hard day. Alright, you look lost or you look happy and whatever and just say whatever. And people will respond to it and you know sometimes they defend themselves, sometimes they’re like oh you true or whatever. Alright? Easy.
#4: Calling out the elephant in the room
I love this one and I do this all the time. You’re simply speaking the unspoken. So, you can either address a particular mood that is there that nobody says something about or you know, someone that is withholding something you can call that out. You know, you might ask someone a particular question about a topic that they’re uncomfortable about and you know, which I do and you know, not knowing beforehand that they’re uncomfortable about it or that they don’t want to talk about it and then you notice there most squirming away and then I might say, “Okay, you know, I won’t go there then. Sorry”.
Anyway, you see and then I’m gonna say anyway just change a topic. Or maybe have another example. A couple of weeks ago we were away with two friends and my friend find that I was still in the car waiting for us. We had to go through the ATM. The ATM wasn’t working, and she was in a rush, wanted to get her coffee and me my friend were dealing with the ATM, people were going in front of us, the ATM wasn’t working, blah-blah-blah.
Anyway, long story short, it took about 10-15 minutes and then we still didn’t have the money and so we got back into our taxi and I saw that vide out, I was very upset, boiling. And I just said that like, “Alright, well, at least you’re not angry”. You know, and I just called out the elephant in the room. And that opens the… actually she had to laugh at that because it was funny, it was true for her.
So, just you know, saying whatever is obvious that comes to mind. It you know, is on the tip of your tongue, just blurt it out let it go.
#5 – “How do you guys know each other?”
Now, often you get introduced to someone else and it might be you know, a friend of yours that you know and then someone else and it’s like, “Oh, hey, Sebastiaan. This is Jade. – Hi, Jade. How’s it going? – Yeah, great. How are you go? Blah-blah-blah.” Very easy question in the beginning and then it’s like, “Hey, how do you guys know each other?” Because you don’t know how your friend and you know, the new friend or the person that you’re being introduced to know each other. So, that’s just simple, a great question to ask. Usually they have an interesting story about it and you know, they get to connect as friends because they were reminded there remembering how they you know, got to know each other. It’s just a question I’d like to ask.
#6 – Be curious
Alright. So, this is probably the like more of a mindset and it’s the best possible mindset that you can have in my opinion. Yeah, being curious about people. I was just on my mom’s wedding a couple of days ago and I sat next to this guy who was the photographer. Well, obviously I was asking questions about his cameras that he had you know what he was paying for them and whatever he was making. All sorts of random questions.
And I was kind of interested in that because I need to upgrade my own camera but then somehow someway I was asking him… I think I was telling him stories about how I was abroad, and the topic got to his to his fetish I guess, or he gathers money from all sorts of countries. And that was interesting and just because we were talking, and it was curious about who he was and what he was fascinated about. I was looking for okay where is he passionate, what lights him up, you know, what is he interested about? And if he kind of followed the energy of a person you can start directing your questions towards what lights them up, what makes them energized.
And you know, for him it was his coin and bill’s collection from different countries. He had money from 160 different countries but not all the coins and he was collecting it from all the different years. The guy has a fortune in different kinds of currencies which is fascinating when you think about it. So, be curious.
#7 – Speak how you feel and say what you think
You know, this is really what you want to get to where you just feel free to say whatever comes to mind. You know, how you feel, what you think, what comes to mind, questions you have, all of that kind of stuff. And it’s really not a social skill, it’s more state of being. I’ll get into that in just a moment I just want to finish this as an example.
So, you know a couple of days ago I was at salsa and then at the break, they had this big bowl with a little mini chocolate eggs. So, yeah, I was seeing them, so I was walking over to they I’m like great, love these. Hey, I’m hungry. – Oh, what flavor do you want? – Oh, I love these. This is my favorite is this one. You know, what’s your favorite? – Oh, I don’t love those one.
Whatever, you can just say whatever comes to mind, observe it – What did I say? Speak what you feel and say what you think. Right, next.
#8 – Ask open-ended questions
Alright. You can probably find them. This is just so obvious, don’t ask yes or no questions asked open-ended questions. You know not like “Do you like to go to the movies?” That’s yes or no but you know, “What kind of movies are you interested in?” That’s more of an open question because they can’t answer that with yes or no. But then when you answer, we ask a question like that expect people to ask the same question back to you. Right? Because that’s typically something that people do. Alright.
