“I’m just like this”. That’s what I used to think. “I’m just not a social person”. But truth is, I was lonely, I was socially clumsy and I had very few people to talk to.
Learning social skills is worth it. Here are 20 reasons why you should.
#1 You won’t be lonely anymore
Loneliness is one of the worst feelings in the world. It’s that cold gnawing feeling that you’re the only going through this. That feeling that you’re the only person who cares about you. And the feeling that you’ll be alone forever.
By having better social skills you’ll find it easier to connect to other people and you’ll be much less lonely as a result
#2 You’ll live longer
Loneliness is not just a feeling, but it’s also a silent killer in our society. Researchers have found that people who are loneliness have a 50% increased risk of early death. Those who did have a good social network were far less likely to die early. Loneliness actually kills.
#3 You can talk to anybody
Having good social skills will allow you to talk to anybody. That cute girl? Go talk to her. That handsome guy at the office? Try it!
Social skills and confidence are very closely intertwined. As you develop better social skills you’ll find that your confidence also goes up, and with it, your ability to talk to anybody you want.
#4 You’ll make more progress in your career
In business, social skills are one of the most critical skills to get ahead. As good as you are at your job: if you don’t have social skills, or aren’t socially skilled enough, then your career can stall.
Coworkers who do have the social skills that are sought by management can be promoted ahead of you. That sucks. With better social skills that won’t be the case.
#5 You’ll have an easier time in college/university
People always say that college and university are the best years of your life. That might be so, but without good social skills it sure as hell won’t feel that way.
Whereas in high school you had a set group of people you interacted with (your class) you will not have something like that in college or university. You need to go out and build your own connections and friendships. Without people skills, it can be a very lonely period of your life.
#6 It’s more fun to do other things with people
As cheesy as it might sound: it’s just more fun to do things together with other people. It’s the moments with other people that you remember most. That smile on your friend’s face, the way that that girl or guy laughed at your jokes, the time when you… You get the point 😉.
Doing things together with others makes all the difference. I believe it’s those moments that you’ll remember.
#7 It makes you easier to be around
Some people are quite difficult to be around and to talk to. We usually try to limit contact with those people. I was one of those people. I didn’t really know how to carry a conversation, so they usually ended awkwardly. Because of that I people just didn’t talk to me. I was just not that easy to be around.
I improved my social skills, I became a better listener and I realized that I have interesting things to share with people. It’s now easier to be around me, and so people like being around me.
#8 You can avoid conflict
Good communication skills can avoid conflict. There is somebody in my family who doesn’t know how to express frustration with anything other than anger. He doesn’t realize that it’s slowly tearing his family apart and that his son is getting as quick-to-anger as he is. Not good.
By having better communication skills you’ll be able to let other people know what you’re feeling, what you need of them and how they can help you. This will help you avoid conflict.
#9 You can be a better parent
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably not a parent yet. But who knows, maybe you will be in some time.
My dad was never a good communicator (he is not the person I mentioned above by the way). He didn’t teach me much about connecting with other people. That’s part of what caused my deficit in social skills and it took me a long time to recover from that.
By having good social skills yourself you can teach your (future) kids these critical skills too, and you’ll be a better parent for it.
#10 You can talk to colleagues at lunchtime
If you’re at work then there’s the inevitable lunchtime. In most companies that means sitting with your coworkers and doing small talk. Maybe some co-workers go for a walk too. Without social skills, you can join the group, but you won’t really be a part of them. That sucks. This also ties in with your chances for promotion.
Improving your social skills will help you to connect better to your co-workers, even at lunchtime, so you won’t have to eat your lunch at your computer anymore. computer anymore.
#11 You’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin
Social skills and confidence are very closely related. Without social skills, it’s hard to feel confident. Vice versa your confidence will disappear very quickly if you struggle with connecting to people. That’s why at Social Nerd we focus on building both at the same time.
