“I want to know how to be a social butterfly. I see people who get along with everyone and become friends with everyone they meet. I want to be like that- I want to be a mingler who feels comfortable talking to anyone.”
There’s no doubt that some people are born with a natural gift for socialization. But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop a social butterfly personality. This article will teach you the best strategies for becoming more engaging and likable.
What is a social butterfly?
Think about the most socially charming person you know. How do they act around other people? How do they make other people?
Social butterflies are known for being charismatic and easygoing. They’re the ones who can walk into a room and strike a conversation with anyone. They make other people feel good.
Social butterflies have excellent social skills. They know how to start and maintain a conversation, and they seem to do it all with ease. They present as confident without being cocky, and they tend to have many friends.
Some social butterflies are born naturally extroverted and easygoing. But other people take the time and effort to practice this skill.
General tips for becoming a social butterfly
Here are some universal steps you can take if you want to be more social. These tips apply in nearly every social setting. Remember that they tend to get easier with practice. At first, it may feel awkward to try these new skills, but it’s important to stick with them.
Practice being interested in people
Do your best to embrace a curious mentality. When you go out in the world, tell yourself this mantra, people are interesting, and I want to learn more about them.
If you tend to judge, people may pick up on that mindset even before you start talking to them. That’s because you might reveal it in your body language. For example, you may have your arms closed or respond with short answers.
Instead, keep reminding yourself that people are interesting. Keep reminding yourself that everyone has a story to tell, and you want to hear it.
Just having this kind of positive mindset can help you remain positive when you’re interacting with people. It places you in a prime position for attracting good conversation.
Practice talking to as many people as you can
You have to practice being more social if you want to be a social butterfly.
Here’s the challenge- try to talk to at least 5 new people a week. It doesn’t matter who they are, and it doesn’t matter how long the conversation lasts. Just focus on building the skill and repeating it often.
After each interaction, ask yourself these two questions:
- What did I do well?
- What would I like to improve next time?
It may be helpful to write these answers down in a journal. The goal of this exercise is to help you become more aware of your socialization patterns. For example, you might notice that you do a great job of asking people questions about their life, but you don’t know how to end a conversation without feeling awkward or embarrassed.
It’s okay if there are a lot of things you want to improve. This awareness is the first step towards developing action-based goals.
Our guide on how to start a conversation can come in handy.
Read self-improvement and socialization books
Now that you may know some of your specific weaknesses, take the time to educate yourself.
Remember that socialization doesn’t always come naturally. It’s okay if you didn’t learn these skills when you were younger. It just means you need to learn them now.
We’ve reviewed and ranked dozens of books on socializing. Check out our guides on:
- The best books for making friends.
- The best books for how to make conversation with anyone.
- The best social skills books.
Show interest in other people’s stories
We’ve already talked about having a curious mindset when interacting with others. When you’re curious, you’re more likely to pay attention to someone else. That’s a good thing- people want to feel like their stories matter.
Practice active listening. Remove the distractions and just listen fully to the other person. Try to imagine how they must feel. This is the foundation of empathy, and it’s what helps people feel understood and connected.
Ask open-ended clarifying or follow-up questions. For example, if they tell you their job, you might ask, so what does your average day look like? Or if your neighbor talks about how her dog woke her up last night, you might ask, how often does that happen to you?
Assume people want to be your friend
This is a simple mindset, but it’s such an important one.
Most people want to make friends. A good mingler knows that. Everyone likes to feel connected and like they belong. When you’re at a social event, tell yourself, people want to be my friend. Just telling yourself this can help you feel more confident.
If this exercise feels impossible, that means you need to work on your self-esteem. You can start by checking out our tips on how to feel less self-conscious.
Make yourself interesting
Social butterflies tend to be interesting people themselves. They don’t just go to work, come home, watch TV, and go to sleep every day. Instead, they live exciting and unique lives.
If that’s your goal, you need to start by making yourself more interesting. This means expanding your usual routine and trying new things. Here are some practical suggestions:
- Make a bucket list and commit to trying one new activity a month.
- Watch a movie that you wouldn’t normally watch.
- Read books that you wouldn’t normally read.
- Spend a day exploring your city without any predetermined plans.
- Try a new physical activity (hiking, biking, yoga, etc.)
- Attend the next three events you’re invited to, even if they have no appeal to you.
The goal here isn’t to overwhelm yourself with new things. Instead, it’s about having a more open-minded and spontaneous approach when it comes to how you live your life.
