Being Social – Good Morning Barista!

How do you go about Being Social when your social interactions are reduced? I was talking with a friend of mine the other day who is also seeking a new role at the moment. One of the things they commented on was that they missed the interaction with others which comes from being in a workplace.

That set me thinking about how we can all maintain and grow our ability to interact with others and be successful on a social level. Here are some thoughts on how I think we can achieve social success even if we do not have the interactions that the workplace brings.

As Humans we are social animals, and a strong social network is essential for our mental and physical health. So what can we do to maintain regular social interactions and grow in confidence?

Being Social Practical Application

  1. Practice. Unfortunately, to get better at being social, at some point you must actually talk to a human. If this scares you, start small. As you go through your day, greet every barista, server and cashier with a friendly greeting, and ask them how their day is going. As you get more comfortable speaking with others, seek out a class, volunteer opportunity, or networking event to practice on more people.
  2. It’s not (about) you, it’s (about) them. As the old saying goes, you have two ears and one mouth, and that’s the ratio you should use them in. When trying to start a conversation, ask the other person about themselves. Can’t think of anything to ask? Let the environment be your cue. At the theatre or a sports event, ask if they go to this type of event often. When you are at work, ask how they came to be in this field. At the grocery store, ask the person selecting 20 mangoes for tips on finding a ripe one.
  3. Get help. Being social is just like any other skill: it can be learned, and it takes practice. If you don’t know where to start, get some training. A therapist or life coach can help you masters the skills you need.
  4. Join a club or class. Learning a new skill is also a great way to meet new people. For example, Toastmasters International ( offers low-cost training on public speaking as well as a chance to meet people. Look for classes in acting, presentation skills, or management and leadership at your local college.
  5. Be useful. If you are socially anxious, look for opportunities to take on a job at social events. It’s much easier to chat with people if it’s your job, rather than out of the blue. For example, can you help your friend put out the buffet or manage coats at a party? Work the registration table at your work event? Volunteer at an art, music or sporting event? The more useful you can be, the more confidence you will have, and the easier it will be to talk to others.

In Conclusion…

Being Social means being curious and helpful. Many people would rather stick a fork in their eye than “network”. However, networking can help both your career and your social life. At networking events, simply be curious and helpful.

Assume everyone there is interesting and ask questions about what they are up to. Then, think of any way you could help. You might be able to connect them to a friend, offer some technical advice, or pass along a neat article you read. If you think of some way you could be useful, be sure to follow up and do it!

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