15 Insanely Effective Ways to Be More Social Today

Be More Social
Do you want more friends?

I feel like that’s kind of like asking someone if they want more money…

Of course you do. I think everyone would like to have more quality friends.

But doesn’t it feel like there are some people who are ‘born with it’?

You know who I’m talking about.. the guy who walks into a party/bar/church and within 2 hours knows everyone’s name and is grabbing coffee with 3 different people in the next week. It’s like watching George Clooney charm the masses.

Sure, George Clooney probably works hard at being charming, but come on… no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to do this:

The man doesn’t even speak and he’s charming.

The truth is that not everyone was born with a super charismatic personality. And not everyone was born with great social skills.

BUT!

That’s no reason to give up. Here’s another truth: With practice, most everyone can learn how to be more social. If you know the right methods.

If only you had a list of some simple, but insanely effective methods for being more social…

…you’d probably be pumped to read them and use them into your life today…

… oh looky here! I just happened to have 15 methods to being more social I wrote down in this blog post!

friend winning wink

Hey! Before you jump in, I just wanted to give you a heads up: This post is good, but no single post is going to change your life.

If you’re serious about improving your people skills, you should enroll in my free five day mini-course: Talk to Anyone. Check it out here.

1. Start Small & Talk More to Build Your Confidence and Skill

Now, those who seem like they are ‘born with it’ may have been born with a more social disposition, but they still learned a majority of their skills through years and years of practice.

Just like they had to learn how to talk, they had to learn their ‘tricks’ and ‘go-to’ lines.

Some may not even realize they have them, but if you become close friends with someone who is fantastic with people, you’ll notice that when they meet new people they often ask the same questions and tell the same stories.

The problem is that you haven’t practiced that much.

So for you to become more socially skilled, you’re going to need to practice. And the best way is to start small, and commit to improving every single day.

(Side Note: Here’s an article for one of my top 5 favorite authors on small improvements every day. ‘The 1% Rule for Creating Habits’)

Every single day, you come in contact with people who you wouldn’t normally talk to. All you have to do is begin talking with them!

Who am I talking about you say? Hmmm, probably the people who are basically invisible to 95% of the population.

Those of you who have worked in the service industry know what I’m talking about.

95% of the people in the world completely ignore the possibility that their waiters, cashiers, baristas, mechanics, and other people who serve them are even real people…

…to most of the human population, service people fade into the background.

serving

But here’s the thing:

They are real people.

They have emotions, interests, and dreams just like the rest of us.

Now, I’m not saying you have to share your deepest secrets with these people. I’m not even saying that you need to start full-blown conversations with them…

I’m simply saying you should start talking to them. To be good at anything, you have to practice daily.

For example:
The next time you go to the store, pay attention to the cashier’s name, and when the cashier at the grocery store says ‘have a nice day!’ because he is paid to, pause and say ‘You too Jon!’ with a smile.

This may sound ridiculous to you… but trust me, people in service industry are used to being ignored, berated, and patronized. Dealing with humans all day is hard.

They will notice when someone actually takes the time to use their name.

2. To Make Someone Love You, Remember that Person’s Favorite Word

You may be thinking…

How do I find out someone’s favorite word?

I’ll just tell you:

Whether they know it consciously or not, their favorite word is most likely their name.

All you have to do is remember it.

Here’s why this works:

People literally have an emotional connection to their name.

Don’t believe me? When a child is born, he goes from a warm, cushy, great life, to a cold, awful place we call the world(at least from their perspective at the time). When you’re still in your mother’s womb: you got to sleep all day, you were always fed, you were always warm, and you never had to think about anything. Pure bliss state.

Then you go through magical, but awful experience(your mother would agree), and the first thing you experience in this new place is a spanking right on the butt.

“Ouch bro. Why’d you have to do that?!” (I guess they don’t really do this anymore… but it helps the dramatic effect.)

You don’t know anyone or anything. You don’t even know when someone is trying to communicate with you.

Then something amazing happens, you learn how to know when someone is talking to you… you learn your name. Then everything else you ever learn that allows you to morph into a productive member of society stems from your ability to hear and understand your name.

‘okay okay TJ. I hear you. BUT I am awful at remembering people’s names. Like so awful.’

