People who try to appear cool and off beat at the expense of their authentic self, lose touch with their genuinity. In no time people will tag you ‘fake’ and walk out on you. Don’t be scared to portray your true self at social contexts even if that needs you to swim against the current.
Originality gives your personality an edge, a unique touch which is priceless.
6. Modulate your vocal expressions
What you say unquestionably matters a lot, but what matters more is how you say it. A statement’s connotation drastically changes with your tone and your style of expressing it.
When you are conversing with someone, remember:
- Not to speak in a plain, placid and monotonous tone.
- To vary your voice tone synchronising it with the context of your speech.
- To subtly express emotions through your voice
- To emphasise, stress on main points and ideas throughout your conversation.
Practicing the above will help you draw attention of others and keep them engaged.
Eye contact is so crucial in every social encounter that you can’t make justice to it without devoting a separate section for this social skill.
The very first thing that people try to figure out about you, according to Halvorson is if you are trustworthy enough or not. To top it, people will continue to converse with you only when they feel comfortable around you.
Instilling trust and comfort on other people will be your main objectives while interacting with someone. Here’s when the role of eye contact stands out.
A study implies that “..gaze avoidance, particularly during moments when it is socially normative to direct eye contact, can have unintended consequences, such as communicating disinterest or coldness.” The study also says that people who avoid eye contact in social contacts are “perceived as less warm [or] less well-liked.” (1)
So you see, eye contact during conversation is necessary to make the other person feel heard, seen and understood. It reflects your interest in what they are conveying and also makes you seem more warm, accepting and likable.
However make sure that the eye contact does not breed discomfort. Uncomfortable eye contact will result in uncomfortable interactions. To avoid awkward interactions you need to learn when to make and break an eye contact without unsettling yourself or the other person.
David A. Morin says that one golden rule to non-awkward eye contact is to break eye contact as soon as there is silence in the conversation. He further says that one should not focus on any other specific object while breaking eye contact. One should look at the floor, into the space or at the wall, like one does while contemplating something.
Remember to make eye contacts not only while speaking but also while listening to the other person.
Eye contact is about being able to deeply connect to another person, beyond his/her words or physical self. It entails understanding, focusing and attending to the other person. Do not make eye contacts mechanical. Engage your entire self, focus your undivided attention on the topic of discussion for a smoothly flowing conversation.
8. Put your cell phones to where it belongs –in your pocket
Social interactions means interaction between you and another individual, not between you and the virtual world. You do not need any skill other than self-control to exercise this amazing social hack.
Pay attention. Be present at the moment. Avoid any interruptions and distraction that hampers smooth social exchange.
9. Strengthen your active listening skills
To win at the social game, you have to notch up your listening skills to listen actively.
Active listening is an involved and engaging form of listening where you not only interpret the meaning of the words being spoken at its face value but also focus on its undertones. Active listening involves you to be observant and vigilant of the other person’s postures, gestures, facial expression, body language and voice tone. In this heightened form of listening, you engage all your sense organs, to interpret what message the other person is trying to convey and respond accordingly.