Personality is personal

Do your social skills suffer? If so, why? Do you get nervous around people you do not know? Are you not the “talkative type?” Are you shy in crowds? Do you have trouble making new friends? Or better yet how are things with you and your current friends? Now here is the real kicker, who are you? Do you know? Many people find themselves struggling with all these questions. Sometimes they don’t even know why they can’t answer. I’m here to help you understand why knowing the answers to these questions will Improve your social life. If you get nervous around people you do not know, look within. You do not have to do anything to draw attention to yourself, but simply smile. Allow yourself to feel welcomed wherever you are. Allow yourself to enjoy the environment (that could be a store, a party, a small gathering, family dinner, anything) and get comfortable. It’s okay to not be talkative, but do you give everyone the cold shoulder? I have learned a smile is always a good start, and small talk is always a good way to break the ice. Some may say “well what if I don’t know how to have small talk?” Well, if that’s the case lets look at it like this. Small talk can be anything relevant to your current surroundings. Example: you’re at a company gathering, you and another person speak to each other but there’s an awkward silence. The person beside you all of a sudden says “this is a nice event; I wasn’t expecting such a turnout. How long have you worked for the company?” From there you both share back stories, and learn they actually started a little before you did. After the party you both see each other at work and continue to have casual conversation. That is the power of small talk. However, even if you get to a place where you master small talk, do you know yourself? You won’t believe how many people find themselves struggling with others and have not yet discovered their own true self. With that being said, once again, who are you? Do you know what you ultimately want out of life? Do you know what your hobbies are? Do you like to travel? Are you quiet? Are you outspoken? What makes you, YOU? When you’re able to answer those questions, you will feel more secure in knowing yourself. When you know yourself, your presence shows more confidence, your quietness doesn’t make you socially awkward, and overall your energy will feel more welcoming than intimidating. You will see yourself going from being shy, to being ready for a new conversation. You will go from feeling like you’ve said too much, to being okay with anything you say (being nice of course). And overall, you will be able to handle people differently. I once struggled with people. I felt misunderstood; and sometimes even tried to “fit in.” I eventually learned people don’t necessarily misunderstand you, they don’t know you. However, you can’t go through life trying to prove who you are to people. You can’t try to “fit in” and/or adapt to what you think people will comprehend or what will make you more “acceptable.” You have to just be you. Know you. Love you. Know all the characteristics about you. Eventually you will see how people move closer to you or move pass you. – Lori G. Clark

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