Can you think of the last time you initiated conversation at a party or asked an acquaintance to go out for coffee?
If you can't, it might be time to put more effort into being more social.
A recent study found that being social in your youth can lead to a greater sense of happiness as you age.
The results of the study showed that people who were social in their twenties ended up being happier with their lives over the following 40 or 50 years.
There are a few steps you can take to get started, which is the hardest part.
Being social doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but putting yourself out there doesn’t have to be so scary.
99 Tips On How To Be More Social
You may be facing a specific obstacle that is motivating you to want to learn how to become more social. We have broken up our tips into categories so you can focus on what is most important to you.
Do you want to become more social and less shy?
1. Fake It ‘Til You Make It
Bring yourself out of your comfort zone on purpose to start getting used to it. Try acting like you think someone who is very social would act.
2. Don't Put So Much Pressure on Yourself
It is critical to keep in mind that small talk doesn't have to be anything aside from pleasant. It is just a connection between human beings, so don't take it too seriously.
3. Make Eye Contact
If you are with someone, try to make as much eye contact as possible. Once you've established this connection, give the other person friendly smiles for the duration of your interaction.
This can help you if you are trying to foster a relationship or if you are already in one and you want to maintain a positive connection.
4. Watch Your Body Language
Your nonverbal communication can say a lot about you. Having open body language shows that you’re interested in the other person.
5. Be an Active Listener
When you’re listening to your partner, show that you are interested in the conversation.
Look at them as they are talking and focus on what they're saying.
Nodding and using short expressions like “yes” while smiling are good ways to show that you’re engaged in the conversation.
6. Say “Yes” More Than “No”
If you tend to say “no” to invitations to do something fun and spontaneous, try to say “yes” even if you don’t want to.
7. Notice How You Feel
Once you see that it doesn't hurt you to be social, you are more likely to naturally do it.
8. Initiate Plans
Rather than sitting back and waiting for your friends to ask you out to do something, plan some fun dates and take the initiative to ask your friends out.
9. Offer to Help
If you know your partner has a tough day coming up or is unusually busy at work, offer to help take some of their stress off by running an errand for them or making dinner.
10. Show Off Your Interests
Engage your partner or friends in the things that you are particularly interested in. This can be as simple as showing them how to cook your favorite meal.
11. Offer to Host Friends for Dinner
Doing this will help you get to know your friends better, and it will show that you are willing to put yourself out there.
Sometimes being in your own familiar surroundings increases your confidence and allows more of your personality to surface.
12. Let Your Partner Know What You Want
Be vocal about what you want and when you want it.
The more you practice being outspoken, the better. Plus, the more confident you are, the more social you will be.
13. Forget Negative Experiences
People seem to give more weight to negative situations than positive ones. If you want to be more social, you have to always look on the bright side and recognize when things go well.
14. Give People a Second Chance
If you go out with a new friend or on a date and it doesn't go well, give the person a second chance instead of shutting it down completely.
15. Maintain Old Relationships
It is important to create new relationships, but this is always easier if you have the support and backing of your long-time friends.
16. Take Risks
You’ll have to put yourself in situations that are uncomfortable — and be ready to face rejection.
People often think that every word they say has to be significant, smart, or clever. This isn't true.
18. Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes
Learn from them!
19. Accept Your Flaws
Your flaws make you more human and likable.
20. Read the Body Language of Others
In addition to paying attention to your own body language, read the body language of others and mirror them.
21. Focus on the Other Person
Instead of focusing on how you may be coming across, focus on the connection you are making with your partner or friends.
22. Be Courteous
Even if you are in a relationship, you have to remember to have good manners. Common courtesies are attractive and appealing to everyone.
23. Restate What You Heard
Mirroring what your partner says will clarify what they want to communicate so you completely understand the intent. It also shows your partner that you are actively listening.
24. Find an Activity
If the conversation has stalled, suggest doing something like going bowling or just taking a walk. As you enjoy the activity, you’ll both find more to say.
25. Weave in Stories
Share interesting stories with your friend or partner from your life to involve them in your conversation. Your stories help build rapport.
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26. Start Small
Be aware of your shyness and start with small steps such as smiling to strangers or offering to help someone who looks like they could use a hand.
Mastering these small steps will help you move on to larger endeavors.
27. Say “Thank You”
Next time you check out at the coffee shop, make eye contact, smile, and say “thank you.” This gesture will help you get used to interacting with other people a bit more.
28. Pay Attention to What Excites the Other Person
Pick up on cues regarding what the other person wants to talk about and go with it.
If you want to talk about one thing and they are dead set on talking about something else, just play into it and consider it a chance to learn about their topic.
29. Invite Friends Over
Invite people to come over to your house for a game night or dinner party. Be welcoming and inviting so other people will be more likely to feel like you value them.
30. Dress the Part
Dress in a way that makes you feel confident. This will help you feel less awkward.
31. Introduce People to Each Other
Part of becoming more social is helping other people feel comfortable as well. Spread the love by making an effort to introduce other people to each other.
