My life started as an introvert (nerd and a geek) since my dad was physically abusive until the age of 15 when I left my home. I had trained myself in martial arts by then, and was physically (if not mentally) capable enough to handle my dad. But instead of returning the physical abuse to my dad, out of respect, I left him completely to start my own life as a teenager in this socially complicated and weird world.
Professionally, since the age of 17, I picked an anti-social profession i.e. computers and technology where you get to meet as few people as possible. Today at the age of 51, I have lived and worked in 12 countries across 3 continents, having made more than 5,000 friends and acquaintances.
There are a few social skills which I learned through 36 years of my travels worldwide which I’d like to share;
Read Someone Like A Book (Be a patient listener)
Every human is a book you can never read to the full. Even they themselves aren’t aware of this awesome fact about themselves. No matter you marry them and live all of your life with them, you’d hardly go beyond the table of content that unique and beautiful human is.
Allow People To Be Wrong
Keeping your own body and soul (including emotions) safe and keeping your righteousness to yourself, you can allow someone to commit the worst possible wrong out there without being an accomplice. This self-destructive path they have chosen, is a personal choice of theirs, having nothing to do with you. You are not the law, nor are you Mother Teresa. Let them be who they are as long they let you be who you are, without both of you trying to teach or impose anything of your own except a mutual self respect which does not cross the boundaries of being prude or egotistical fools. Our personal definitions of right and wrong are different on so many levels that it will be a total waste of time and breaths (while speaking) to change their views.
Look at their logics, reasons and excuses to commit a wrong from an open mind point of view, in trying to learn and being empathetic to them. You may or may not learn anything from them but at the end of the day, both of you shook hands graciously when parting.
Aim For Being A Social Magnet
My first name is “Amir” which means leader or rich in Arabic. In any social interaction with a group or individuals, I don’t have to try to become their leader since its usually me who is rich in topics to talk about and throwing conversations or discussions around. People are mostly boring since they may not have read enough like you or may not have travelled the world like you did. To keep the conversation going and to avoid an awkward silence between total strangers, there is plethora of topics you can start your conversations with by stating your own specific views about a certain topic.
Introduce People To Each Other
People are usually secretive about their friendships and the circle of close acquaintances by coming off as being “selective” or choosy when making friends. That is totally wrong since nobody owns nobody and we should always be open to introduce our friends to complete strangers. After all, your today’s friends or acquaintances were once upon a time stranger to you as well.
Be A Human, Not Super Hero (Admitting your mistakes graciously)
All of us are vulnerable since there is always someone who is more rich, more intelligent and more “anything” than us in this huge world of 7 billion people out there. During social interactions (personal or social), we commit some wrongs first time since we are always on a learning path no matter how much old we have become. I would never advise to wear your wrongs proudly on your chest but whenever a personally sensitive topic (i.e. abortion) is triggered, be yourself without faking any niceties.
Get Rid Of People Nicely
This is not easy since there is a history of you two and there are certain things you like most in them vis-a-vis a bad situation that your relationship is in today. It is almost impossible to break any relationship nicely but at least aiming for that (via a mutual closure) can be helpful in the long term for your own conscience. Saying sorry or apologizing won’t hurt your ego too much but at the same time sticking to your own emotions and the need to break off the relationship to stay positive for new ones should never stop you guys from saying “bye” nicely and if possible, hugging someone away.
There is no need for either of you to carry ill feelings towards each other even if you guys can’t forgive the other for real. Both of you are going to die ultimately, if not part today positively and happily. So why not do it (the parting) today instead of being confused or reluctant. Say your parting words and get up confidently from that meeting to see a better and positive huge world out there MINUS that one specific individual (weirdo).
On Internet, of course, you can be a keyboard warrior all you want. LMFAO! 😜
Be Your True Self
Let the world know who is your true and unique self. This universe has never seen anyone like you, nor there will be any carbon copy of you in the future. This totally different and awesomely beautiful individual that you are today, let the whole world see that. Wear your colors (no matter how wrong they are in others’ eyes) proudly. Walk with your confident self in a way that people (including kids) look at your as a role model. And do it all effortlessly by simply being yourself.
This might look easy on the surface but trust me, there are situations where you’d find yourself almost compelled to not being yourself and instead faking niceties. Amongst total strangers, I may recommend such a cop-out but amongst your family, friends and close acquaintance, never EVER stop being yourself no matter how much social pressure you get from anywhere.
How can I finish this post without mentioning my favorite quote of Dale Carnegie;
Being prepared for the worst, Always expect the best.
If possible, try to read as many positive motivational books out there (incl. Dale Carnegis’s “Stop Worrying, Start Living”) to develop such an awesome view of life and people. I wish you best of luck with making friends out of imperfect humans out there, including myself 🙂