How to become a sociable person? 5 tips and a selection of the best books on teaching communication skills

Inexperienced people believe that it is impossible to develop communication skills. It's either given or it's not. But professional psychologists actively refute this stereotype. In fact, communication is a skill, just like dancing, playing music or cooking. And like any other skill, even an introvert can develop communication skills.

The editors of Bowandtie talk about what sociability is, how it differs from sociability, as well as techniques and exercises that will help develop this skill.

Benefits of communication skills:

  1. the opportunity to achieve success in different areas of life (career, family life, creativity);
  2. gaining spiritual harmony, getting rid of complexes and excessive isolation;
  3. the opportunity for self-realization in all spheres of public life;

We show signs of communication skills in everyday life. But some people can be called the “life of the party,” while others are only silent.

And if you look at sociable people, you will notice that they easily achieve their goals and achieve success in life.

Sociability and self-confidence also help in business. Many employers choose talkative candidates for a vacant position, because such an employee can easily find a common language with the client, and accordingly, he will bring profit to the company.

Rules for successful communication

The famous speaker Dale Carnegie published the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” more than 80 years ago. In it, he described the most effective basic communication techniques and rules that will help introverted and shy people become excellent conversationalists. These rules remain relevant to this day.

  1. Genuinely showing interest in other people. Often we find it more pleasant to talk with those who are interested in our personality and ask various questions regarding our opinion and experience. Therefore, be sure to ask questions to your interlocutor. But don't turn the conversation into an interrogation with bias. Everything should be natural and sincere, and for this you must experience genuine interest in your interlocutor.
  2. Smile. A person who smiles evokes positive feelings in us. Even if we don’t know him personally. During a conversation, your smile is proof that the interlocutor is pleasant to you and you like talking to him. Just try to avoid a fake smile. Smile not only with your mouth, but also with your eyes, soul, and heart.
  3. Proper name. From birth, the sound of our name is the most pleasant sound. Therefore, always address others by their first and middle names if necessary. The name indicates the individuality of a person, his originality and uniqueness. This is the simplest compliment you can give someone. Just call him by name.
  4. Listening skills. In conversation, people usually prefer to talk more than listen. Often they simply wait for their turn to speak and do not try to listen and understand what they are told. Especially during an argument. If you listen carefully to your interlocutor, ask him clarifying questions and successfully use phrases that he said earlier during the conversation, then you will pleasantly surprise him. Listening and hearing your interlocutor is much more important than speaking.
  5. Interesting topics for conversation. Talk about topics that are interesting to your interlocutor, and finding out about them is quite easy and simple, using rule No. 1 - showing sincere interest. When a person talks about something exciting, his eyes light up. Even if this topic does not seem particularly interesting to you, still try to listen. Surely you can learn something valuable and interesting for yourself.
  6. Compliments. Each of us has unique characteristics that are worthy of admiration. Try to notice them in your interlocutor and sincerely express your admiration, approval, and praise. Your compliments should not be exaggerated and resemble undisguised flattery. Falseness always feels good. A timely, sincere compliment will be very pleasant to your interlocutor and will make the conversation even easier and more relaxed.

Why develop communication skills?

What is special about a sociable interlocutor? First of all, such a person loves to communicate. He enjoys the process of communication, tries to learn something new, he meets new people, gets a positive experience and teaches his interlocutor something.

The ability to communicate allows you to successfully build life priorities. After all, flexibility, loyalty in conversation, and understanding of the interlocutor help achieve the final goal.

If you develop these skills, then you may well become a leader in any team, you will be able to achieve promotion on the career ladder, and learn to show initiative in various issues.

An interesting and sociable person is always noticed; he becomes the epicenter of everyone's attention.

Look at the entertainment TV presenters. They are always sociable and open. They understand when it is appropriate to joke or ask this or that question.

Innate or learned quality?

There are different theories about the nature of shyness. Some scientists suggest that this is an innate property of temperament. Socially timid people are endowed with a more sensitive nervous system, are easily excitable and vulnerable. They instinctively protect themselves from intense contact, preferring solitary activities. Social interaction costs them enormous energy and stress, so they avoid it.