#9 – “I’m just curious”
Alright. So, whatever question you ask, you can ask people anything, right? And if they ever you know, question you… It’s like “Why are you asking me that?” I like asking that you know, okay? So, what’s the deeper reason behind you asking that? That’s a great question. I mean it’s a great question to ask that because you find out, “Well, I asked that because I’m curious about what you’re interested in. – Yeah, you seem like an interesting person”. Blah, blah, blah, whatever. And so, you can just say “I’m just curious”. Just true, right? So, you’ve got a good default answer there.
#10 – Forget about social skills
Right. So, the previous social skills… I guess they are social skills that I told you about might be helpful and they can help you save face and it can help smoothen out a conversation or they can liven up a conversation or bring in some humor. And all of that is very helpful but it’s the creaming on the cake rather than that it’s actually you know, the main thing you should be focusing on. Because what you actually want to focus on is not getting more social skills or having more topics to talk about or have better questions to ask. The real problem is that you don’t feel safe to be yourself in social situations and as a result you feel anxious, right?
So, what happens when you’re in a social situation and the anxiety comes up? Actually, what has happened just a split second prior to the anxiety being there as your brain you know has perceived some threats, some danger and it fires off this built-in response? Fight flight freeze response. And that’s the built-in response to protect you from that threat, from that danger and that put your whole body in survival mode.
So, your heart racing, your pupils dilating, you know, a lot rushing away from your digestive system and your head into your outer limbs. Your whole system is prepared to either fight the danger run, away from it or freeze if you can’t do any of the things.
Now a lot of my clients say “Well, I just need more social skills or just need to know what to say”. That’s actually not true, you know. Because you can have all the social skills in the world but when your system is in survival mode you can’t use them. You can’t think on your feet. Have you ever you know think about this? Have you ever been in this in a social situation and you know you’re anxious and you’re trying to listen to what the other person is saying but you’re actually constantly just observing yourself how you’re coming across to the other person and whether you look normal and not anxious or nervous or tense because you know, you’re not there present with him. You’re trying to preserve, you’re trying to say face rather than that you’re actually listening to the person. And listening is a social skill, right? Or have you ever been super anxious and really funny at the same time? Of course, you haven’t because you’re in survival mode. And when you’re in survivor mode your system is busy trying to do whatever it can to make sure that you don’t have to deal with that danger.
And so, it’s very difficult / impossible to be socially suave and savvy and anxious at the same time. So, what the real problem is that you have that perception of a threat and people often judge their social skills based upon previous times they’ve been socially anxious where they couldn’t speak their truth, where they were silent, where they weren’t funny. People often say, “Oh, I’m boring. Oh, I don’t have any social skills, so I never know what to say and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” And they say that it’s their personality that’s flawed or incompetent or boring or so on. But that’s not really true because if I ask the same person “Alright, do you have someone that you’re comfortable with? – Oh, yeah, I’m comfortable with my brother. – Alright, well, when you’re with your brother you have any problems with your social skills? – No, no with my brother I’m fine”.
Uh-huh, right? So, it’s not more social skills that you need, it’s that you need to make the journey from being not okay, being not safe socially to being safe socially because that person with his brother he feels accepted, he feels respected, he feels like he feels loved and therefore it’s safe to just be himself. Say whatever comes to mind you know, upset him, you know, act silly, looked like a dumbass whatever. All of that is okay because it doesn’t have any consequences because he has a long-term relationship with this person. He knows I’m not judged in this moment right now, so I have the freedom to just be myself. It’s safe to just blurt out and do whatever I feel like doing. And that’s a place that you can get to with other people as well, with new people and so on. And that’s really being yourself.
Now there’s no quick fix to getting there but there is a way to getting there and the way to get there is to look at the reasons why you’re not comfortable in those situations and then you know, you get to the belief system. “Well, I should be social” for example is a belief and we’ll do some tapping on that to shift that around a bit. But you know, I’m not good enough. They’re better than me I have to be perfect to be accepted. Everyone should approve of me, you know, I’m ugly. I’m not good enough, there’s something wrong with me.
All of these beliefs, they cause you to filter the situation in such a way that you end up feeling unsafe which then activates the anxiety and now you can’t socialize properly. So, actually looking at “Alright, what are the beliefs? Where do these beliefs come from?” And you know I can tell you they come from repetitive negative experiences in early childhood and traumatic life experiences 95% of the time. And you can go back to these experiences and with a tool like tapping EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques in a variety of other techniques but talk about this one a lot.
