Step 1: Mindset
Write down your why: “I realized that social skills are just as important (if not more), then technical skills in the real world. Without solid social skills you will miss out on relationships, friendships, business opportunities, and higher paying jobs. You will become lonely and depressed, and never reach your potential. It makes me sick to think that I am being controlled and limited by my social skills, and I will not put up with it any longer.”
Understand the Truth: You are NOT shyness, awkwardness, and social anxiety. It is just a learned behavior. You were born with introverted tendencies like many people, and those behaviors got reinforced. For me, I was born a shy quiet kid. My parents never pushed me too much and allowed me to stay in my room and play video games. This caused me not to develop as many social skills as I should have. I also got good grades, so people assumed I was smart and capable. Which I was academically, but not socially. And since they do not test social skills, I went through school with out a hiccup.
Think about why you have social anxiety. Once you uncover these reasons, you will think “oh, my social skills are not me, its just a pattern I learned“. A giant weight will be lifted off your shoulders. You will realized you can now unlearn the old patterns and learn new ones.
Don’t give a F**k what people think: A lot of people like to talk about not giving a f**k. I’ve tried, and its not only very difficult, but it is a dangerous mindset. So instead, I just try to remember that no one is watching me. No one is thinking about me. No one cares what I do. Do you know how I know that is true? Because everyone is just thinking about themselves all day long. Don’t you? I know you do.
Step 2: Pre-Strategy
Now that you see the light, and know your social anxiety is reversable. Lets make a plan to start turning your life around. Most advice will just say “put yourself out there” or “fake it till you make it”. That stuff was written by extroverted people without social anxieties. I know that stuff doesn’t work because I have tried for years.
I call this section the pre-strategy, because you need to start working on yourself if you are not already. Its not a requirement to be a self-improvement junkie to become a social god, but if you have social anxiety, I can almost garuntee you have some self confidence issues too. So start fixing them.
I won’t go into to much detail here, because there are a billion articles on self improvement (reddit is a good source), but here are the fundementals. You can adjust to fit your own needs.
- Diet: Eat a healthy diet.
- Cut out the sugars and unhealthy processed carbs.
- Eat natural foods. Lean meats, eggs, vegtables, fruits. The paleo diet is very popular and a good starting point, although I do not agree with it completly.
- Add fruits and vegtables with smoothies. They taste awesome and are easier to get in your system then a bowl of broccli.
- Exercise: You are doing this for your mental state just as much as a physical state. If you feel depressed, go to the gym and lift weights. If you can muster the energy to do that, take a 5 minute walk. That is the best medicine. (I have clinical depression, been on multiple medications, don’t want to hear your complaining or excuses or doubts. A 5 min walk is the best medicine)
- Do yoga. Even if you just want to be a bodybuilder, you still should be starting out with some yoga.
- Do you even lift bro?: Lifting is good. Make sure you workout the whole body, not just biceps. Do not skip leg day.
- Clean yourself: Would you make out with you? Then why would a girl
- Deoderant and decent cologn
- Brush your teeth, floss, chew gum
- Clip your nails
- Iron your clothes
- Get a haircut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5QJ9i_o5vo
- Make your bed: If you can’t keep your room clean then how are you going to run a company? Or run a family? I clean my room every single day before going to bed.
All this will not help your social skills tremendously, but it will make you feel better about yourself. As a result you will want to go out more, smile more, and feel like there is a higher probability finding a girl that will like you. So shut up and do it.
Part 3: 10-10-10 Strategy
Now that you know you can learn new patterns and overcome your social anxiety, and you have a plan to improve yourself, let talk about social skills. Just follow my 10-10-10 Strategy to get prepared.
Questions: I never know what to say in conversations, so I will just freeze and panic. The common advice is just to listen to the other person and don’t think about what to say. Yes do this, but its not enough for someone with real social phobias. You need to prepare. Do this by coming up with a list of 10 questions you could ask anyone, and memorize them. Now you have 10 good questions you can bring up if you need too.
Stories: You can’t just ask questions, or you will be a creep. This is a common mistake of the introvert. So you must come up with 10 stories you can share with anyone at anytime. Come up with stories in unrelated topics. Write them out, and think through all the details. Learn how to tell a good story, and practice in the shower or on the john.
The questions and stories are for the long term. Keep growing the lists, and do interesting things so you can add them to the list. I advise writing all this out in a word file or excel file. Keep adding and replacing your lame ass stories with cooler ones.
But I also want to talk about what you should be doing daily…
Daily Starters: The daily starters are conversation starters for your day. Every morning you know who you are going to run into for the most part and what you are going to be doing, so have 10 starters ready. These are customized to your audience. I great place to start is with current events. Sports, politics, news, updates in your business field, stuff you are working on, questions you have for people, follow ups on conversations you have had….you get the point. Think of 10 people you will see, and have a starter ready. Maybe you wont need it, but you will be prepared. And that will give you confidence.
So that’s my 10-10-10 strategy. 10 Questions, 10 Stories, 10 Starters. If you follow step 1, 2, and 3 for the next 30 days, your life will change.
Step 4: Field Work
You know you can overcome your social anxiety. You are eating healthy and lifting. You did the 10-10-10 prep. Now what. Well go use it idiot.