Another theory is that people learn to be shy. If parents categorically demanded obedience and admired modesty and obedience, there is a high probability that the child will internalize such behavior. The personality of the parents themselves, as role models, plays an important role. When a family lives separately and in isolation, does not communicate with neighbors and friends, the child does not have the opportunity to train communication skills. He may come to the conclusion that the outside world is a threat, and he needs to be extremely careful in communicating with anyone other than family members.

People also prefer to avoid communication if they have already had negative experiences in similar situations. For example, while speaking in front of the class, they forgot the text and were ridiculed, or their offer of acquaintance was rudely refused.

Either way, introverted people feel safer hiding in their shell without the risk of saying or doing the wrong thing or getting into trouble. When others don't know about your feelings and thoughts, they can't hurt you. However, this armor, designed to provide security, also guarantees loneliness.

If you believe that not everything is predetermined by fate, genes and early childhood, you can decide to leave your cozy house for a positive communication experience!

Types of Communication Skills

Modern psychology identifies two main types of communication skills. This is a verbal and non-verbal type.

Verbal communication

Verbal communication occurs using certain phrases, constructing sentences, and maintaining a dialogue with the interlocutor.

It is important to be able to correctly express your speech, interest listeners, and enjoy the conversation.

Read more: How to learn to speak beautifully and competently

Nonverbal communication

The nonverbal type of communication involves the use of gestures and facial expressions.

Sometimes our facial expressions can say more about us than our words.

Mirror exercises can be used to develop nonverbal communication skills. Imagine that you are communicating with your interlocutor. Watch your facial expressions and gestures.

Read further: What can gestures tell us? 75 Signs of Body Language

It is impossible to learn to communicate with people in a couple of steps. Be prepared for the fact that the process of improving public speaking may take more than one month.

Read further: Oratory for beginners: exercises and rules


You can also develop your communication skills with the help of special exercises.

Most of them require the presence of one or more interlocutors, which is very important when improving communication skills. It is recommended to do them every day

It may seem difficult at first, because... It is extremely difficult to develop communication skills. This is especially true for adults who have long accepted their unsociability.

What exercises should you use:

Visualization. The essence of the exercise will be to mentally imagine communicating with another person

The interlocutor should be a real acquaintance, and not a fictional character, which is important to consider. During the presented dialogue, you need to carefully monitor your movements, highlight the features of timbre and speed of speech at different moments, and also identify for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of this conversation. Communication with the mirror

A very simple technique for developing communication skills with charm, which is used by many successful people. After several weeks of training, you will be able to convey your emotions and thoughts more correctly, as well as speak beautifully. To perform the exercise, you just need to stand in front of the mirror and alternately show different emotions, as well as talk to yourself. Fulfillment of desires. This exercise can only be performed in pairs with another person, and it is advisable to do it in both directions. One person writes his desire on a piece of paper and, without talking about it, tries to explain to the second participant what exactly he wants. It is recommended to choose a desire so that some active action is required from the partner to fulfill it. Conversation in songs. For training you will need to divide into 2 equal teams of 1 to 5 people. The essence of the exercise is that the first group asks a question, which is a line from a song, and the second answers it, also part of any musical composition. This must be done one at a time, and no more than 30 seconds are given to think about the answer. Exit from the circle. One person stands in the center of a circle consisting of other participants. He must remain there, and the goal of other people will be to lure him out by any means of persuasion. It is recommended to film everything on video in order to then analyze the behavior of the main participant. Let's talk cleanly. You can perform the exercise within a whole group of participants. It is desirable that they all have undeveloped communication skills. The essence of the method is to write your portrait on a piece of paper. You need to indicate your pros and cons regarding sociability, and then do the same analysis of other participants. When all the portraits are ready, you will need to compare your personal view of yourself with the opinion of all other participants. Completing sentences. Classes of this type can be held regularly and only require the presence of a few people. Four people should stand next to each other, and their goal will be to create a story. The first participant begins each sentence, cutting off after a couple of words, and the other three alternately add several phrases to it, completing it. The result should be an interesting story, which is recommended to be discussed together.