I get it. We’ve all been here:

nice-to-meet-you-i-already-forgot-your-name
To keep this from happening, you must shift your focus entirely on them and what they’re talking about.

For example: Let’s pretend I went to a conference for bloggers and wanted to meet new people. Here are the steps I would follow once I approached someone:

Step 1: Get their name.
‘Hi, what’s your name?’
‘I’m Jim, what’s yours?’
‘I’m TJ! Great to meet you Jim!’

(protip: after they tell you their name, instead of saying ‘nice to meet you!’ say: ‘nice to meet you Jim‘. You’ll be amazed at how effective this is.)

Step 2: Use the ‘question stacking method(#5)’.
‘So Jim, what’s your blog about?’
‘Sports.’
‘Sports? That’s cool. How did you get involved in the sports space? Like, what made you want to blog on sports?’
‘Oh man, it’s always been a passion of mine… yada, yada, yada’ (the a great story follows that allows you to truly connect)

They start talking, and as they’re talking, instead of thinking about what you’re gonna say next, listen to their story with the intention of remembering their story, and repeat their name at the same time.

‘yada, yada, I just couldn’t bear working 9-5 for a dying industry, yada yada’
In your head: *Jim*, hated working in paper, *Jim*, hated working 9-5 for something he didn’t believe in. *Jim* knew that he really had a passion for sports and decided to join a start-up…

Jim-Halpert-Yes

(can you tell I love the office?)

Then, immediately after the conversation ends, go back over his story in your head, and repeat his name as you are committing the story to memory.

To be completely honest, remembering people’s names is really about becoming more ‘other’s centric’.

You have to put forward conscious effort(just like anything else worthwhile on this side of life).

If you want a little more: here’s a great video on remembering people’s names.

3. Become a Connector to Become Connected

Now, very few of you have ZERO friends(if you do, skip to #12 & #15). You have at least a few. I want to share with you a super social person’s biggest secret… are you ready?

Yes?

Good.

The secret to having a large, thriving group of friends is to become what I call a connector.

A connector is someone who connects people together(complicated, I know..).

When they meet someone cool, they think of someone else they know that is the same kind of cool and connect them! That’s it!

Now here’s why this works: when you connect two people who instantly connect, you get credit. Those two people will always remember that you connected them, and that will keep you in a warm place in their heart.

For example: Let’s say you have a friend you admire because of his desire to be a comedy screenwriter for Hollywood. Then, yesterday you met someone that wants to go to Chicago to tryout for second city and to be a comedy writer for SNL.

CONNECT THEM!

Step 1: Text your screenwriter friend and ask him to hang tonight.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 8.48.57 PM

Step 2: Text your new SNL friend and ask him to hang tonight.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 8.49.28 PM

That’s it.. Really.

All you have to do is invite them both to hangout at the same time. When they get there, just introduce them by telling the other what’s so cool about them:

“This is *screenwriter’s name* and he wants to be a Hollywood screenwriter, which I thought was super cool because this is *SNL’s name*, and he actually wants to write comedy for SNL!”

Their similar interests with each other will take care of the rest. And when the dust from their instant connection settles, guess who they’ll be thinking about… you! They may go on to be the best of friends, maybe even collaborators, but they’ll always remember you were the one who connected them.

dancing elvis

[Honestly, there’s really no reason for this. I just wanted to use it.. and ‘dance like elvis’ didn’t quite make the cut for these 15 tips. This seemed like as good a place as any:) ]

 

4. Realize Everyone Else in the Room is Thinking About Themselves

Once you realize that everyone else in the room is thinking about themselves, making friends and being social becomes a lot easier.

Here’s why this works:

1. You get over your fear of talking to new people.
When one of my friends first got to college she was afraid of going to parties. When I asked her why, this is what she said:

“I don’t really like going because I never know what to say. I’m afraid of saying something stupid and everyone looking at me funny.”

Alright… first things first… it’s true. If you’re going to make a conscious effort to be more social(Which I assume you are. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t!) sometimes you are going to say something dumb and people are going to look at you funny.

I want you to say to yourself right now “I am going to say something dumb, and people are going to look at me funny.”

Trust me. After you do it a few times, it gets a little easier.

