I live and learn by rules.
Social situations are unnatural to me and simple social skills that “normal people” learned naturally were completely lost on me growing up. The way I learned social skills was a bit different and required a lot of trials and errors.
Every time I had a social blunder I made a rule, to try and not duplicate the same mistake again. Sometimes the rules I make are not quite perfect so I have to tweak and change them.
Below are 10 of my own social rules:
- Say hi to people when they look at you.
- Smile at people when they look at you and look friendly. (My resting natural face is serious and can be off-putting.)
- If a next step is needed compliment something about the person in front of you or add a quick comment about the weather.
- Act friendly in public – smile and laugh when people tell jokes. (I forget that laughing on the inside doesn’t count when you have a blank flat face.)
- Don’t bring up your special interests unless someone else asks or is on that topic.
- Be careful NOT to talk too much. (I limit myself to one or two sentences at a time to give people time to talk.
- Wait until you hear a LONG pause before talking unless someone asked you a question. (I NEVER know when it is my tern to talk – the pauses sound like eternities and I still end up interrupting even when I don’t mean to.)
- If somebody turns their body away from you let them leave and don’t keep talking. (I also have a hard time ending conversations.)
- Let the other people talk and practice listening.
- Try to remember what you friends have going on in their lives. Remember to bring theses things into conversation if timing is appropriate. For example – if your friend tells you they have a sick loved one – don’t forget to ask them how that person is doing the next time you see them.