College life is full of firsts. It is the first time you are asked how you wish to spend your future. It is the first time that our dreams become plans. New cities. New schools. New ideas. Most importantly, new people and connections. In every classroom we meet countless faces, but how do we connect?
For some it is simple. Charisma comes naturally to them. It takes no more than a moment to flash a smile or share a welcoming compliment and they have instantly gained a new classroom partner in crime. For others, they struggle with something as simple as saying hello. For these people, it takes courage to spark up a conversation with the stranger sitting beside them in English class. Turning to the person next to them and introducing themselves is nothing short of a mission and, as a result, they fade quietly into the background and accept their role as a wallflower.
For those of you wondering how to lose this role and become more social this semester, never fear! It may not be as difficult as you think. Taking the right steps to lose your inhibitions and open yourself up to new connections can leave you with a sense of accomplishment and growth.
1. Be Less Critical
Those who consider themselves antisocial tend to be overly critical of themselves and those surrounding them. They are afraid of being judged but can sometimes be quick to judge others as well and, in turn, avoid social interaction all together. The key is to focus on the positive traits that you and the people around you possess. A pleasant smile. A confident demeanor. An inviting sense of humor. Remind yourself of all of your admirable qualities and the many reasons someone would be lucky to know you. Positive inner dialogue can help you in numerous ways. Make this a daily habit. The more you practice the more you will believe it. As you begin to love yourself you will start to accept others more easily.
2. Be Completely Engaged
In order to seem interesting to others, you must first show them that you are interested in getting to know them. When in the midst of a conversation, try to pay close attention to what the other person in saying. Ask questions! Don’t be afraid of coming off as nosy. As long as you are not prying into the most intimate details of their life and keep it to a casual curiosity, the gesture will be reciprocated. Believe it or not…people LOVE to talk about themselves. Make eye contact and avoid the urge to constantly check your phone. These things tend to be seen as rude and off-putting.
Visit my Advice Blog again tomorrow for three more important steps! Shake those first glance jitters. You never know what an open heart and a friendly smile could lead too!