A 29-year-old mechanical engineer from Portugal and his journey to a more social life.
Richard’s only 2 weeks into the program but finds it easier to get to know people on a deeper level and to make more interesting conversation.
He talks about pushing on even when you feel like giving up, not wanting to play “mental games” when socializing and about all those vague tips online that just don’t work… But also about successes and feeling more at ease in conversations.
What made you decide to start improving your social skills?
We need each other to move forward. Together people can accomplish much more than by themselves. Social skills are a huge part of that, and I def. know they’re holding me back. Plus I’m not happy not being able to be socially as good as I’d like. It’s something basic that I feel like I should know. As you said in one of your videos making small talk is necessary, but it can be enjoyable. People are happy, you’re happy. Same happens for socializing in general. It would make me happier 🙂
Some of things you teach give what I call “aha moments” or “make me see the matrix”
Richard on Awkward to Awesome
I have to congratulate you and Viktor. Some of the things you teach give what I call “aha moments” or “make me see the matrix”. It’s those bits of knowledge so well thought of that make you connect the dots. An example of that is your phrase “relatable is likable”, or focusing on the external environment, seeing others from the perspective of their weaknesses to be less self-conscious. Then the unscripted videos and their analysis of people doing natural conversation and seeing the things you talk about.
I think about these things in conversations. This means that I do have an easier time getting past small talk.
“Fake it ‘til you make it is actually true”
How would you describe some social challenges you’ve overcome?
“Fake it ‘til you make it” is actually true. I’m calling people by their names more often. At first, it felt weird for me, and it didn’t seem like I was being myself. After a while, though, I became that person that treats others by their first name. Now it feels forced if I *don’t* do it. This means that many changes can feel uncomfortable and like we’re just faking it, or not being ourselves, but who we are changes. So we have to know it’s a temporary feeling, and the end result will be a better version of ourselves.
“I’ve read several things about improving social skills and most, by far, are very general, vague tips”
Richard on feeling like giving up… but continuing to push on
I didn’t give up because 1) it is a really important part of my life that I want to get good at. 2) I believe to be more than capable; 3) while there’s hope there’s no giving up 🙂
“I don’t want to have to play mental games while I socialize…”
Richard on vague tips that just don’t help
Several times I’ve been through the same thing. You go all happy to this new video on “how to improve social skills”. Then you see the same general, vague tips. You look online and read and read and you see the same. You try some things, but they feel forced or unnatural. As if people who wrote that just read it online and have no real scientific or personal experience with the subject.Then other times you’re in a social situation and you may say something out of place and feel like others are judging you. Or things do go wrong (reinforcing the bad beliefs). After those times I may momentarily think that I was right all along to have that
Then other times you’re in a social situation and you may say something out of place and feel like others are judging you. Or things do go wrong (reinforcing the bad beliefs). After those times I may momentarily think that I was right all along to have that fear and that I’m not cut for this. But it’s a passing feeling.
I’ve read several things about improving social skills and most, by far, are very general vague tips. ZERO real life example tips (except pick up women videos, but those are just for the purpose of that, and I wanted general social skills, which in the end is transferable to that area anyway.)
Some of these tips are ”Be yourself”, “Don’t worry about what others think of you”, “Do X” (without showing you HOW). What I’d like is to be good socially like a normal person, not to have to play mental games while I socialize to give the impression I’m good.
Richard on inner objections against improving socially
I feared I wouldn’t be the same person, and that I could lose my core values. That to be better socially I need to sacrifice some of my uniqueness. But I’ve come to realize they’re mostly irrational fears.
What advice would you give to someone who’s starting off but isn’t yet where you are right now?
Take David’s course lol 🙂 Practice consistently. First with people you already know, like your friends and family. Then, expand that to acquaintances later on.
What were some worries you had whether Awkward to Awesome would be right for you?
The number of programs I’ve seen around and how awful the advice is!
By far most advice thrown around out there is awful. What are the chances there’s actually good advice if the last 100 articles you read on the topic are garbage?
However, I had been reading your emails and they seemed somewhat different for the better. That’s what made it stand out.