Be kind to other people
Social butterflies make other people feel good. That’s why people enjoy being around them. You don’t have to be a pushover, but you should embrace being loving and generous.
You can be more kind by:
- Complimenting other people.
- Offering to help without expecting anything in return.
- Checking in on people to see how they are doing.
- Spending more time volunteering.
- Letting people know you appreciate them.
Remember that not everyone will like you
Even the best social butterflies don’t get along with everyone.
It’s impossible for every person on the planet to like you. Try not to waste your time or energy changing their minds. This will probably just leave you feeling frustrated. Instead, focus on the people who seem interested in you.
See our guide on what to do if you often feel like people won’t like you.
How to be a social butterfly in specific situations
As you continue to practice the universal social tips, socialization tends to feel easier. But it’s still important to know the best tips for certain situations.
College can feel lonely, especially if you’re at a new school and don’t know anyone. See our guide on how to make friends in college.
Here are some tips for becoming more social:
Talk to the person sitting next to you
In each class, make it a point to introduce yourself to your classmates. You can say something like, Hi I’m ____. What’s your name? As a follow-up question, you can ask:
- What’s your major?
- What do you think about this class so far?
- How’s your day going?
Join a club
Commit to joining at least one club or social activity on campus. They offer built-in opportunities for socialization. But you still need to put in the effort to get to know other people. Some good questions to ask other members include:
- So, what made you sign up for this club?
- What else are you involved in?
- What do you think about the meetings/activities so far?
Make it a point to go to as many social events as you can. At first, they may feel uncomfortable. But it’s important to continue exposing yourself to these opportunities.
Get a job on campus
If you need to work in college, consider getting a job on campus. It’s a great way to meet other students.
Ask people in your dorm to hang out
It doesn’t need to be overly planned. If you’re going downstairs to grab a coffee, ask if anyone wants to join you. If it’s time for dinner, see if your roommate is also hungry. Even if it’s not an intentional social event, these small interactions can help you practice your socialization skills and deepen your friendships.
Sometimes, people find that it’s difficult to make friends after graduation. You can read our guide on how to make friends after college.
Here are some practical tips:
Sign up for 1-2 classes
Signing up for a class or activity forces you to socialize with other people. Sign up for something that piques your interest and make sure you commit to going to the events. Try googling “Events near me” or “Classes near me” to find events in your area.
Stay connected through social media
If you use social media, it’s easy to stay in touch with former friends. Make it a point to reach out on people’s birthdays. Comment/like their recent photos.
And, most importantly, send messages. When someone posts about something happening to them, you can send a direct message congratulating them on their news. Then, you have the opportunity to follow-up and ask how they’re doing.
In the city
Being in a new city can feel overwhelming for anyone. Our guide covers the best ways to make new friends in a new city.
Here are some tips on how to be more social in a new city:
Live with roommates
You’ll save money and get to know more people. Even if you don’t love your roommates, you’ll have to practice socializing with them. They might also have friends that you can befriend.
Join a faith-based group
If you’re religious or spiritual, find a church or temple that resonates with you. Then, make an effort to attend the social events. You’ll be around like-minded people, and that can provide you with good opportunities for connecting.
Join a class
Cities often have hundreds of different classes or organizations you can join. Find 1-2 that seem interesting to you.
When you arrive, try to embrace the positive mentality that people want to get to know you and be your friend. Remember that most people join these classes because they want to meet new people!
To become more social at work, you can try the following tips.
Focus on getting to know a few people first
It’s easier to be social when you already have some friends. Start with one coworker at a time. Invite one of them to eat lunch with you. After a meeting, ask someone if they want to review notes together.
Do random acts of kindness
Grabbing coffee before work? Pick up a box of donuts for the office. Working on a tough project? Send an email to your coworker letting them know how much you appreciate their help.
Be the person who makes other people feel supported. The kinder you are, the more people will want to get to know you. When in doubt, food tends to always make people’s day. Everyone loves seeing donuts in the break room!
Ask coworkers questions about their lives
Don’t shy away from getting to know people outside of work. Of course, you need to be appropriate and tactful when you do this. Some good default questions include:
- What are you up to this weekend?
- I really like your ______. Where did you get it?
- What do you usually do for the holidays? (if it’s around the holiday season)
- Have you tried ___ (restaurant)? I’m thinking of going there for lunch today.
Are you doing anything fun tonight?
You’ll find more relevant tips on how to be a social butterfly in our guide on how to be more outgoing.