How to Improve Your Social Skills – 33 Tips From 10 Years of Learning

Ten years ago, I began my first step in self improvement, by Googling “dating advice.” Back then, the articles I found had mediocre advice at best, but it started me on my journey of realizing that social skills were a skill, something you can improve. Here are some key lessons I picked up over the years.

  1. Don’t dwell or worry if someone doesn’t like you because as long as you know you are a good person and you have only done good behavior, it’s bound to happen eventually and that’s okay. Not everyone will like you, even if it’s for random reasons.
  2. When you work with others, you’ll eventually come across varying personalities and motivational drives. You will have to compromise or conform to what other people want or prefer in certain, small ways to work together at times, and that is part of life.
  3. You shouldn’t have to change your personality, fake interests, or put on a persona to please someone. Maybe that’s just not someone you’re going to be good friends with.
  4. If you are doing stuff that is not natural to you in any way to please or make someone like you, you will like get found out. It may backfire. Or you may just feel icky over time or burned out trying to be someone you’re not.
  5. Say what you want to say. Don’t always hold back since you’ll feel like you missed out.
  6. There’s power in saying things concisely. Don’t say anything more than you want to say if you have said everything you want to and feel like you have to keep talking. A fool speaks too many words.
  7. You do not need to be the extroverted life of the party to get people to like you. Some people like those who are kind, caring, thoughtful, introspective, or selfless.
  8. Make jokes that you find funny. Humor isn’t always about pleasing others. It’s about enjoying yourself. Don’t worry about what other people find funny or if they will find you funny as long as you amuse yourself.
  9. You should be happy with where you are, and you should feel good enough. Even if no one likes you (which is likely not true to begin with), the world doesn’t owe you anything. There’s a lot to be grateful about.
  10. Relationships should blossom naturally. Don’t always force it.
  11. People aren’t going to come into your home. Making friends and meeting people is an active job. You have to go out there to meet people.
  12. Get feedback from others to identify what’s real and what is your own faulty thinking. I’ve seen a good amount of people thinking someone hates them or something similar  but it was actually a faulty assumption that they didn’t investigate.
  13. Investigate and come to terms with past trauma that may have caused your faulty or inaccurate psychology or thinking. For example, people who grew up with really negative people can put excessively negative spins on their perspective.
  14. Take one baby step at a time and just keep making an effort to get better at social skills. It’s not about becoming a boss overnight.
  15. Surround yourself with people who have a good sense of humor, positivity, and better social skills. And it will rub off on your life. You will be happier when you see life with a sense of humor and positivity.
  16. You don’t need tons of strong friendships, and it is normal to have many acquaintances. Quality over quantity. A couple best friends is normal. A handful of good friends is normal. You don’t need 1,000 of them to feel normal.
  17. Realize that how people appear may not be how they are or what their real intentions are. And I’m talking on social media, but also in real life. Some people look like they’re the life of the party or don’t care when they actually do. Some appear to be rich when they’re poor. Some people may look like their life is so great on the outside but the inside looks worse or is a mess.
  18. Don’t underestimate your workplace as a place to make your best friends.
  19. You can create the culture and camaraderie you want at work or whatever community if you want to. (Or so I’m told. To a degree, depending on how malleable that culture is.)
  20. Don’t bend over backwards or start acting unnaturally to get happiness from someone else because if you do that too much, then they control you and your happiness is now based on something out of your control: their reactions (and manipulation).
  21. Don’t put too much responsibility on yourself to make a social interaction work. It still takes two to dance 💃. If you did what you could, that’s all you can do. You never know what could have caused them to react negatively that has nothing to do with you. Maybe they had a bad day.
  22. Take social skills advice with a grain of salt because it isn’t black and white or right or wrong. There is a complex set of potential situations and best practices.
  23. Don’t think of it as you are below or above average in social skills on a one to ten scale. It’s not as quantifiable as that. Just think about it as being naturally who you are as a personality and amusing yourself and enjoying your own time alive, while striving to improve.
  24. Keep doing what you like about your past self and discard what you don’t like.
  25. Keep embracing what you love about yourself and your interests. Don’t hide it or throw it away. Some people forget that overtime and give up things they shouldn’t that they enjoy. If you like Pokemon, CrossFit, movies, or insects, keep loving that!
  26. Knowing specifically what you want to improve and working on is half the battle, whether it is self esteem or making friends because you now know what to actively monitor and improve upon.
  27. Asking people to do something as a favor builds up a relationship of trust until they know you and would do the same for them.
  28. Actively ask people to do things and hang out outside of the venue you met them leads to a deeper friendship.
  29. You don’t need a lot of money or friends who like you to be an awesome person.
  30. Don’t dwell on small negative social events that occurred. The other people involved have forgotten about it already. People are mainly concerned about their own interests, problems, and desires. They think mainly about how things affect them and like talking mainly about themselves.
  31. As a shy introvert, active listening is great, but if you are in a group conversation and never make any comments, you will eventually be mentally and physically excluded from the conversation, even if it’s unintentional. Chime in from time to time even if it’s uncomfortable or you have to talk over someone (sometimes, there are no silent moments).
  32. Avoid the spiraling feedback loop from hell. This loop is when you misinterpret or interpret someone new to be disrespectful, distasteful, or rude to you and you respond by being rude to them or mirroring your own disinterest. They interpret you as being rude or cold first and continue the cycle. Both first impressions get worse as you feed off each other to hate each other. Pay someone respect longer than you normally would, even if they really were disrespectful, so this feedback loop doesn’t blow up. Of course, if they cross multiple repeated behaviors while you respected them, then you can stop. I’ve experienced this situation and I’ve been able to avoid a fight. The person ended up being much nicer to me later on since the first instance turned out to be a misinterpretation
  33. Don’t approach and open a girl you don’t know in the public with a close-ended question they can answer in one word because they’ll just answer it and walk away, thinking that’s what all you want. If you’re trying to hit on her, you’ve got to extend the conversation somehow, by being honest or with a more open-ended question. Close-ended questions are not just yes or no questions. Questions that can be answered in one word or phrase, such as “What time is it?” or “Where’s the ice cream store?” count.
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By Will Chou

I am the the founder of this site and I am grateful you are here to be part of this awesome community. I help hard-working Asian American Millennials get rich doing work they love.


  1. Social anxiety and interactions are difficult for some people. It isn’t that it is not wanted, it is just awkward and uncomfortable for some personality types. I love #11, it says how people aren’t going to walk right into your home and become your friend. You need to get out there and try your best to find friends. -Ryan

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