You know how my friend got over her fear? She realized that every other person in the room was thinking this thought:

*oh man, I’m so nervous. What if I say something stupid and everyone looks at me funny?*

Everyone else in the room is thinking about themselves!

Once she knew that they were just as afraid as she was, it was much easier for her to approach new people. Just her approaching and starting conversation helped them be more comfortable.

2. You don’t have to think about what to say.
Once you realize that everyone else is thinking about themselves, it’s easy to make conversation. Just ask them questions about themselves.

For example:
Let’s say you go to an event and you only know the host, but no one else(let’s pretend there’s 50+ people who come). It will be impossible to stick with the host the entire night, so you’re going to have to introduce yourself to someone, or you risk sitting alone in a corner all night(that’s no fun at all).

Normally, your goal would be to do anything you can to make yourself as comfortable as possible(which we will do…), but let’s switch the focus.

Your new goal is simply to find those who don’t know anyone, and make them as comfortable as possible.

Here’s a three step process to help you do that:

Step 1: Get in the right frame of mind.
The best way to approach this situation is to mentally remind yourself that there are other people there who are concerned because they don’t know anyone(and remind yourself that they’re worried about not connecting with anyone).

Step 2: Identify others who don’t know anyone.
To do this, simply look around the room, and find those who are standing alone, or who look uncomfortable(you can always tell once you begin to look for it).

They may be fidgeting, or anxiously looking around the room.

Ross nervous

Just look for Ross.

Step 3: Walk up. Introduce yourself. Ask them questions about themselves.
Simply stated, the best way to do this is to be genuinely interested in the other person. Ask them about how they met the host, or what they do for work and how they got involved in x industry.

Some of you just read step 3 and thought to yourself:

“Okay TJ. This is what every single ‘be more social’ post says. ‘ask people questions’! blah blah blah. Everytime I do that I feel like I’m interrogating them.”

I hear you. I believe you. You probably were.

There’s a bunch of tricks to keep this from happening, but I’ll cover those in more depth another time.

However, there is a simple method you can use that will cause your interactions to be a little smoother. Which brings me to my next point. Use the ‘Question Stacking Method’.

5. Use The “Question Stacking Method” to Get Anyone Talking

If this isn’t your first post you’ve ever read on how to be more social, or how to improve your people skills, you’ve probably received the advice ‘ask people questions!’. Which isn’t the worst advice in the world… but it’s only half right.

The number one problem with this is that people’s first instinct is to ask yes or no questions.

Here’s how your conversation’s probably go:

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 3.09.28 PM

That obviously ‘Ask People Questions!’ doesn’t work all the time. Sometimes, if someone is naturally chatty, they’ll answer with a ‘yes and…’ or a ‘no but…’ .

But when people are uncomfortable, they tend to just answer your questions directly… which can kill a conversation.

After about 3-4 questions, it turns into a survey(aka, an interrogation)…

…And gets supa-dupa awkward. uncomfortable childish gambino
To keep the interaction from turning into an interrogation, we need to use the question stacking method. The question stacking method may require you to stack two questions, or you may stack several in a row.

To do this, simply ask a broad yes or no question, then immediately ask a follow-up question, and then continue to ask follow-up questions about their answers until you can ask an open-ended question and they tell you a story or begin an explanation.

For example:

Let’s try that scenario again, but this time we’re going to have you use a the simple question stacking method.

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 3.04.15 PM

The goal of this process is to ensure your new friend has plenty to talk about by focusing on the other person’s interest’s.

Notice how in the first interaction you were focused on soccer(which may have been your favorite sport), and then football(which may have been your second favorite), but the stranger didn’t know anything about either of those sports, so things got awkward quick.

But in the second interaction you asked your new friend what their favorite sport was(you were focuses on being interested in them!) and thus you found something they had plenty to talk about – basketball. Which after a few questions, you found a semi-personal story and a connection was made.

Had the person said they didn’t like sports, you would have tried another broad topic question.

For example, here are 5 great broad topic questions to start your question stacking:
Do you like sports?
Do you like movies?
Do you like music?
Do you have any hobbies?
Do you watch netflix?(admit it, this is just as big an interest as the other 4 combined)

What’s so amazing is this:

If you do have an interest in one of those things then you’ll instantly have something in common with the person.