There are other exercises that can help improve your communication skills. They are very often used in groups, which are created so that strangers can meet and practice in a pleasant atmosphere, improving their abilities. Sometimes a couple of such activities are enough to open yourself up and get rid of stiffness.

How to develop communication skills and become a sociable person

Top tip: don't avoid communication

Are they contacting you? Don't avoid communicating with your interlocutor!

Do you feel like you are not a sociable person? Believe me, each of us can have a great conversation in any situation, but this requires time and certain training.

3 rules for overcoming your shyness or indecision

  1. put yourself in the shoes of your interlocutor: silence or avoidance of conversation would not be very pleasant for you;
  2. do training, try to act out verbal debates in front of the mirror;
  3. Learn from the examples of good speakers. Pay attention to how a famous politician or show business figure enters into a dialogue;

Practice visualization

Imagine that you are about to meet a person you know, but you have no desire to communicate with him. Don't avoid meetings and don't close yourself off.

Residents of megacities often do not like to actively communicate. This is understandable, a big city puts pressure and oppression on the human psyche. Sometimes people really want to hide from the annoying and noisy crowd into their own quiet corner.

But the more you withdraw into yourself, preferring virtual communication to live communication, the less chance you have of developing communication skills.

We strike up a conversation on our own. Let's show our emotions!

The special talent of a sociable person is that he is not afraid to be the first to start a conversation, maintain a conversation, or come up with a new topic for discussion.

Don't show your hostility or withdrawal. Do you know interesting cases from life? So share them with your interlocutors.

But it is important to understand that your speech should be interesting to people. Carefully monitor the behavior, facial expressions, and gestures of your opponents.

Respect your interlocutor

One of the fundamental rules for acquiring communication skills is the ability to respect your interlocutor.

You should not get into a verbal spat, proving that you are right. Even if your opponent is wrong, still learn to hear him.

It is considered great disrespect to interrupt the interlocutor, attempt to shout down, interrupt the conversation, or change the topic of the conversation.

The goal of constructive dialogue is to find so-called common ground with the interlocutor.

Watch your facial expressions, because your movements and facial expressions should show your disposition and complacency towards your opponent in the conversation.

What to do if the interlocutor himself does not respect you and is rude? Learn to respond correctly to rudeness.

Read more: 10 methods for responding to rudeness

Tip #1 – How to use “body language” (non-verbal communication)

Nonverbal communication accounts for 55% of how a speaker is perceived. This means that most of what a speaker says is conveyed not through words, but through physical signals.

There are many techniques and forms of nonverbal communication. To develop communication skills, this topic should be studied in detail. The editors of Bowandtie provide several simple techniques that will give an immediate effect.

Take the correct posture

Don't slouch - it makes you visually and on a subconscious level smaller than you are. Keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Do not cross your legs (for example, cross your legs) or cross your arms (for example, across your chest). A closed posture not only creates blocks in communication, but is also not always appropriate, and sometimes disrespectful to the interlocutor.

Do not cross your legs, arms, fingers - a closed posture creates barriers to communication

Maintain a relaxed and friendly posture. Tension can be interpreted in different ways, but always negatively. For example, like self-doubt. Get rid of the habit of touching your hair, fidgeting in your chair, and fiddling with a pen or mobile phone in your hands.

Maintain eye contact when the other person is speaking

Eye contact shows interest in the other person's words. If it is not possible to look directly into the eyes (for example, you are experiencing internal discomfort, or the interlocutor wears glasses), you should look at the bridge of the nose (the upper part of the nose adjacent to the forehead). This will create the illusion of “eye to eye.”

Try to maintain eye contact even when moving. Turning your back and the back of your head to your interlocutor is already bad form, and in the case of a tense or important conversation, this will be interpreted as a sign of disagreement, neglect or readiness for conflict.

