Social Skills Training for Adults: 14 Best Guides to Improve Socially

Scientifically reviewed by Viktor Sander B.Sc., B.A.

There are loads of resources on social skills – but few for us grown-ups.

Here’s what we go through in this article:

  1. How to start a conversation
  2. How to stop being nervous
  3. How to be more outgoing as an adult
  4. How to approach intimidating people
  5. How to deal with hate and criticism
  6. How to have deep conversations
  7. How to deal with others getting bored
  8. How to improve your social skills
  9. How to stop worrying about what others think
  10. How to be confident (without coming off as arrogant)
  11. How to stop being uncomfortable at parties
  12. How to improve your self-esteem
  13. How to be more charismatic
  14. How to make people respect you

Here are the best social skills training guides for adults:

1. How to start a conversation

How do you walk up to someone and start talking without feeling like a complete weirdo? Making conversation is an important part of having social skills, especially when you’re an adult. In the training on the link below, you’ll learn…

  1. How to start talking to someone in day to day life
  2. Starting a conversation with someone you’ve said hi to before
  3. Starting a conversation when people expect you to talk to them
  4. Talking to friends or people you already know
  5. Topics and subjects to get the conversation going when your mind goes blank
  6. How to start a conversation with someone online or over text/sms/chat
  7. Keep the conversation interesting using the IFR-Method
  8. How to start talking to a guy or girl you like
  9. How to start a conversation with someone you just met, even if it makes you nervous

Read the guide on how to start a conversation here

2. How to stop being nervous

If you were like me, you didn’t run around at school discos and spent your childhood socializing with others. Naturally, as an adult, we haven’t built up the same confidence as those who’ve had life-long practice.

In this article, you’ll learn several powerful ways to stop being nervous around people:

  1. How to use “re-focusing” to immediately stop being nervous
  2. The Growth Sign-technique – How confident people deal with nervosity
  3. Why Out of your comfort zone-exercises don’t work and how to find your “Comfort-zone sweet spot”
  4. How to use recalibration to stop feeling self-conscious when you’re the center of attention
  5. What to do when it feels like people will judge you
  6. “People won’t like me” – How to get accepted using the “Dog Technique”
  7. How to become invincible using the “Flaw” method
  8. How to always know what to say when you feel nervous
  9. How I start a conversation when I feel nervous
  10. How to avoid awkward silence even if you don’t know what to say
  11. How to avoid saying stupid things when you’re nervous using the “Turning the Tables”- method
  12. How to keep people’s interest using the Personal Mode-method
  13. How to overcome social anxiety

Click here to read “How to never be nervous around people”

3. How to be more outgoing as an adult

If you’re like me, you naturally gravitate to being by yourself rather than spending time with others. For us, it’s especially important to practice being outgoing every once in a while. One of the most important social skills training for adults is learning how to be more outgoing.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  1. How to overcome feeling nervous or shy around others
  2. How to make conversation and know what to say
  3. How to go from boring to interesting
  4. What to do if you feel judged
  5. How to overcome the fear of rejection
  6. How to not freeze up and feel awkward around new people
  7. How to overcome the feeling that “they won’t like me”
  8. How to dare opening up to form a connection
  9. How to overcome your insecurities

Click here to read the article “How to be more outgoing”

4. How to approach intimidating people

Sometimes it can be really intimidating to meet people. Especially if someone’s more successful, taller, or louder than we are. Being around intimidating people can seem at the most impossible, and at the least, nerve-wracking. In the article “How to approach intimidating people” you’ll learn how to combat this feeling and deal with even the most intimidating people.

You’ll learn things like…

  1. Using “shift of perspective” to take an intimidating person down from the pedestal you’ve put them on in your head.
  2. The “take off the social mask-method” that will help you be more authentic so you don’t feel like you have to be someone you’re not.
  3. Why it’s so important to dare to be the one who smiles first and not wait for others to be warm before you are (and how to do it).
  4. How to ask engaging, sincere questions to help you overcome feeling intimidated.
  5. How to give compliments when it feels natural and why that’s an effective way to “flip the script” around someone who intimidates you.

Click here for the full guide on how to deal with intimidating people.

5. How to deal with hate and criticism

We are living in the age of connection. It’s so easy to share ideas with one another, and these days everyone has an opinion. While this can be good, it also has negative consequences. Hate and criticism can now arrive at the click of a button. If you’re putting yourself out there, there is likely someone with something to say about it.

In “How I deal with hate and criticism” you’ll learn how David, from SocialSelf, has dealt with criticism in the past.


  1. How to differentiate between different types of criticism
  2. When to take criticism to heart and when to let it go
  3. Why being vulnerable to criticism can be a good thing

Click here to read the full guide on How to deal with hate and criticism.

6. How to have deep conversations

Have you ever left a conversation feeling…blah? Maybe you just talked about superficial, generic topics. It can be a frustrating feeling and makes us feel as though authentic connections are hard to come by.

In the article “How to have deep, meaningful conversations with friends,” you’ll learn that it’s all about asking the right kind of questions to the right kind of people.

Learn how to…

  1. Find the right people that you can have deeper connections with.
  2. Spend time together in a way that you can have more meaningful conversations.
  3. Ask the right questions so that you can escape the small talk and start talking about what matters.

There are several links in the article that take you even deeper into your quest for connection. You’ll get specific guidelines on how to have engaging conversations.