BUT if you don’t know anything about these topics, you can still talk about it with your new friend, as long as the other person has an interest.

Just say something like this:
‘oh really? I don’t really have any hobbies, how did you get started in *underwater basket weaving/competitive chess/coin collecting*?’

Good job. You’re five methods in. You must be serious. You should enroll in my 5-day mini-course: Talk to Anyone.

6. Ask Open Ended Questions

“Okay cool TJ. I’ve never heard of that ‘question stacking method’ before. I’ll definitely try that. But sometimes it is hard to come up with open-ended questions! What should I do?”

That’s a great question.

First, it’s good to realize that most of the time an open ended question starts with the words ‘how, what, and why’.

So that’s a good place to start. But even if you know that, it can still be difficult if someone is particularly reserved.

The way to work around this is to learn a handful of great ‘conversation starting’ questions. These are questions that immediately require someone to begin an answer longer than 2 or 3 words and generally are forced to tell you a story, or give you an explanation.

To help you out, here’s a list of my favorite 5 for both lighter intentions and deeper intentions:

Lighter Intentions:

  1. Tell me about your first(or most awkward) date.
  2. Tell me how you would describe yourself in 3 words. *they answer* Why those three?
  3. If you could design your ideal day, what would it look like?
  4. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? – Why?
  5. What does your ideal weekend look like?

Deeper Intentions:

  1. What’s your deepest fear? Why?
  2. What would you consider the most important thing in friendship?
  3. When you were five, what did you want to be when you grew up? (90%+ are not that) What happened?/Why did you change your mind?
  4. How would you define love(either romantic or brotherly)?
  5. Have you found your life’s calling? What is it?

Memorize 2 or 3 or these, and when all else fails, pull one of these out to try to save the conversation.

7. Tell Good Stories to Make People Remember You

One of the biggest myths in the ‘people skills’ world is that the best listeners are always the best with people. Being a fantastic listener is a great trait and skill, but to really connect with people you have to be memorable. One simple way to do this is to tell good stories. As I mentioned above,

“if you become close friends with someone who is fantastic with people, you’ll notice that when they meet new people they often ask the same questions and tell the same stories.”

The trick to telling good stories is to memorize and rehearse them.

You probably already have stories you’ve told more than once that people showed interest in. If you could identify what those stories are, you’ll be memorable to everyone you come in contact with.

If you can’t think of any, you need to create a few.

I could try to tell you here all the steps to telling a good story, but instead I found an excellent post from one of my other favorite bloggers that tells you a simple 3-step process to a good story.(his name is Jeff Goins, and if you’re a writer, you need to sign-up for his email list ASAP… like yesterday.)

To be remembered, you must become a master story teller.

Here’s the best way to get better at telling stories:

Identify or create 3-5 stories that are both entertaining & highlight a value you hold dear.

To identify your best stories, pay attention next time you get talking to someone new, or the next time your friend introduces you to someone. Just let the conversation progress naturally and you will most likely begin to tell a story at some point. When you do, make a mental note of the story itself. Later, remind yourself of the story and begin to think about how the best way to tell the story would be.

To create a great story you need to think of one!
If you’re stumped about what your story should be, try to think of a unique or funny situation you’ve been in. Try first to think of one that taught you something about life or yourself, but don’t stress too much if it didn’t teach you anything. Our first goal is to entertain the other person(since everyone wants to be entertained).

Practice telling your story as often as possible.

Once you’ve identified or created a story you think will be entertaining, you have to practice it! You’re going to have to put yourself out there and use the methods in this piece to meet new people.

Eventually you will want to have several different versions of your story:

  • A long version
  • A medium version
  • A 30-second version

The worst thing you can do is tell a super long story to someone who isn’t interested.

You have to read your audience. If you feel that they’re not connecting, you need to wrap it up quick and get someone else talking.

You can(and should) rehearse your story if you’ve never told it before, but there is no substitute for a real live audience(even an audience of one).

To get your audience, you have to go out to where people are(check #12).

8. Learn how to show honest appreciation and people will adore you.

Appreciation has a way of tearing down barriers.