You can be more comfortable in your own skin as you’re growing your social skills. And knowing you can connect to other people, find love, ask for help when you need it; those will all help you be more comfortable in your own skin.
#12 You can find love
I’ve seen plenty of people who want to skip building social skills and social connections and jump straight to finding love. Well, that just doesn’t work.
In my opinion, love is a deep personal connection that you build with another person over time. But you can’t get there if you’re too anxious to talk to people. You might look up some pickup lines online, but without the social skills to back it up, you won’t get further than one-night-stands, if at all.
So focus on building social skills first, and love will follow eventually.
#13 You can learn from other people
You’ll be amazed at what you can learn from other people once you’re able to talk to them. I believe everybody has something to teach you, but you need social skills to find out what that is.
I’ve made it a constant challenge to myself to figure out what I can learn from somebody. Asking the right questions, listening and being open to the other person is key to that. With good social skills, you’ll find that other people have a lot of interesting stuff to teach you or tell you about.
#14 You can inspire other people
I was never good with people. As I was so frustrated with isolation, awkward conversations and lack of connection I decided to do something about it. I started building my social skills, bit by bit.
Over time I found that people found it inspiring to hear my journey from total nerd to socially confident coach and trainer.
Whatever your area of expertise is: you can inspire people. You just need the social skills to help you get there.
#15 You can get inspired by other people
This one ties in with #13. People skills allow you to connect with other people. The better the connection, the more they might share about themselves. And they can inspire you by what they’ll tell you.
Everybody has something interesting to tell, and some might even inspire you. Conversations and building connection are panning for gold in that sense.
#16 You will grow braver
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be a professional speaker and coach and that I would inspire people about social skills I would have thought you were nuts. Just bananas.
But that’s what happened. By building my communication skills I was able to be little bit braver each time. I went from not daring to talk to most people, to flying halfway across to world to a people skills training, to presenting in front of a group of 100 people.
You will grow braver as your social skills grow.
#17 You can see how you can help others
Helping others makes you feel better about yourself. But you can’t really help others unless you know what they need. With more social skills you can talk to people. Between the lines, they’ll tell you what they need.
Usually, it’s not the things that we do for ourselves that we feel best about; it’s the things we do for others.
#18 You can build a following
Maybe you’re dreaming of getting famous, or of having a large(r) following online. With better social skills you can do just that.
Entirely unrelated to Social Nerd I’m running a Youtube channel where I do commentary on strategy games. Over the years I’ve built up a following of about 18.000 people. I couldn’t have done that without building connections with the people who want to see my content.
This also again ties in with confidence: better social skills help you get more confident and in turn help you build a following. Don’t forget to inspire them 😉.
#19 You have people who are there for you
You find out who you can count on when you’re in trouble. With social connections nowadays being seemingly very shallow there’s a good chance that you won’t have many people to call when the shit hits the fan.
Building real connections with people ensures that you will have people who are there when you need help. It could be something simple as “hey, can I borrow that powertool?”. Maybe it’s “I need somebody to drive me to the doctor asap”. Or it might be something as serious “Can I crash at your place tonight? I really need somebody to talk to”. You will have people who are there to help you.
#20 Applying for jobs will be easier
Applying for jobs is an anxious undertaking for almost anybody. It’s one of those times when somebody else can tell you to your face that you’re not good enough, not experienced enough, not ready, not skilled enough etc.
Social skills will help you out in this area too. By having better social skills you’ll find it easier to talk about the job, your resume, and how you can help the company if they hire you.
It won’t allay all the nerves, but it will definitely help with a good portion of it.
Where to start?
Eager to get started building your social skills? Excellent, let’s get going then.
The best way to start is by taking a few moments to fill in the social skills assessment. By doing that we’ll be able to tell you exactly where you need to start.
Alternatively, you can continue reading on the following topics:
- Building your confidence
- Practical conversation skills
- Building connection
- Managing stress and anxiety
- Fighting your mental gremlins