You can get rid of the learnings, you can get rid of the emotions from those traumatic experiences from the repetitive negative experiences in your past where you learned these beliefs that caused the perception of danger. And as you get rid of the emotions as you process the trauma so that it doesn’t bother you any more at all and that’s a pretty pain-free process with this weird tapping you actually get to feel safe. And then you can just be yourself just like you are with your brother or your best friend or whatever. And that’s really what you’re ultimately looking for.
Now how to get there is beyond the scope of this video because it’s going to be a long, long video but I give you a good summary of how to get there in my social confidence starter kit. In there I have an e-book called “How to overcome social anxiety completely?” And there I tell my story how I overcame my social anxiety using tapping EFT. I’ll tell you what that is in a second. And also summarize how to get to this place where you’re free of anxiety, where you’re naturally being yourself, where you don’t care about you know, messing up and where you feel free to speak your mind and you know, that kind of place.
In that course by the way you also get… I think it’s 10 or 12 videos where I teach EFT tapping to you and that’s the technique that I used to overcome my own social anxiety and that I’ve helped hundreds of clients become socially confident within the past 9 years. It’s an amazing technique, it’s been on Dr. Oz, Psychology Today, it’s scientifically proven to be effective in published in more than a hundred peer-reviewed studies. You know, Larry King… Yeah, I don’t know where else, but it’s been a lot of platforms and it’s very popular because it’s very effective.
And in social confidence starter kit I teach you the basics of that technique and I also give you a couple of experiences of it which I’m gonna guide you through in a moment as well.
Now, if you don’t know what EFT is, it stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques and it’s a psychological version of acupuncture but instead of using needles you tap with the tips your fingers and specific acupressure points in the body like this. Looks really silly. If you see it for the first time you’re probably like, “Yeah, right, as if that could ever help”. But you know, it helps amazingly. Well, what does it do? It actually releases stuck emotions, it processes stuck emotions and you feel better like rapid quick. It’s really amazing.
So, it’s basically a tool to quickly let go of bad feelings. And not on the thinking level, actually on an emotional level. So, you think about a particular problem. As you’re thinking about this particular problem you feel the negative emotion, now you do the tapping while you keep thinking about the problem and then the emotion gets disconnected from the problem that you’re thinking about. Sounds like magic, kind of is but you know, I’ll guide you through an experience of it right now to address some of the beliefs around the topic that we’re talking about. Like “I need social skills, I need more social skills, I should be social” and that kind of stuff.
Now before I get into that I just want to emphasize that this is just… This is just working on the surface level. I don’t know exactly what your particular issues are and if you decide to continue past this point you take responsibility for your own well-being, nothing really happens typically, you just feel better. But we’re working on the surface level. You know, I can’t go dig into your past, I can’t go back to past experiences because this is just a video. So, I’m keeping in general talking in such a way that it applies to most people, most of the time. Just based upon how I’ve experienced it myself and you know, what I hear over and over and over with clients.
So, this is a very forgiving technique and you can do it wrong, you’ll still get the benefits. And if you don’t know exactly where the tapping points are, the points, the Meridian points, the acupressure points in the body, I’m simply going to tap on certain points and you just copy what I do. So, you tap where I tap, and you say what I say. So, you repeat after me out loud. Monkey see, monkey do. And even if you’re not tapping in the right place or you don’t know exactly where I’m tapping, just tap in the general area of where I’m tapping, and you’ll still get the benefits.
Okay. Alright. So, here we go. Tapping on the side of the hand to the base of the finger, to the base of the wrist. The fleshy part here it’s called the karate chop point. Just take three fingers, tap there continuously, nice and firm, don’t hurt yourself and repeat after me out loud.
“Even though I’m not social enough and I should be more social, I need to have better social skills. I’m just boring socially. That’s what I’m convinced of. And I want to try to accept myself and my feelings anyway, even though it’s very hard and a part of me is resisting it with all I have.”
Good. Now tapping on the beginning of the eyebrows and just repeat it to me. “So, I should have better social skills”. On side of the eyes, “I’m so socially inept”. Under the eyes, “I’m an idiot when it comes to socializing”. Under the nose, “I’m much too silent”. On the chin, “I should be social”. Collarbone, “I should talk more”. Under the arms, “I’m not funny enough”. Liver point, “I’m too quiet”. Wrist point, “I’m boring”.