Here’s why this works: Everyone who has ever lived, everyone who is alive today, and everyone who will ever live, craves one thing almost more than anything else in the world.

This one thing? The desire to be important.

So how can we show people how important they are? Notice what they do on purpose and acknowledge it enthusiastically.

For example:
The next time you think something nice about someone, tell them. If you remember an old friend and how their discipline always admired you, shoot them a text telling them how you admired their discipline.

It could also be as simple as complimenting someone’s shoes.

Think about it…

If you immediately notice that someone is wearing blue shoes with a blue shirt, and blue earrings, you should know that they put effort into what they’re wearing.

All you have to do is acknowledge that effort by complimenting one of those items(I’m looking at you, gentlemen).

Another way to get into a habit of showing appreciation is to practice the 30-Second Rule.

The 30-second rule is an idea from John Maxwell in his book 25 Ways to Win with People.

The rule is simple:

Within the first 30-seconds of a conversation say a word of encouragement to the person.

That’s it.

9. Say yes, even when you don’t feel like it.

Say yes to hanging out, even when you want to say no. A lot of people complain about not having great social lives, but they value watching netflix on the couch more than hanging out with the friends they already have.

If you’re someone who gets invited to things, yet says no to lounge around at home, do you really want friends?

netflix > friends?

Really?

Like, I know we joke… but really?

I don’t think so.

And I don’t think you think so either.

I know I know. They may be inviting you to do something you don’t think is that fun:
‘I don’t like movies’
‘I don’t like hiking’
‘I don’t like playing board games’

BUT, clearly you want to be more social. Or you wouldn’t be reading these words right now.

And if you want to be more social, you don’t need to waste an opportunity to build a relationship.

Here’s how to capitalize on relationships you already have:

When someone invites you to do something, say YES!

Even if you don’t think you would enjoy it. Even if you don’t really feel like it.

Then, when you get there, focus your energy on building your relationship with the other person, and not on what you are doing with them.

So what if you don’t like hiking…? talk to them about why they like to hike so much.
So what if you don’t like movies… ? talk to them about why they love *actor x* so much.
So what if you don’t like board games…? what kind of person are you?!(hehe, jk… kinda) – just play settlers of catan and take Ron Swanson’s approach.

parks and rec settlers gif

(shoutout to all my settler’s players out there)

10. Show those pearly whites

On average, when you approach new people(or your friends), do you feel like they’re more reserved, or eager to meet you?

If you said:

‘I feel like they’re always reserved, and no one really seems to want to see me.’

I have an extremely effective solution.

But first, I want to ask you a question.

Why do you think a dog is considered man’s best friend?

you're awesome

You’d probably say because no matter what, when you come home, your dog rushes to you, wags his tail, jumps up and down, and is excited to see you!

You’re excited to see him because he’s excited to see you!

It’s only natural.

So if you want people to be excited to see you, all you have to do is show them you’re excited to see them.

Here’s how to do this:

This one is hard.

Are you ready?

Smile.

That’s it.

Seriously… just begin to smile at every person you encounter today.

I could write an entire post on smiling. I might one day. But for now, just try today.

Make a concerted effort to smile at every single person you see today, and watch your world turn from a place full of strangers and acquaintances to a place full of smiling faces and friends you simply haven’t met yet.

“To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl, or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds.” – Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)

Woah. You’re 10 methods in. You really are serious. You should really enroll in the mini-course.

Plus, I’ve dedicated the next few months of content(until at least May 2016) to helping you improve your people skills(if it’s after May 2016 & I’ve moved to my next project, no worries! I’ll have all my best ‘people skills’ content sent to you automatically). Enroll in my mini-course: Talk to Anyone.

11. Get off social media to live in the real world.

I really could have also titled this section, “Get Off Your Phone to Live in The Real World”. You could replace the words ‘social media’ with ‘cell phones’ or ‘texting’ and it would still be true.

Here’s the deal, I love social media and technology. It has lowered barriers of communication, and has done some incredible things for great causes(ice bucket challenge anyone?).

One of my close friends was able to raise $3600 for Haiti in a little under 30 days because of Facebook.

My mom has reconnected with people from high school that she never would have seen otherwise.

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steven Furtick

Here’s a great post on comparing your life to others on social media.

