Not looking for more friends
Let’s take a look now at another attitude that gets in the way of developing great conversation skills. This is the outlook that you already have enough friends so why put yourself out there to meet more people? This is the kind of apathy that can also infect your current friendships; before you know it you can get lazy about making time for good friends and fail to be completely present when you do meet them.
When it comes down to it the Dzhave enough friends’ alreadydz outlook misses one important distinction. The happiest times in your life tend to have one key factor in common – shared experiences with people you care about. Given that this is the case it makes sense to make happiness a priority and to do that by making a point of always making the effort to meet more like minded people and to deepen the friendships you already have by being a better listener, by sharing more of yourself and by not taking it all for granted.
Popular people already know that the happiest times in their lives typically involve their friends and family. They cultivate great friendships and make a point of getting to know new people. It’s a key part of how they live and how they plan their week by making time to be with people.
Do you ever think you have enough friends already? Do you take some of your friends for granted and fail to make the effort to see them? See that happiness in large part comes down to spending time with great people and aim to do more of that.
Meeting people is a low priority
A related issue is the decision to avoid meeting people. If you cram your schedule with work, domestic chores and solo activities you’ll never have enough the opportunity to enjoy time with friends and to get to know new people. You’ll be the one who is often saying no to social invitations and eventually people will stop asking you.
The reason this happens has nothing to do with not having enough time, it comes down to not making it a priority to spend time with people and a failure to appreciate how important time with good friends is for a happy life. The busyness argument is an excuse that is used to avoid facing up to the fact that you have fears and worries about getting to know people and you feel more comfortable avoiding the issue. The problem with this approach is that you become more isolated over time and it then becomes even harder to break out of your shell.
An attitude change is essential, unless you make it a priority to meet friends, friends of friends and new people each week it’ll rarely happen and only by chance. With less practice at making conversation whatever skills you have will decline and it becomes even more difficult to turn it around.
Do you fail to make it a priority to meet new people? Do you lose touch with friends because you don’t initiate contact? Could you start making happiness a priority by socializing more with people you enjoy being with?
Excessive alone time
Spending time alone is great for recharging and for finding the space to think, and for quiet people it’s essential because dealing with people all day at work and at home can be draining, time alone is the antidote to all of that. However even a good thing can go too far. If you spend too much time alone you’ll eventually feel detached from other people and from life. Being alone is a frame of mind that becomes comfortable and relatively stress free so even the prospect of socializing can seem like too much effort.
For this reason I encourage you to aim for balance. Notice how much alone time you need and at what point it becomes destructive and a barrier to living a full life. Excessive TV or internet usage can fall into this category too. If you are failing to have regular and in depth face to face conversations with people because you interact online you will never develop great conversation skills. There is no substitute for talking to people “offline” out there in the real world with all the complexities, issues and day to day realities that come with a face to face interaction.
Do you spend too much time alone? Could you have more balance between being alone and with others? Do you mistake online interactions with the depth, connection and challenges of talking to new people offline?
Procrastinating about meeting people
This is the final issue we need to address in this section. I am referring to a negative habit of putting things off when it comes to seeing friends or attending social events. When we live like this we don’t even notice our avoidance tendencies because we are still saying yes to opportunities to meet people but we simply procrastinate and make it someday but someday often never comes.
Instead we think we are socially active and a good friend but we’re just too busy right now. This again is a case of not appreciating how important human interaction is for your on-going happiness. Spending time with people who like you and care about you is essential for your well-being while meeting like minded people keeps you connected to all the joy, variety and wonder of life. Life is richer, brighter and more colorful with great people to share the journey.
However at times apathy, laziness and subtle fears about talking to people can cause us to get into the habit of putting off social engagements, rescheduling them until the other person can’t make it or making up excuses for not turning up. The best way to deal with this is by being honest with yourself, if you want to go to a social event make a definite commitment to your friends and aim to never let them down. Don’t let social fears get in the way of enjoying the happiness and connection you have with people you enjoy talking to. The same applies to going to new places and visiting new venues – if you want to go then do it but don’t procrastinate and pretend you really will go but not today.
Do you put off meeting up with friends? Do you lose touch with people because you are always too busy to meet? Do you avoid or postpone new experiences because of having to deal with people? If you do, could you face the fear and go anyway instead of hiding behind the fear with procrastination?