Eye contact helps build connections

Don't squint or open your eyes too wide, trying to "act" emotions. Such facial expressions are appropriate for real feelings, but an attempt to fake them will be read and interpreted not in your favor. At best, you will be considered insincere, and this will not benefit your communication skills.

The main secret of communication skills

Do you know what the main secret of communication skills is?

This is a kind of magic elixir, thanks to which you can become a communicative person.

Everything is extremely simple. You need to enjoy communication. You should not force yourself to smile insincerely at your opponent, the person will feel false.

Know how to win people over

You need to start any business with a smile and a good mood. You must enjoy active communication. We ourselves shape the world around us. And we also create a social circle ourselves.

Treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself. And you will see positive, smart, interesting interlocutors appear around you. This rule applies to all areas of social life. Be it work activity or the sphere of personal relationships.

Tune in for the good

Never set yourself up for an uninteresting, sluggish and boring conversation, even if you have one.

Include imagination, the power of persuasion, and a good mood.

Learn improvisation, which is the pinnacle of achieving a high level of communication skills.

Try to interest your interlocutor with non-verbal gestures, switch his attention, and do not load him with too much unnecessary information.

For practice

In the meantime, the training is planned, here are a few effective communication techniques for everyday practice:

The rule of three yeses. At the beginning of the conversation, try to structure your phrases or questions in such a way that the interlocutor agrees with you three times or answers “yes.” In this case, it will be easier for you to convince him or sway him in the right direction. Do not use negative and aggressive words in your speech that will subconsciously push your interlocutor away from you: must, must, terrible, scary, failure, failure, crush, etc. Use their softer forms: would like, slight difficulties, a little anxious, would prefer, restrain. Try not to speak loudly and emotionally if it is associated with a negative description of the situation

Pay attention to the reaction of your interlocutor caused by your gestures and movements. Conversely, do not skimp on showing emotions in positive stories. Watch your tone of voice

Understanding will become difficult if any explanation is carried out in a raised voice. Learn to place accents correctly during a conversation. When communicating with aggressive or negative people, imagine a glass wall around you that does not allow the pressure and pessimism of the interlocutor to pass through. To make it easier for you to tune in to positive communication or refrain from retaliatory attacks, imagine your interlocutor as the person you respect or love infinitely. You will want to understand him and will do everything to make him understand you. In disputes, use comparisons if you are sure that we can defend our point of view. This technique will also add richness to the conversation. Pay attention to the main “weapon of attack” of your interlocutor. Mirror his behavior or phraseology and use it against him. To be convincing, use numerical examples, statistical data, rely on well-known facts and authoritative sources. At all times, the most powerful technique for both generating sympathy and escaping conflict has been and remains a sense of humor. By commenting with a joke on your interlocutor’s statement or attack, make the conversation pleasant and emotionally vivid, and you will not be forgotten.

Sociability test

To conduct this little study, you need to imagine the following situations:

  • You have been assigned to give a detailed report at a meeting or a report at a conference. You are upset?
  • There was a conflict between your colleagues. The boss asks you to look into it. Are you afraid of ruining your relationship with your colleagues?
  • There is a discussion of some problem or subject. Someone expresses his opinion, but it is incorrect. Will you argue with the previous speaker, proving the truth?
  • A responsible business meeting is coming up. Are you nervous?
  • A stranger on the street asks you where the nearest bakery is. Does this annoy you?

At this point, the sociability test is considered passed. Let's move on to the results. Counting them is very simple. If you answered yes to most of the questions, you should seriously think about how to develop your communication skills. And if the answer “yes” is present in all points, then this is not even a property, but a problem of your character. Working in a team is simply unbearable for you. Relationships with colleagues are also difficult.

A negative answer to these questions is an indicator of communication skills. The more there are, the higher its level. In any society, such a person is comfortable and almost any life situation can be solved easily.

What does it mean to be sociable?

This question was once asked during a lesson on communication culture. The teacher asked the audience in the audience: “Who is an example of a sociable person?” He allowed us to name both a real person and a literary character. The main thing is to remember someone who has the ability to communicate and easily contact others.