32. Practice Your Smile
People can spot the difference between a fake smile and a real smile. Practice in the mirror.
33. Challenge Your Inner Voice
You may have a voice in your head that is urging you against going for what you want, but these thoughts are based on inner fears, not facts.
34. Set Realistic Goals
Changing yourself takes time. Set reasonable goals for yourself and remind yourself that it is ok if you have a setback every now and then.
Related Post: 25 Personal Development Goals That Unlock Massive Growth
35. If You Don't Want to Go Out…Go Out
The best times happen when you have to convince yourself to go out. It is easy to go home after work, but the best way to improve your social skills is by socializing.
36. Force Yourself to Change Your Behaviors
It is difficult to change your behaviors, especially if what you’re aiming to do doesn’t come naturally. Force yourself to get out there.
37. Acknowledge People You Often See
You probably see some of the same people on a regular basis but fail to acknowledge them. To become more social, start acknowledging the people you encounter more often.
38. Confront Self-Limiting Beliefs
Face your beliefs that you can't be outgoing, and let other people get to know you by being open to them.
39. What is Holding You Back?
Think about why you feel uncomfortable around new people.
Did you have a bad experience?
Do you fear rejection?
Pinpointing the reasons will let you take action to overcome them.
40. Remember Your Confidence
Remind yourself that you are confident and have important things to say.
41. Show Genuine Interest
When you meet a new person, cultivate an interest in them be asking interesting questions.
42. Aim to Meet Someone New Every Week
Setting this goal will force you to take the initiative and find new ways to meet new people.
43. Use Positive Statements
When talking to people, avoid mentioning negative subjects and focus more on positive uplifting topics.
44. Remember That Not Everyone Is Thinking About You
It can be easy to think that everyone is staring at you or judging you, but people are more likely wrapped up in their own business.
45. Give a Firm Handshake
Doing this will show that you have confidence.
46. Be Present
Avoid checking your phone or looking around if you are talking to someone else.
47. Take Mental Notes
This way, when you come back and talk to the same person again, they will know that you were listening because you will be able to recall some things they told you.
48. Embrace Awkward Silences
Silent gaps are a normal part of a conversation. Instead of forcing yourself to say something that may come out wrong, wait a few moments and a new topic of conversation will arise naturally.
49. Make Friends with Socially Skilled People
The more time you spend with them, the more you can learn.
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50. Get Comfortable
Don't put yourself in situations where your quiet demeanor will work against you. Instead, choose a more intimate setting to socialize with a small group of people.
51. Ease Your Way In
Ease yourself into your chosen smaller social settings to get used to speaking up.
52. Introduce Yourself
Look for someone who is also struggling with being social and introduce yourself.
By talking to someone who is even more reserved than you are, it will boost your confidence and bring out your more sociable side.
53. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Focus on open-ended questions that invite other people to respond with more than just a “yes” or “no.”
It will be easier to start up a conversation with someone new if you ask them to share something about themselves.
Try to relate to whatever the other person says. Maybe you share a similar experience with them or are interested in their career or background.
55. Look for a Common Interest
Conversations between people often revolve around what they have in common.
Probe for things you share with another person, such as a mutual friend. This will open up more topics to discuss.
56. Practice with Coworkers
If you have a job, then you probably already have a built-in social environment.
Find the place where people congregate to chat, such as a break room or a specific person's office, and join in.
57. Join a Club
If you aren’t confident approaching other people in social settings, join a club that revolves around a particular interest.
This will give you a chance to interact in a small-scale setting with people who share a common interest.
58. Give Compliments
59. Read the News
Stay up on current events so you will always have something relevant to talk about.
60. Just Say Hello
This is the hardest part. Then after that initial hurdle, it becomes much easier.
61. Imagine the Person is Already Your Friend
It will be easier to talk to someone if you pretend the person is already an old friend.
62. Be Animated
Use your hands and gesture as you are talking to make the conversation more engaging.
63. Use Humor
Laughter helps people warm up to each other.
64. Don't Bore People
Leave out any unnecessary details of your stories. You will likely lose someone's interest in these.
65. Help New People Feel Included
Be the person to welcome someone new into your conversation and aim to learn something new about them.
66. Ask for More Details
Doing this can easily keep a conversation going. Say something like, “Tell me more about that.”
67. Be Open for a Debate
Debates make conversation fun and enlightening. Just don't allow the debate to devolve into an uncomfortable disagreement.
68. Ask for Opinions
This is a great conversation starter. “What did you think about last night's game?”
69. Don't Eat Alone
At a social gathering, meals and appetizers are perfect conversation starters. Try to find someone who is also looking for company and sit down with them and start interacting.
70. Position Yourself Better
When at a social gathering, stand in the center of the room and be open to conversations. Try not to huddle in the corner even if you feel uncomfortable.
71. Notice Small Details
Tell your conversation partner that you love their watch (or bag, etc.) and ask him or her about it.