Because we only see half the picture, because we only see the highlight reel, sometimes we get down on ourselves.

Not to mention that that isn’t how real friendships work.

Real friendships come from sharing the good stuff, and the bad stuff.

Real friendship comes from sacrifice, and putting another human being’s wants and desires ahead of your own.

Real friendship stems from sharing the load when life gets hard, and from sharing the joy when life is good.

So what is the solution?

First, maintain a healthier relationship with social media. Acknowledge that people are only putting the best stuff of their life on social media.

social media isn't real life

Second, spend less time on social media. Get off Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/Pinterest/etc. and go out in the real world.

Here’s how to do that:

Option 1(ehhh I’m a fan of option 2): Track & Limit time on social media.
Actually, I’m such a fan of option 2, I actually wrote out an entire section for tracking and limiting time, but I’m hiding it… because I really want you to do option 2.

Option 1 (I'm not joking. Do option 2.)

Option 2(do this, and you know you’re serious about this being social thing): Go on a social media fast.

This one may feel harder in your head, but it may be easier for you in reality.

Once you realize how much life you were missing, you won’t even want to get back on social media.

Step 1: Decide how long you want to fast from social media.

Personally, I think you’ve got to go for an extended period of time before you’ll see real improvements. If you only take a 3 day fast, all you’ll be doing is thinking about when you get to go back on twitter/facebook.

I would say you have to go for a minimum of 30 days to really feel the benefits heavily enough to influence you to change.

Step 2: Post on facebook/twitter/wherever else you are to tell people you’re taking a 30-day social media fast to remind yourself how great real life is. You’ll be surprised how motivating it is to know that if you break your fast, everyone will know you quit. In fact, you can copy & paste this:

“I want everyone to know, I’m taking a 30 day social media fast to remind myself how good real life is. If I come back early, don’t let me off the hook easy.”

Step 3: Delete your social media apps & ask your roommate/spouse/best friend to help keep you accountable.
This may be the most important step. To really stick to the social media fast, we need to remove the temptation from our lives.

DeleteDeleteDelete

12. Go where the people are to meet new people

Sometimes you’ll come to a time in your life when you’re going to have to start completely from scratch.
Maybe you moved from one city to another one.
Maybe you graduated school and all your friends didn’t grow up.
Maybe you’re recovering from addiction and all your old friends were made surrounding that addiction.
Maybe you’re like me and you always love meeting new people.
Maybe you’re running from the law and you just moved to a new state with a new identity.
I don’t know & I don’t judge.

I do know one thing though, if you want to meet new people, you’re going to have to go where people are!

You have to put yourself out there.

No one is going to come to you(except maybe the Mormons: You guys are persistent! I can respect that).

So where can you find new people? It depends on your town.

Here’s how I find new people:
If you work in a big office or attend a big school, try the cafeteria at lunch.

Find someone who is sitting alone and ask if you can sit with them.

This is one of personal favorite methods.

No one likes to eat alone, so they’re immediately going to more like to be happy to make a new friend.

If you have an interest or business go to a professional meetup where the goal is literally to meet people.

This one is a little trickier because sometimes people are only there for business contacts- but honestly, if they’re any good at their business they are friends with their competitors and business associates.

If you meet someone who is a jerk at one of these events, don’t stress.

They’re probably miserable(maybe this is too strong, but jerks are still jerks), and you don’t want that to rub off on you.

If neither of those scenarios could apply to you, then you’ll have to use another option.

My personal favorite is to find local meet-ups.
Here are 3 options that may work for you:

  • Meetup : Meetup is the most popular option I’ve found, and it tends to have a lot of events going on-especially in bigger cities. I used meetup to make friends in Chicago when I interned for a summer after my freshman year(I went paddleboarding, check it).
  • CitySocializer : Another good option. From their website : “citysocializer is the local, social life app to do more of the things you like with people going out around you. A place that combines having fun with new people offline, and a place to stay in touch with them online as your new network grows.”
  • Eventbrite : This is another option. It can be hit or miss, but you can still sometimes find some local events you might be interested in.

At the end of the day just ask yourself: where are people near me? And go there.

You’ve got to go to where the people are to make new friends.

