Can Social Skills Be Learned?
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.” – Albert Einstein
Can Social Skills be Learned?
Hell yeah! and when the student is ready, the teacher will appear!
So how do you get ready for the teacher?
The best way I could describe this process is surrender. Surrendering your way of thinking about the problem and what it could be. Meditation, visualization, coaching, courses/classes, attending events could all be tools to get you to a state where you’re not in your head and relying on your own thinking.
Have you ever lost your keys? like…really lost them. It feels like you’ve looked everywhere! You’ve looked under the couches and in between the cushions. You’ve looked under the seats in your car and under the bed. You’ve checked every flat surface you can think to check.
They’re gone. You give up looking for them and go on living life without them – only for those keys that you lost to show up days/weeks/months/years later!
Replace the word “keys” with anything. This is how I learned. I wasn’t trying to learn anything about social skills! I wasn’t thinking about it all, but somewhere deep in the back of my mind I did wonder why there were people who had large social circles and were really popular and had lots of fun, and people who had the complete opposite experience – very small social circles and always struggling with little fun.
Check out this article about the Law of Detachment. I don’t think I could describe what happened better than that article.
I imagine this might be the case with you. Try as best you can to relax your conditioning and assumptions. In your head, you might be thinking “I need to learn social skills”. This might not be what you need at all though! The answer to your social skills problem might come from left field somewhere.
What does the teacher do? – the way I learned social skills and how you can learn too!
What my “teacher” (a high school friend) did for me was primarily drag me out of the house. If left up to me, I would have kept to myself and done introverted things (audiobooks, video games, movies, Youtube videos or any other type of home entertainment). BUT he was always pushing me to get out of the house and do things I would do alone as a social activity. I was very resistant, so I’m glad I was put with a person who was very persistent. We would go to bars, clubs, restaurants, coffee shops, meet ups, friends houses, pools, local events, parks, soccer fields etc. It eventually became conditioned as a habit to just seek social activities way more often. There were only a few times I regretted going out, but for the most part it was great.
How did I find this friend? You could say I was attracted to this friend. It was where preparation met opportunity. He was an old friend from high school that called me out of the blue. What he was looking for is a positive person who was moving and already working to live with him. I had come off 30 days of meditation and visualization and was looking for somewhere to stay, so we matched.
The teacher is going to resolve the tension you feel because, for the teacher, it’s easy – like water flowing downhill. The teacher will give you a new perspective that will be much more effective in getting what you want and/or what you need.
If you want to be more confident in your social skills, you’re going to have to use them right? What better way to learn social skills than to engage with people in different social situations? The more you engage with people in different social situations the more confident you’ll be in your social skills. You’ll learn what to do and what not to do. You’ll learn what to say and when to say it. It will be like working out your social skill muscles so they get stronger.
I had to have someone practically drag me out of the house, but honestly, you can do this yourself. Set 30 days aside where you’ll go out each day to some establishment and engage with at least one person you don’t know. Try some venues you wouldn’t normally go to. You might even attract a friend like I had to accelerate the learning.
Can you learn social skills? Of course! Stay open and curious, and detached from how you learn social skills. And get out of your comfy ass house 😉