In a world where most people are stuck looking at their phones and browsing on the internet, being socially active has become more important than before. Because we spend so much time mentally escaping from the realities of life, we forget that physical human interaction is mandatory for us. Sure, it’s okay to be alone sometimes, but when you are too comfortable being alone, you start losing interactive social skills and miss out on life.
Being socially active is not just about chatting online and watching the news on the internet. It is about empathizing with others, watching their actions, and exposing ourselves to people.
Currently, with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the world practicing social distancing, it might be hard for someone to come out of it the same way. For the introverts and the socially awkward lot, it’s even harder to face people after months of staying inside our comfort zone.
If you have had social anxiety or just want to be more socially active and explore your interests, this article will help you socially interact with anyone like a pro.
Benefits of being socially active
Being socially active is not just about meeting people and gaining friendships. There are many other reasons when being a social expert has many benefits. If you are considering if you should start opening up and start interacting with people more, here are several reasons why you should.
Increases physical health & boosts the immune system
A study published by Brigham-Young University stated that loneliness and isolation have a more significant negative impact than obesity. An overall analysis of older people showed that those who were more social in their youth lived longer than seventy years. This is because social interactions boost the immune system and increase physical health.
When you are more socially active, you meet people to do various activities with. You can go for walks, enjoy night-outs and explore new places with others. It adds value to your life, and when you are happy doing those, it boosts your immune system.
Improves mental alertness
Being in isolation often makes you think more, but it slows your brain’s capacity to respond to unexpected situations. Since feelings and reactions are unpredictable, you can’t tell what will happen next, as opposed to being alone.
The immediate and unpredictable response through social interactions keeps your mind alert. So when you are socially active, your brains adjust to external stimuli when quick reactions are required.
For example, if you are alone or used to being around only a few people, you learn to predict and expect the same response. Things get monotonous, and you get too comfortable. On the other hand, if you interact with new people once in a while, you start to learn, understand, and adjust to new things every time. This keeps you mentally alert and is a great activity that benefits even at old age.
Being socially active is also beneficial for reducing insomnia. When you interact with people, you can physically and mentally express your thoughts and feelings. Isolation often leads to over-thing, and that can prevent you from sleeping peacefully.
It also reduces insomnia by allowing your body to rest when you know you have to sleep to make an appointment the next day. This is a far-fetched theory, but if you consider it carefully, it is true!
When you know you have to meet someone the next day, you can will your body to sleep, and sleep does come eventually. On the other hand, when you know you don’t have anyone to meet or plans the next day, you allow yourself to stay up late at night even when you do not need to!
Social interactions are a great way to stay distracted from physical and emotional pain. When you are around people, you do not allow yourself to dwell in your pain for fear of being annoying or making others uncomfortable. Your brains automatically shut down the pain hormones and focus on trying to understand what someone is saying.
Talking to people subconsciously relieves your pain because it feels like you are sharing a burden that you have been carrying alone.
Encourages good habits and personal care
When you are used to doing almost everything yourself, you often forget the need to look impressive. Being stuck in your bubble keeps you comfortable, and it might lead you to ignore personal care and good habits.
But when you socially interact with people, you become more aware of how you look and how you present yourself. You start focusing on practicing good habits and personal care to feel accepted and fit in. While delving too much on this topic may sometimes lead to negative results, it is more of an acceptable trait.
Lastly, being socially active is excellent for professional productivity. No one can grow alone, and we all need someone to share our views and gain new perspectives to grow as an individual or as a company.
You have to learn to interact with people to be relatable, and for that, you need to socialize. No one likes a recluse who doesn’t know how to talk and have fun once in a while! Besides, being socially active also helps you unwind from your monotonous routine. It refreshes your mind and body.
So next time you feel stressed or stagnant at work, try to get out of your comfort zone and have a field day at the park with a friend. Or grab a drink, or call your neighbor for a grill and BBQ!
The worse that could happen is, you either hate it or love it and enjoy the change. Your brain and body will thank you for the refreshing change and be more motivated to be productive once you get back to work.
How to be socially active
Now, are you excited to be more socially active but still don’t know if you can be? Don’t be! We also have the best and least intimidating tips to help you master the art of socializing.
