Engaging in the right social skills activities is extremely important. All of the theory has been laid out all through this site and you can learn what, how, and why social dynamics work the way they work.
However, without real world practice, everything else is just useless. No amount of theory will make up for real life experience.
You might already know:
Why holding the attention in a conversation can be nerve-wrecking, how female attraction works and why it had been so difficult to figure out, how eye contact communicates superior status, etc.
All of those things have reasons as to why they work the way they work. But once you go out there and try to hold the attention in conversations, attract that cute girl that has been staring at you in the gym all day, or hold eye contact; all the theory disappears from your brain and you might just freeze.
You probably lack the social experiences to feel comfortable in those particular situations. This is why the correct social skills activities must become a part of your life.
Activities where you practice your social skills have now become your new Field of practice. You know; “Go out and get social”.
So many of our social problems would be solved if we had good self-esteem, knowing how it all works is important when it comes to 'how' to tackle every situation, what the correct angle is, and what is it that takes you the quickest from low to high self-esteem.
But, the ‘WHAT’ is equally important. So you’ve got to actually make the effort to include the practice of socializing into your life.
Whatever your current situation is if you are not – socially speaking – where you’d like to be; you need to improve the amount/quality of social practice you’re getting.
Pretty simple, right? Makes much sense as well. But what this all translates into is to actually be a part of all the social experiences: going up and talking to new people, to joke around with your coworkers, to make small talk in the elevator, to go out more, to accept ‘uncomfortable’ invitations to hang out with new people, all of it consciously (making an additional effort to get that additional practice that leads to more experience and therefore more skill).
In my experience; this whole idea can actually be a little demotivating considering the amount of effort it means for someone with bad/little social experience.
In my case I’d almost rather stay being the socially awkward guy I hated being than living the constant stress of socializing every day.
“So I have to go out and talk to people every day now”. Is an exhausting idea.
You get it. But do not despair! There’s a ‘quick fix’ for it all.
I like calling them ‘social skills activities’, and they’re simply the idea of including activities that involve social skills practice into your life in a natural manner.
Basically, joining activities that ‘force’ you to ‘naturally’ practice your social skills every day. Joining activities where you’re putting yourself in the social situations that will help you out and make you better.
This way the ‘only’ effort you’re making is showing up and whatever activity it is you choose as a field of practice.
All of my great social advances came from the times I forced social skills activities on myself, I started meeting new people, new friends and girlfriends came from all of it.
You need to include in your daily life the situations where you’re around people and you’re practicing your social skills more and more. Here are a few ideas of what you can try:
This a great new environment, especially to meet girls. A small fixed environment that is focused mainly on talking with other people. I made a few friends from a couple language classes and hey, I actually learned new languages.
Even though I prefer language classes since it involves mostly talking with others and being social, any type of class will do, especially since lots of times studying for tests and such is a social activity. Try independent courses or maybe enrolling in any kind of school.
This one is pretty good especially if you have a hard time being social with other guys, you get to meet new people and actually exercise, a pretty sweet deal.
If you are a religious person this is another one of those activities that involves mainly socializing and most times helping your community. Plus it’s a great place to meet girls that are interested in the same spiritual stuff as you are.
This one is a great place to interact with women, depending on what the chosen common interest is of course. Go hangout with people that like the same things as you, seems pretty obvious but no one ever realizes this.
Remember that if you are trying to improve areas in your life such as coolness, confidence and skills with girls; joining the ‘World of Warcraft Fans’ common interest group is probably not the best deal you’ll find out there.
I actually did this one and it was amazingly fulfilling. It was one of my first social skills activities, I joined as a shy quiet guy who didn’t know ANYONE and it basically transformed me from all the social experiences I got from it; to the point where I actually became the Head Director of it. Working with volunteers is a great way to be in a social environment where you can keep a good incoming flow of new people to meet. Plus, the girls are pretty cute.
You get the idea and I bet you can come up with other social skills activities that suit your life and personality better. As long as you are a little bit nervous about it; it’s all good because it means you’re expanding your comfort zone and therefore your social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Go out and get social.