There were many people willing to answer. Some named the names of their friends, citing facts from their biography as examples. Others recalled examples of lack of communication, suggesting that we go from the opposite.

But the most interesting was the answer of the determined student: “Dersu Uzala. Sociable is a quality that perfectly characterizes a hero.”

Those present were frozen in bewilderment , because how can the hero of Arsenyev’s book “Dersu Uzala” be called sociable if he, being a Nanai and having lived his whole life in the remote taiga, practically did not see people? And what can we say about his speech skills?

Peers thought that their classmate was joking, and the lecturer asked, puzzled: “Why do you think that? Explain to us."

The girl replied that this literary hero had learned to “read the taiga,” that is, he knew how to recognize the tracks of animals and predict the weather, and knew the properties of all plants. He was sure that all living beings, including plants and animals, can talk.

She continued further, citing arguments from his life: “He managed to measure quarreling military personnel with his song, he was respected wherever he appeared. The old Nanai managed to win people over without saying a single word. And which of us can boast of such an achievement?”

The listeners silently agreed with the arguments. And the lecturer realized that his students mastered this topic “excellently.”

Sign up for an acting class

This is a very important point; it will be very difficult to develop sociability without fulfilling it. Taking up acting will give you a number of benefits.

You will make many interesting acquaintances in the theater. You will be able to establish strong friendships with some of them – classes on such courses bring people very close together. Thanks to the theater you will stop being shy and gain confidence

I hope you understand how important this is. You will have the chance to develop your sociability in practice. There will be many meetings, new people, unusual situations

You simply physically cannot keep silent. You will be taught to speak beautifully, demonstrate your best qualities and show your feelings. Your facial expressions will be richer and more expressive. Friends and acquaintances will see a different side of you, you will become more attractive and interesting to communicate with. In the theater you will no longer be afraid of improvisation, you will learn to surprise and captivate from the first minutes of conversation. Your words and actions will have the spontaneity that is so necessary for interacting with people.

Acting courses provide many exercises to remove tensions and eliminate complexes. In a few months you simply won’t recognize yourself.

We try to adapt to the mood of the other person

Communication can be compared to dancing, where you need to get in time with your partner and catch the rhythm of his movement. A sociable person has intuition that allows him to feel the mood of his interlocutor.

For example, we are returning from the store, our hands are busy with shopping, and an acquaintance stops us with a story about how wonderful he spent his vacation. We feel like a squeezed lemon, and it is overflowing with energy. At another time we would be happy to listen to him, but now his animation only causes irritation.

Or we urgently need to finish a report, and a friend is excited about her daughter’s upcoming wedding and is trying to tell us the details. Different energy levels and mismatched moods can provoke a quarrel that both parties will later regret.

A sociable person, before choosing the topic and tone of the conversation, will make sure whether they correspond to what is currently going on in the soul of the person in front of him.

It's time to leave the house and stop being shy about society.

Here and below photo

If you've been stressing lately about not being able to connect with the right people (work colleagues, strangers at parties, or attractive girls), then perhaps you need to brush up your communication skills and figure out how to become sociable and an interesting person for them.

Even if you are the biggest recluse in the area or the leader of introverts in your department, with some self-improvement you will definitely be able to improve the situation.

Especially when you've already taken the first step by opening our indispensable guide.

Let's smile

Each of us will be much more willing to do business with a person who has a friendly smile on his face. It is impossible to be sociable and at the same time have a sour expression on your face. People instinctively avoid those from whom ill will emanates.

True, some supporters of natural behavior say that sincere unfriendliness is better than an artificial smile on duty. However, we prefer to communicate with smiling people. And so that our own smile does not seem glued, we “put it on” not immediately, but a second after we see the person for whom it is intended.

Differences in communication between men and women

There is an opinion that women are more sociable than men. This is not true, sociability does not depend on gender. However, there are indeed some differences between male and female communication skills:

  • women are process-oriented, and men are result-oriented;
  • it is more difficult for men to be restrained in communication, especially if they disagree with their opponent;
  • women pour more “water”, men speak briefly and to the point.
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