There are a number of ways a negative attitude can cause problems for you when your intention to improve your conversation skills.
People are difficult to talk to
A lot of our opinions, attitudes and beliefs about people are the result of unconscious decisions about the way it is. A few bad experiences can easily be generalized to distort how we view all people not just those difficult few people we occasionally have to deal with. Without even noticing how it happened we assume and eventually believe e that it’s better to avoid people whenever possible and that it’s better to keep your distance with those you talk to on a regular basis.
This is a negative attitude and not the way popular people look at the world. Instead they look for the good in people, enjoy meeting new people and know that, yes, occasionally they’ll bump into someone they don’t enjoy talking to. However they don’t write off everyone because they occasionally bump into some difficult people.
Do you assume most people are difficult to deal with? Do you avoid meeting new people because you worry about what they will think of you? Do you keep to yourself as a way of not dealing with the occasional but rare difficult individual?
Socializing is frivolous
Many people also have a negative attitude about socializing. They may regard it as frivolous or even pointless. You sometimes hear people making excuses about being tired or too busy to socialize when the real reason is unspoken. Few people will admit to their true fears and anxieties, many people prefer to stick to their closest friends over going out to meet new people simply because they hold in mind negative expectations of what will happen when they go to a venue to meet people.
Again, this can be unconscious as it often is with negative attitudes. You may not have even noticed but when you think about attending a party, a wedding or a large gathering of any kind you may be thinking about all the things that could go wrong. You might feel a knot in your stomach and imagine being stuck for words and standing alone in a crowd with no one to talk to you. You might even imagine feeling embarrassed and self-conscious. This is quite an achievement when you think about it, the event hasn’t even happened and already you are imagining the worst possible outcome and living that feared consequence as if it’s already happened. The thing is, it hasn’t happened, nothing bad has happened. All that has happened is that you have not taken charge of your thoughts and feelings.
Ever notice how you think about upcoming opportunities to socialize? Do you think about all that can go wrong? Does this fill you with dread? Do you tend to make excuses to avoid attending social events?
No time to meet people.
There is one major difference between quiet people and talkative extroverts. Quiet people often make it a priority to have alone time and time spent on solo activities before everything else. In extreme cases they even fail to schedule time with friends and opportunities to meet new people. Instead they adopt the attitude that it will take care of itself, that they can tag along with friends who organize get together. However this rarely works because a pattern often emerges whereby the quiet person says no to offers to socialize with friends because of the priority given to solo activities. There may not be any time left in the schedule to say yes and to head out to meet up with friends and acquaintances.
In contrast, people with busy social lives and great conversation skills do things differently. They switch off the TV and internet and schedule several evenings a week to get out there to meet people, they are typically the first to say yes whenever the party invitations go out and they place a high priority on spending their free time with others. That’s not to say you should go to that extreme although it’s good to aim for more balance in how you spend your free time and to place more importance on scheduling time in your week to meet up with friends and family, and to visit new places and to explore new activities.
Do you fail to schedule time each week to meet people? Do you let the week slip by at home when you could be more proactive about getting out there to spend time with friends? If you’d like more balance between time alone and time with others how will you schedule that in the weeks and months ahead?
Socializing is careless spending
What you spend your leisure cash on reveals a lot about what is important to you, it reveals what you value and what gives you enjoyment. And it also represents another opportunity to build closer connections with friends and to get to know interesting new people.
Some people regard spending money on socializing as careless when they can eat, drink and stay entertained at home for less money but that misses the point. When you spend at a bar, cafe or restaurant you are paying for the environment and the meeting place not just the food and drink. You are socializing where there is the possibility of meeting new people and you’re making it a special occasion, in fact, you’re celebrating the friendships that give you support, companionship and enjoyment. The same applies when you spend money to play sport or to be active in any kind of social club. The real fun and benefit is the friendly environment and opportunity to meet friends and to make new friends. The expenses associated with the activity are incidental. Think about it, a few weeks later, after a great night out with friends, do you even remember what you ate and drank? Of course not but you do remember how much fun you had and you can’t wait to do it again.
Do you place a low value on spending money to socialize? Does it seem wasteful to eat out or even to go out for coffee when it’s much cheaper to do it yourself at home? Is it worth it to spend the money and go out a little more if it means you make new friends and get to have fun with the people already in your life?