Top of the head, “I’m so socially awkward”. Beginning of the eyebrows, “And I make others awkward”. On the side of the eyes, “And it’s my responsibility”. Under the eyes, “Yes, I should make everyone feel good”. Under the nose, “If someone feels bad, it’s my fault”. On the chin, “I have such shitty social skills”. Collarbone, “And I’m almost proud of it”. Under the arms, “I have the worst social skills in the world”. Liver point, “Nobody can beat me at how bad I am at social skills”. Wrist point, “And I should have perfect social skills”.
Top of the head, “I have to do everything right when I’m around others”. On the eyebrows, “Even if I should impress them”. Side of the eyes, “As they have to like me”. Under the eyes, “What if I say something wrong?” Under the nose, “What if I say something uncool?” Chin, “Or what if I look bad socially?” Collarbone, “It will ruin my reputation”. Under the arms, “They will tell their friends about it”. Liver point, “They’ll laugh at me forever”. Wrist point, “They will blog about it”.
Top of the head, “They will make videos about it”. Beginning of the eyebrows, “And I will have a ruined reputation for the rest of my life”. Side of the eyes, “Or not”. Under the eyes, “It’s so important I have perfect social skills”. Under the nose, “If I don’t have great social skills, I’m not worthy”. Chin, “Unless I am”. Collarbone, “What if I’m okay anyway?” Under the arms, “What if I let go of the idea that I have to perform socially?” Liver point, “What if I am actually enough?” Wrist point, “Part of me knows deep down that I am enough”. Top of the head, “And I’d like to feel a little bit more safe being me”.
Deep breath and relax. Good. Alright. So, hopefully this has calmed you down a bit. Maybe it has shifted your feelings around a little. Maybe you have a different perspective on things. Maybe it feels a bit different in your body. Maybe you’ve had some insights. Maybe you still feel the same and you think this is all a bunch of bullshit. That’s alright too but likely you’ll feel quite a bit better or a little bit better. And just keep in mind what I’ve said. This is just a little tapping on the symptoms. You know, we’re kind of like cutting the weeds instead of pulling the weeds root and all.
But you know, I’m just doing these tap-along, so you get a little bit of a shifting your feelings and you’re like, “Hey, maybe there is something that I can actually do about this social anxiety because it is limiting my life and it is you know… I’m missing out on so much and nothing works. Facing my fears didn’t work, changing my thoughts didn’t work or only worked a little bit or my anxiety keep coming back and you know, maybe this actually is something that can work. And you know, it is but, it’s difficult to convince people of that so I try to give them a little bit of an experience of it.
However, when you have social anxiety for a long period of time it’s a complex issue to overcome even with the tool as effective as this. But it can be done and it’s not difficult as it just requires a whole bunch of steps to get there. And people these days, you know, “I want to watch one YouTube video and it should be a quick fix and I want to be done with my social anxiety if I’m not don’t move my social anxiety this is you know, this is not worth my time”. While it is worth your time. You know, invest your time in it. This can really change your life.
And think about what the value would be of actually being free of your social anxiety. Aren’t you willing to put in a little bit of time to actually get rid of this so you can free yourself so you can be yourself with other people? Imagine what would open up in your life when you’re just free to be yourself. You know, speak your truth, say you know, speak freely how you feel, be okay with all your feelings. You know, you’re gonna be so much happier, you’re gonna have such a higher quality of life. It’s really, really worth the effort.
Alright. So, after that little you know, motivational talk just talking to truth really. Let’s… let me pitch my free, you know, capital FREE social confidence starter kit where you get a bunch of videos where I teach this the basics of tapping so you can apply it for yourself to your own life as well as some more of these tap-alongs are in that little starter kit. And you also get the “How to overcome social anxiety completely?” eBook.
It took me a long time to write that. I asked my coach for confirmation and it’s really awesome. So, I put a lot of time and effort in that and it’s gonna really benefit you a lot. And you can get that below this video, click on the link or go to socialanxietysolutions.com and you’ll get it there.
Alright. Hope it’s been helpful. I do these videos every week and next Thursday there will be a new one. So, if you want to be alerted by that hit the subscribe button wherever it is, and I’ll talk to you then. Bye.
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