Just follow these tips, and we ensure that you will have no regrets putting yourself out there. Who knows, you might meet a great life partner or get inspired to explore a new venture!
Act like a social person
The first step is to start with self-confidence. Have you noticed how most social butterflies often approach people with open arms and a friendly tone? Observe how they confidently put themselves out even in the most intimidating situations and take cues.
Inside, you might be nervous as hell, but don’t let that show yet. Take charge of your will power, and remember you have a lot to offer to the world as much as anyone else! The time to expose your vulnerabilities and insecurities will come, and you can use it as a positive tool. Read on to know-how, but first, you must muster this courage to act like a social person by being confident.
Take small steps
Taking your socializing game straight to the field can sometimes get overwhelming. So if going out in a crowd and approaching someone is still making you uncomfortable, start in a small casual place. You can begin with your favorite grocery store or a coffee house where you don’t need to sit and interact. Find places where you can easily escape if things get awkward.
As an example, take your local delivery guy. Start by saying
“Hi…thank you so much. I hope you are having a good day?”
This line is golden! It works for almost any situation and with everyone. The plan here is to enable you to speak comfortably to someone new. When you are comfortable starting a conversation, you can head to the next step.
Ask open-ended questions
Once you muster the courage to be the first to say your hellos, the next step is to ask open-ended questions. This means making sure you say something that requires a reply.
When someone is talking to you or asking a question, reply with your answer and a quick:
“What about you?” Or, “How about you?”
The thing is, people often ask about things that interest themselves. So they will be more open to reply to the same question about themselves.
Then comes the next step:
Be a good listener and empathic
When someone opens up or talks to you, listen intently because this is the most important step to developing social skills. When you look, you will find more questions to keep the conversation going and make others more comfortable to talk more.
While listening, keep an open mind and always remember not to interrupt, especially while telling vulnerable stories. Instead, be more empathic. Try to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their point of view. If you have a hard time practicing this, you can also take tips on how to relate to others before heading out.
Offer genuine compliments generously
The art of socializing also involves being likable. You can do this by disarming others with a compliment. It immediately puts you in a positive light when you can see someone’s positive traits.
If you don’t know a person well to complement their personality, find something external. For example, if you meet someone for the first time, compliment their shoes, bags, tie, or anything that catches your eyes.
We promise you: they will always remember you for the compliment even if they shrug it off. Just make sure it is a genuine one.
Stay updated about current events
While heading out to socialize, make sure you are mentally prepared to handle interesting topics. It’s not good manners to talk too much about you or ask too many personal questions. So having some general subjects up your sleeves is a great way to break the silence.
You might have specific interests, but being aloof about current events is a buzz killer. When you know what people are talking about, you can join the conversations or use this knowledge to start one!
Practice good manners
It’s true that good manners never go out of style. Whether it’s how you use your Ps and Qs or the way you dress, proper etiquettes create a pleasant atmosphere around you. And when people know you that you are mindful of these traits, they will be more inclined to invite you to other social events.
Offer your help
When you know there is a situation that you can improve, don’t hesitate to do so. People like being around someone with skills and someone who can sympathize with their problems.
It can be as simple as offering a hand to unload the car or showing them a parking spot. If your friend or colleague is having trouble with an assignment that you can quickly help, offer to do so. Little gestures like these leave a lasting impression on people, and they will be grateful to talk to you!
Watch your body language
There are different ways to read others and present you by examining body language. It is a subconscious trait that immediately attracts or repels others. For example, folded arms or closed fists represent defensiveness, whereas open palms usually mean that you are emotionally open.
Body language sublimely makes you either approachable or not. So make sure you give it a quick check and give out a friendly yet confident body language while socializing.
Create social goals for yourself
As for the last tip, it is essential to know your purpose of being socially active. It can sometimes get overwhelming when you don’t know where or why you are going with this. So always set goals for yourself and learn to set boundaries.
Make sure you know your interest group and invest your time and effort into these groups. While being socially active has tremendous value, don’t lose your integrity in trying to do so.
Hopefully, you remember these tips and practice being socially active whenever possible, but at your own pace. All the best!