Click here to read the full guide on how to have deep meaningful conversations with friends.

7. How to deal with others getting bored

In the article “Others will be bored with what I have to say,” you’ll learn how to make boring, shallow small talk interesting and engaging.

This article discusses a feeling most of us experience; boredom of small talk. Whether we are the ones who are bored, or we feel as though we are boring the other person, progressing a conversation to the next level, and really connecting with another person isn’t always easy.

Read this article and learn how to…

  1. Distinguish the good internet advice from the bad.
  2. Examine WHY you are bored with the conversation.
  3. Stay in the moment of the conversation and get personal.

Click here to read the full guide, “Others will be bored with what I have to say”.

8. How to improve and train your social skills

Training our social skills is an important investment in our personality and wellbeing. In this article, we break social skills down into 6 groups.

These groups are…

  1. Social conversation skills
  2. Social listening skills
  3. Social confidence
  4. Non-Verbal Communication
  5. Verbal Communication
  6. Assertiveness

Within each of these groups, there are specific ways in which we communicate with one another. This article contains helpful and easy tips to improve your body language and verbal conversations.

Click here to read the complete guide on how to improve your social skills.

9. How to stop worrying about what others think

The burden of feeling judged by others is a heavy one to carry. Feeling judged can keep us from being our best selves. It can stop us from taking risks and investing in our own opportunities.

In the article, “How I stopped caring what others think,” you’ll digest an intimate and personal story from Vikor, of SocialSelf. Viktor writes of the time he let go of his fear of being judged and had an authentic conversation with a complete stranger about his romantic life, or lack thereof.

Learn ideas like…

  1. How to admit to yourself what you’re insecure about in order to stop caring about it.
  2. How to dare to be vulnerable to others and how it’ll help you be more confident.
  3. How to let go of negative judgments and being able to not care.

Click here to read the full article “How I stopped caring what others think”.

10. How to be confident (without coming off as arrogant)

Chances are that if you’ve found your way to this article you, like me, are an overthinker. The article, “How to be confident without coming off as arrogant,” is a perfect read for us overthinkers. We are the ones who desperately need to be confident, yet we find ourselves imagining 100 different situations in which our confidence could be received negatively by others.

Advertisement - Click here to try BetterHelp's therapy services

In the article, we’ll go through how to develop your warmth in combination with confidence to avoid seeming arrogant.

Confident people who are likable know how to share the stage, and they authentically react in conversations, which means they are good listeners. Reacting warmly to people you meet will put you in the category, Confident, and likable.

Click here to read the full article “How to be confident without coming off as arrogant”

11. How to stop being uncomfortable at parties

Parties are supposed to be a crazy fun time. But for many of us, especially introverts, we dread these highly stimulating situations. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, why? Often times our fears hide underneath our conscious thoughts and result in that scary pit in our stomach.

In this article, you’ll learn 3  steps to get rid of those pre-party jitters and avoid the last-minute cancellation on your part.

Those ideas are….

  1. Focus on WHY you are feeling nervous about the party. Examine that reason and confront it head-on.
  2. As you examine why you feel nervous, own that feeling, and own the outcome of that feeling. In fact, embrace it. It won’t be so scary once you accept maybe that thing you’re scared of happening, actually will happen.
  3. After you own your fear, you can rationalize, and give yourself a better outcome than your imagined one. So what if you get left alone? This will likely be momentary, and the party will continue. People will flux in and out, and your life will go on.

Click here to read the full article How to stop being uncomfortable at parties

12. How to improve your self-esteem

Self-esteem is the way we value ourselves. Having self-esteem is crucial to social success and inner happiness.

In this guide, you’ll learn 5 tricks to increase self-esteem that you can start practicing today.

Those tricks are….

  1. Find the source of your negative thoughts, and face it head-on.
  2. Self-acceptance – something that’s easier said than done. What are 3 really great things about yourself? What are you proud of? Write it down and read it back to yourself.
  3. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are you, so how can you even begin to compare yourself to someone else?
  4. Accept that the only truth in conforming to society’s version of success is one that’s agreed upon through a social consensus.
  5. Live your life the way you want to – you’ll feel happier and this happiness will come from authenticity.

Go to the TED-guide here: 5 ways to build lasting self-esteem.

13. How to be more charismatic

Charismatic people seem to have it all. They are so good at working the room that it can seem like they were born that way.

But- that isn’t always the case. In this article, you’ll learn that the art of charm is one that can be learned.

Learn how to…

  1. Exert positive energy to those around you.
  2. Ask genuine questions that make others feel special.
  3. Offer assistance without seeming like a pushover.
  4. Own the situation without letting emotions get in the way.

Click here to read a guide on how to be more charismatic.

14. How to make people respect you

It’s really painful to not be respected. As an adult, it’s more important than ever. In this article, you’ll learn…

  1. What to do when people take you for granted
  2. How to speak so people listen to you
  3. How to use your body language to command respect
  4. How to stand up for your opinions and beliefs in a respectful way
  5. What to do if you get interrupted or cut off
  6. How you can improve your leadership skills to earn respect at work and in life
  7. Self-presentation: The easiest way to double the respect you get
  8. The surprising effect of owning up to your mistakes

Go to the article: How to make people respect you

David Morin is the founder of SocialSelf. He's been writing about social skills since 2012. Follow on Twitter or read more.

Go to Comments

Leave a Comment