COUNSELLING BLOG

Posts tagged social skills

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How to Get Ahead in Life

1. Don’t pay too much attention to the way you feel. Feelings change throughout the day and they are unreliable. Don’t let them rule your life, or interfere with your goals.

2. Decide not to worry as it tends to make things worse. If you focus on your worries it will drain your energy – and often what we’re dreading doesn’t happen anyway.

3. Cut the internal commentary. Stop telling yourself that things are going to fall apart, or your efforts won’t succeed, or you won’t be popular.  Keep trying, moving forwards, and getting on with life.

4. Stop being self-critical. You need to be your own cheerleader and your biggest fan in life.  Note progress, perseverance, attitude and inner strength. Be affirming, kind, believing and coach towards success.

5. Stop feeling guilty. Feeling guilty changes nothing. You are going to make mistakes. Accept you aren’t perfect - then get up and try again.

6. Stop worrying about what others think of you. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what they think. Choose your own goals for your life – you’re not accountable to them.

7. Don’t worry about set backs or changes to your plans. Plans always need adjusting and things always go wrong – but that doesn’t mean “it’s over” or you’ll never reach your goals. Expect to make some changes – just be adaptable.

Filed under education relationships social skills counselling psychology therapy self help self improvement goals success inspiration motivation mental health online counselling college

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How to Become Better at Connecting with Others

1. Treat acquaintances and strangers the way you would a friend. When you first meet someone, do what you can to develop a rapport. For example, ask yourself “How would I treat this person if I wanted us to be great friends” That way, you’re more likely to warm, friendly, respectful, generous, amusing.

2. Add something positive to their day. Try to make people feel better about themselves. For example, smile, be interested in whatever interests them, make a lot of their successes, comment positively on what they are wearing.

3. Try to find common ground. Everyone has at least few things in common (school, exams, music, films, favourite TV shows, places you’ve visited, favourite sports teams etc). And the faster you find that common ground the easier it is to relate to the person.

4. Pay attention. The best way to appear interesting is to be interested in the other person. Focus on what they’re saying, ask open questions, encourage them to “tell their story” and they and match their level of emotion. (For example, if they seem excitement then mirror that excitement.)

5. Share your interests and passions with them. It’s hard to connect with an individual who seems to have no interests – or doesn’t talk about them. If you live with passion you’ll connect with passion and the conversation is more likely to flow.

6. Tell stories. Facts and information don’t convey energy, or unleash emotions, or get conversations going. But sharing funny stories, or memorable events encourages the listener to share their story, too.

7. Be grateful. Everybody loves being appreciated. It sends the message that their actions and intentions have been noticed. It’s a harsh world out there - so decide to be the person who builds others up, so they feel good about themselves.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy relationships self help self improvement self confidence self esteem communication skills social skills success online counselling college

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Tips for Making Small Talk

Being good at making small talk is a crucial life skill, and is key for making a positive impression. Some tips to help you with this include:

1. Go prepared when you’re meeting new people, or when you have to attend a social event. Think about some topics you can talk about with others (and that will depend on the people you are meeting). Prepare some general questions to get others talking (For example, what are they doing for the holidays; or what good movies have they seen recently?) Also, if you’ve met some of the people at a previous event, try to remember a few things about them (such as what are their main interests, or where do they work?)
2.  Most people feel uncomfortable when meeting someone new so be the first person to say “hello.” If you’re not sure if the person will remember you, help put them at their ease by saying who you are.
3. Don’t rush introductions. Focus hard on remembering the names of those you meet, and use them often to fix them in your mind.
4. Help the other person talk by opening up the conversation with open-ended questions that asks for more details. For example, “Isn’t this a great party! How do you know (the host)?”
5. Pay careful attention to what the person’s saying; don’t allow your mind to drift or to start to wander off. Eye contact should be steady – so don’t glance to the side.
6. Make sure you listen more than you talk to someone new.
7. Work on having something relevant and interesting to say. Know what’s going on and making headlines in the news. These can help to open up a conversation. (For example, you can lead with a comment like “What do you think about…?” Have you heard…?” What is your take on…?”

8. Avoid controversial and negative topics; also, refrain from boring stories that have too many details. It’s meant to be a casual, light and easy conversation.
9. Pay attention to your body language. If you act as if you’re comfortable and confident, that will put the people around you at ease, too. However, if you look shy, awkward and uncomfortable, that will rub off on the people you are socialising with.
10. Before you join a conversation that’s already in progress, first stand on the sidelines and listen carefully. Don’t squeeze your way in with a badly-timed remark.

Filed under counselling psychology therapy relationships social skills communication skills self improvement self help coaching conversational skills online counselling college