I’m going to make a prediction right now…
You read this blog because you need better social skills.
No, you’re probably not a social pariah…but you know you need to invigorate your ability to connect with others.
It impacts your personal life, your romantic prospects, and your career. (If you’re anything like me, it impacts your overall happiness, too.)
Sure, you might have a stutter, social anxiety, or not be much of a talker…but you can quickly step up your social prospects today.
I’ll show you how.
The One Thing You Can Do TODAY To Amp Up Your Social Life
I’ll cut the bullshit and get to the point: Make more social invitations.
An “invitation” isn’t just a formal request to come over for dinner or grab coffee; it’s taking moment-by-moment action to engage in a more meaningful, exciting relationship with this person.
This means…starting a new conversation, asking a total stranger to give their opinion, inviting someone you barely know to join you with your friends.
It’s introducing an edgy topic into discussion.
It’s offering your time, attention, knowledge, and network to someone who would benefit from it.
People who invite consciously bring excellent people into their lives and the lives of other excellent people with the sole purpose of creating more interesting experiences for all involved.
This is a habit that has worked absolute wonders for me for the past 6 years.
Without a near-religious adherence to this idea, my career, social prospects, and sex life would be a thin candy shell of what it is today.
But first, a story about another kind of invitation.
The Day I Gave Up On Having Friends
As a kid, I’d bitch about not having any friends, that no one liked me. It was such a ridiculous sob story.
Even though I actually had two friends, this attitude wasn’t without merit…
It started on my 10th birthday.
I invited probably 20 or 30 kids to my birthday party…but no one came. Not one person I thought was my friend.
That’s a great way to kill a kid’s self esteem.
I made a big decision that day.
From that point on, I just stopped making the first move and extending invitations to people.
“Why bother?”, I thought. “It’s not like they’re going to even show up.”
It really stuck with me: I really didn’t have many friends, girlfriends, and social or career opportunities for years. I lacked the simple skill of connecting with people.
God. It’s even nauseating just to re-tell this story. It’s pathetic.
Don’t worry, though, there’s a bright side. It took 18 years but I finally turned it around.
How To Reset & Reinvent Your Social Life
Just weeks after my 28th birthday – 18 years after my fatefully pathetic 10th birthday – I moved to San Francisco for work.
With this new city ahead of me, I decided to socially ‘re-invent’ myself. (You don’t have to move to do this – it’s just easier to.)
I was the same dude. I had the same interests, I dressed the same, and I listened to the same music. I just took on a new habit: relentlessly making invitations.
Making Social Invitations For Your Own Sake Is Great. Making Them So Others Benefit Is Divine.
…If I met someone intriguing at a networking event, I didn’t just take their business card and call it a day like most dum-dum’s do – I’d invite them out to have drinks or dinner right after the event.
Sometimes this would grow to 5 or 10 perfect strangers having a late dinner together, sharing ideas and doing business. And, many times it led to me receiving valuable contacts and job offers.
Need to step-up your career game? Check out my guide on becoming a memorable networker.
…It wasn’t unheard of me to show up to a friend’s BBQ with 3 or 4 new friends in tow that I’d met on the BART train or at a previous event. “They’re a blast!“, I’d think. “They should meet my other friends, who are also great people.“
This a tremendous way to improve the happiness of everyone involved. You make new friends. Your new friends make new friends with your friends. Your old friends make new friends with your new friends. Everyone has a great time and connects. What isn’t to love?!
…If I saw a particularly beautiful girl at the park or on a bench, I’d chat her up for a bit and invite her to come have lunch with me that afternoon.
This led to more than a few great, spontaneous dates and one very exquisite girlfriend with great hair and a sweet disposition.
Making these invitations requires very little skill or finesse – oftentimes, nothing more than curiosity & interest in the other person and a great idea for what to do next. If you can make the bubble bigger by including other people in the mix, all the better.
A New Perspective On Connection
The pessimists and chronic fault-finders (they call themselves ‘realists’) I’ve told this story to have all said something like, “Well, not everyone is going to want to connect and accept your invitation“.
You’re right: some people will refuse your invitation (politely so or otherwise). But, every person you talk to improves your chance for good fortune by that much.
Here’s a deceptively simple truth about making social invitations that goes unappreciated:
Most People Are Just Waiting For An Invitation. Most People Will Never Make An Invitation.
A lot of people just wait on the sidelines of life waiting for someone to do the asking, like shy kids at a middle school dance. It’s pathetic.
In the scope of human connection, there always has to be someone to do the initiating, to make the connection. Even the smallest gestures take a certain measure of boldness and courage.
Someone has to be the one to say, “Come with me!”.
Someone has to break the routine of familiarity and make the connection.
Someone has to ask them to dance.
For the sake of your love, success, and providence, be that person.