13. Tip in $2 bills to always be remembered around town.

This one is another idea I got from my mentor James Altucher(I don’t really know him personally, but his books are amazing).

A simple way to be remembered is to stick out from the crowd. A simple way to stick out from the crowd is to always tip in $2 bills.

Here’s James’s post on why this works so well.

Here’s how to use your $2 bills:

Step 1: Get $2 bills.

Go to your local bank and simply ask them if they have any $2 bills. Often you’ll be able to get a bundle of 100 pretty easily. If they don’t have them, ask how many you have to order to get them from the Federal Reserve(James says you can order a wad of 1000 from the Federal Reserve pretty easily).

Step 2: Bring a wad of $2 bills out with you all the time.

Pretty simple. Just put a wad in your wallet.

Step 3: Whenever you go to pay for something cheap or you go to tip someone, tip generously, and use $2 bills.
You will become memorable with those around you(like the gas station clerk), and waiters will always be begging for you at their tables.

14. To be loved, suspend judgement… forever.

Some of you just read that statement and immediately thought, “well if people would stop being so stupid, I would stop judging them!”

This is me:

robert downey jr judging

But all jokes aside, try to think back to a time you felt you were being judged.

Let me ask you, did it just get you all warm’n’fuzzy inside about the person who was judging you?

Or did it make you extremely uncomfortable, and in some cases, angry?

Judgement is interesting because 95% of the time, the person doing the judging knows very little about what is going on in the other person’s head. Often times we simply see what another person looks like and the way they carry themselves, and immediately pass judgement on them.

Judgement stems from the idea that you are somehow better than another person, which is simply not true. Every person has value regardless of where they are in life.

We are all products of our circumstances and decisions, yes, but it is not your place to judge another person’s situation or decisions. Ever. If you truly cared about someone, you would first seek to understand, not judge. Yet so many of us are quick to judge and slow to understand.

Here’s how you can suspend judgement, seek understanding, and love freely:

Step 1: Stop Judging Others
You can do this by coming up with reasons not to judge.
Here’s 3 good ones:

  1. You don’t like to be judged-when you judge harshly, others are likely to judge you harshly.
  2. You don’t know what they’ve been through.
  3. Everyone has something going on. That’s life. Why add to the pain by judging them without seeking to understand where they’re coming from?

‘Everyone has a pebble in their own shoe.’ – Bryan Johnson

I also found a great article with 10 practical steps to suspending your judgement.

Step 2: Begin to Seek Understanding
When you are able to suspend judgement, your mind opens up to the myriad of possibilities. Once you realize that everyone has something going on, you are able to seek understanding.

Usually all you have to do is ask!

Just ask someone what is going on, and often times they’ll tell you.

If not, ask yourself this question:

“If I were in their situation, how would I have acted?”

Step 3: Love freely
Whatever you send out increases. If you want more judgement in this world, then judge people. But if you want more love in this world, then learn to love unconditionally.

Understand that everyone is in this together.
Understand that everyone has had pain in their lives.
Understand that everyone is trying the best they can to survive.
Understand that oftentimes all people need is true encouragement and support.

If you can provide that encouragement and support, people will love you for it.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

15. Take responsibility of your social life.

One of the biggest obstacles that inhibits people from having a great social life is their own mental relationship with their social life. They believe that some people are born with it, and they aren’t.

Listen to me right now. Read my lips. Errr. Read my words.

You, and you alone are in control of your social life.

You can keep blaming other people for your problems.

Or you can take personal responsibility and acknowledge that if you’re going to be more social to create a better social life, or build a thriving network, or find a mate, it is ultimately up to you!

I know this might be a hard pill to swallow, but here’s what I believe:

Everything you have in this life is a result of who you are.

And to be great in this life(whatever that means for you), you must be willing to change who you are.

AND I also believe this:

When the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change, you’ll change.

You’ve got to create a strong enough desire to be more social.

Here’s how to do this:

Step 1: Silence negative self-talk surrounding your people skills
Everyone talks to themselves. You talk to yourself.

What are you saying?

You are influenced by the words you hear. You talk to yourself more than anyone else talks to you.

Start paying attention to the words you’re saying to yourself. Every time you notice yourself saying something negative about yourself, stop!