72. Pick Up on Non-Verbal Cues
If your conversation partner appears open and comfortable, share more deeply or ask deeper questions.
73. Avoid Flat Responses
If someone asks you a yes or no question, give a more detailed answer that invites a deeper conversation.
74. End Statements With a Question
End your statements with a question to prompt the other person to share something.
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75. Keep a File
You can't always depend on your memory to keep track of everything you find funny, but you can make a note of funny thoughts or observations that capture your attention.
Doing this will help you recognize humor and craft stories to tell others.
76. Tell Stories
Exceptionally funny people choose to tell relevant stories with humorous elements. Even if the story doesn't end up being funny, it's fine because the story still has a purpose.
77. Acknowledge the Obvious
If you’re clearly nervous or if you have something going on that's visibly unusual about you, address it to get a laugh — but in a confident way. “I know the invitation said ‘black tie', but my tux shrank in the wash.”
Vocalize what you think people are thinking. This will make you (and others) feel more comfortable, and it will show that you can make light of yourself.
78. Learn What Makes You Laugh
Laughter is unconscious, meaning it is difficult for people to produce genuine laughter on demand.
However, laughter is extremely contagious, and in a social situation, you can make other people laugh about things you think are funny yourself.
79. Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously
Keep in mind the most embarrassing moments in your life and don't be afraid to share them. Being open about past foibles can be hilarious.
80. Put Yourself in the Hot Seat
Self-deprecating jokes are quicker to get a laugh than jokes that are at the expense of others. Sharing interesting or funny facts about yourself can put others at ease.
81. Know Your Audience
Different people find different things funny. For some people, it's sensationalism, but for others, it is satire.
Make sure to deliver jokes that resonate with various senses of humor.
82. Make Sure to Have Good Timing
Good timing is important because if you wait too long to work out a funny story, the moment will pass by. React quickly and strike while the iron is hot.
83. Know When to Stop
If something falls flat with your audience, don't try to force it. Just stop and move on. In fact, make light of the fact that your joke bombed.
84. Be Observant
Many comedians have made a name for themselves by using a basic style of comedy, known as “observational” humor.
This is when you make observations about everyday situations and finding the humor in them.
There are humorous situations right in front of our eyes that go unappreciated without someone to point them out.
85. Learn From Funny People
You can become funnier by listening to other funny people. Keep a note of some of the funnier things you hear other people say or do.
Even if all you do is put together your own plan based on one funny aspect of each person, you'll be improving your sense of humor.
86. Take Humor Risks
Not every attempt at humor will be successful, and if you always wait for something you think will be a sure thing, you will likely fail.
There's no perfect joke or method of delivery. The only way to perfect your comedic timing is to practice. Tell jokes in the mirror to help you refine your delivery.
88. Give Yourself an Edge
Many people prefer to show only their positive side to other people, but that doesn't foster humorous creativity.
Embrace your wacky and impulsive sides to help you be funny.
89. Find a Common Target
Humor is often criticism of a specific target (but not a person) disguised as entertainment.
The target can be almost anything, but you have to be sure that you are focusing on the right target for your audience.
90. Have a Cheery Laugh
A person who has an infectious laugh comes across as a likable and fun person to be around.
If you want to be funnier, start by making yourself appear to be a fun and likable person.
Reading jokes and funny one-liners can give you a lot of inspiration for catchphrases to use yourself.
You don't have to memorize what you read, just knowing what happens in a joke can help you recreate the joke when you are in a similar situation in your real life.
92. Be Mysterious
As you become funnier, people will expect you to have a funny reaction to everything that happens.
But you don’t have to continue to prove that you're funny.
Sometimes, even if you simply crack a smile, the people around you will end up laughing, assuming you're thinking something funny.
93. Know Your World
Be aware of the world around you.
Funny people are often funny because they are already aware of the real answers to questions about current affairs, and they bend the truth to say something funny instead.
94. Invite Others to Participate
If you’re telling a funny story, interrupt yourself to get other people's input. Allow someone else to finish a sentence.
The best comedy leaves a little bit to the imagination so the receiver can fill in the blanks and become part of the experience.
95. Use an Element of Surprise
Hitting people with the unexpected can boost how funny you are. Try taking something typical and adding something that no one expects to get a great laugh.
96. Limit Your Jokes
There is a difference between telling stories and jokes. A joke is a fake story that ends in a punchline, which can easily fall flat.
97. Challenge the Norm
Challenge the status quo, but be sure to select targets with universal appeal. People who are truly funny are also very smart.
98. Don't Hold Back
Funny people aren't shy, and they have a desire to be heard. They put themselves out there and move on if they don't succeed.
99. Laugh With Other People
The more you laugh at other people's jokes and stories, the more likely they will be to laugh at yours.
Are you ready to work on being more social and less shy? Even if you are an introvert or uncomfortable in social settings, you can train yourself to be friendly and engaging.
The first step is to just put yourself out there, and once you do that, choose one or two of these ideas to practice.
Over time, you'll feel increasingly comfortable being cordial and conversational in all situations.