Step 2: Believe you are worthy of great relationships
After you silence your negative self-talk, you’ve got to start positive self-talk. This will help you begin to believe that you are worthy of great relationships.

‘blah blah blah. that’s just motivational mumbo jumbo.’

Is it?

Fast Company and a study from the University of Illinois don’t think so.

Neither do Lewis Howes & Tim Ferriss. (two more of my favorite Authors & bloggers)

I know it works. Trust me.

Or trust Fast company.

Or the University of Illinois.

Or Lewis Howes.

Or Tim Ferriss.

Or another 1000 sources I could find if I spent more than 5 minutes searching.

Or don’t. Just try it for yourself.

Every time you catch yourself saying something negative about yourself, reverse the statement.

For example:
Let’s say you approached a new person and it crashed and burned(it’s going to happen). And then as you were scurrying away, you caught yourself saying:
‘Durn son. You’re awful at meeting new people.’

Simply replace it with:
‘Durn son. That didn’t go well. But you’re capable of being great at meeting new people. Everyone crashes and burns sometimes, TJ told me so, but the more I practice, the better I will be.’

Step 3: Overcome irrational fears
Remind yourself that “Everyone Else in the Room is Thinking About Themselves” which means that you should not have fear about making a fool of yourself.

Quite frankly, as I’ve said several times already, unless you never talk to anyone ever again, it is inevitable that you are going to have more awkward social interactions.

I try not to fear things that are inevitable. You shouldn’t either.

Step 4: Commit to taking massive action & go to work!
Set a simple goal and then commit to taking massive action.

Here are some good, and attainable goals to start with if you can’t think of your own:

  • Think of one current friend and send them an encouraging text everyday this week. (1 friend/day, 7 total)
  • Commit to approaching 1 new person every day this week.
  • Commit to noticing all the service worker’s name tags and using their name as you go about your week.
  • Think of 2 friends you already know who would be great friends and connect them this week.

It starts small, but you have to commit big!

Here’s how to be even more social:

If you’ve made it this far, pat yourself on the back.

That was pretty long.

And you read it all.

Or you skipped straight to the end. If you did that, at least enroll in the Talk to Anyone course. (its free!)

Either way you’re probably saying to yourself right now:

“well.. that post was definitely more in depth than all the other ‘be more social’ posts out there. But is that really going to make me better?”

The answer is yes… and no.

No. Just reading this post is not going to immediately improve your social abilities.

Practicing it will.

So in a way yes. If you apply all the above skills, you will be more social. You will improve your social life. You will improve.

But if you’re serious about improving your social skills and your life, you have to be committed. I want to help you do that.

If you’re interested in really improving your social life and life in general, you should enroll in my free 5-day minicourse: Talk to Anyone.

Once you’ve done that, take a moment and comment. I’d love to know what you thought of the post.

  • Matthew

    This is all solid content. It’s like you meshed buzzfeed and the best communication book together. Love the up-to-date feel with gifs and memes too. Keep it up.

    • Thanks Matt! I was shooting for a comfortable feel like buzzfeed, but not over the top!

  • Jake the Snake

    Good stuff TJ. This was written in a way that it is inevitable that your points will resonate with every single reader in one way or another. Looking forward to your next article.

    • Thanks! It’ll be on the ‘Question Stacking’ method.

  • Eric

    Love the $2 tip. Really enjoyed this.

  • Billy

    Honest and informing. The examples you gave really helped with explaining your main points. Anyone who struggles with being social can use your examples in their own way and they will be well on their way to becoming a more social person.

    P.S. I feel like I may know the screenwriter and Second City people 😉

  • Stephen

    So did you generate the stick figures yourself or was that a pretty common JPEG somewhere on the world-wide-web? I loved #’s 5, 8, and 11. Sadly #9 was a kick in the pants for me. What were some of your main sources for this material (besides the many sources you hyperlinked)?

    • Hahaha, great question Stephen. I actually created them myself using this tool: https://sketch.io/sketchpad/
      And yeah, saying yes is super important. I thought about not including it on this list, but sometimes we just need a good reminder.
      And my own brain was one source. Beyond that I used inspiration from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “25 Ways to Win With People”
      Both are fantastic books.