General tips and tricks for becoming more sociable, having better conversations, and generally being a better social creature.
Don't be attached to an outcome when getting to know new people.
To be interesting, first be interested.
You should always get places early, it is key to gaining social proof in my book. If I'm taking a girl to a restaurant on a date, I will turn up there 10-15 minutes before we are scheduled to meet and I'll introduce myself to the waiters, the owner, the chef if applicable, the tables around me. Then she turns up, don't let her know how early you were, but all of a sudden everyone knows you and you're the most popular guy. Call the waiter by his first name, and so on. The same goes for bars, and for any kind of gathering to be honest.
Smile! This one simple action inspires as much empathy, connection, and good feeling as anything you can say. When your conversations make people feel good, they're more likely to talk to you! Simple as that.
Everything is easier if you're confident. Work on becoming self-confident first, get rid of silly insecurities, fake it until you make it - it works.
"Don't criticise, condemn, or complain."
Read How to Win Friends and Influence People.
People LOVE talking about themselves. It gives their experiences a third party validation. It puts them back in the good times mode or reduces their stress. End result is always the same. The person would want to talk to you more.
How to not be boring:  Read books: nourish the garden in your brain.  Do shit: Create things, have hobbies, goals. Be fucking busy. At the beginning, you'll still be a boring cunt. After a while, you'll have so much shit going on you'll have an endless list of things to talk about. You'll still be a boring cunt. After a while longer, you'll have learned how to go with the flow in conversations, and you'll no longer be a boring cunt. For the final part, it works like this: when speaking, don't be didactic. Go with the flow. Play along, imagine it's all a massive game. Go off in tangents. Tease the other person, doesn't matter if boy or girl. Don't take yourself too seriously. The man who said to listen is wise. Be interested in other people. What do they like? What are their dreams? It will come. Nothing happens overnight. Keep on truckin. #be-interesting
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Creating inside jokes with people you just meet will form an extremely solid bond, even with a stranger. When fun things are happening at a party or you make a funny joke, be clever and bring it up later in the night. This makes people feel that you’re creating a bond, which brings your connection to a deeper level. This one can get tricky though, so just be careful not to overdo it.
Work out, find a scientific program you are comfortable with and STICK TO IT!
Go to events where it's seen as normal to approach strangers:
networking events, community groups and clubs, charity events, etc. Check meetup.com
, local papers and things likes craigslist
Ask: what’s the worst that could happen? If you are afraid to send that message to someone who you think may be out of your league, ask what the worst possible outcome would be. Usually, the answer is that you’ll be no worse off than if you hadn’t sent a message at all. You have little to lose and everything to gain. #confidence
Learn to dance. Good dances to learn are West Coast Swing, Salsa and Hip hop. If you take a class to learn, you'll meet new people.
Social skills are just like any other skill: practice makes perfect. Talk to people on the internet, xbox, at the checkout, at the bus stop, anywhere, any time. Look for something to comment on (even the weather!), and just go for it!
Accept compliments gracefully. Don’t deflect, or give reasons why you don’t deserve credit.
Talk to people even if you really don't have to. As you get more used to it, the interactions get easier and more smooth.
Say "hi" to someone you don't know every day. This is especially important if you are shy and have a hard time talking to people. #confidence
Smile. "Fake it till you make it" is a cliché for a reason. Smiling projects confidence and ease; when we fake an emotion, we eventually feel it for real. #confidence
Talk a little slower. Measured, clear speaking makes you sound more confident. Don’t mumble or rush over words when you talk. #confidence
Never EVER reply with a one word reply when asked something. Those are conversation killers. Since the other person doesnt have much to go on about, they might not be able to reply (remember : they have probably not read this wall of text that I am typing, they might not conciously know what they are doing when they are having a conversation with you/anybody). Eventually what happens is even though they are as interested in carrying on the conversation, it turns into an awkward sielnce. If you are asked something that can only be answered in a one word reply, follow up with a question / statement. #conversation
Get to a party/event on time. This is the most crucial tip. Everyone thinks that it’s cool to show up fashionably late to an event, when in reality it does more harm than good. The key is to show up right on time. Being there before everyone else gives you a chance to meet and greet the host without distraction, check out the surroundings and say hi to people as they come in. Greeting the new arrivals is easy because they’re the only ones to talk to! Bam…you are instantly making friends. Showing up late to a party is a disadvantage because guests have already started to mingle.
Volunteer if you have the time or are looking for a job. Whatever you volunteer for, it shows you have some civic spirit and you will meet new people. It also gives you references when you apply for work.
You need to learn to speak up. If you're socializing in a group, and you can't project your voice loud enough for people to hear, they will become frustrated and stop asking you to repeat yourself. Instead they'll begin to shut you out altogether. I learned to project my voice by reading news articles out loud at home for about half an hour each day, and would recommend it for anyone who has trouble being heard. I also joined Toastmasters, which is also helpful.
If you're at an event that's specifically designed for people to mingle and socialize, don't be afraid to walk up to people and join their conversations. Chances are, if they're decent, normal folks, they will let you into their circle, or at least they won't outright reject you. Don't over-think it.
Introduce yourself as soon as possible. It's a lot more awkward to introduce yourself to someone you've been sitting next to for 5+ minutes. If possible, as soon as you sit down, go in for a handshake and exchange names.
If you're in a 3-way conversation, and you notice the other two people increasingly talking to each other and not giving you a chance to contribute to the conversation, it's time to leave and go to a different group.
If you're in a group of 4-5 or more, and you find yourself not contributing a lot to the conversation (whether because you're shy, not talkative, or don't know/care about the topic), DON'T sit back and play on your phone! Make an effort to at least pretend to be interested and involved in the conversation. Simple things you can do to make sure people are still aware of your presence: lean forward, look at the person who's speaking, react to what he/she's saying by laughing or saying things like "nice" or "awesome", etc.
I've noticed that the person who always tends to dominate the conversation in groups (and who attracts and engages listeners) is the person who can tell the most interesting story. They've traveled widely, or they know the area really well, or they have a unique life experience, and they are eager and confident to share their stories with others. So you might start thinking about how you can add more cool and interesting experiences to your life, so that when you talk about yourself, other people will want to listen.
Don't ever go to an event telling yourself "I need to make at least one new friend tonight." Instead, tell yourself "I need to talk to at least x people tonight." View each interaction as just another chance for you to practice your social skills. If you mess up, no big deal. One, the other person probably doesn't care, and two, you'd probably never see them again anyway.
Conversations will require effort in the beginning. If someone asks you how your day was, and your reply "good." That's not enough effort. Show emotion, elaborate, ask questions in return.
Just simply put yourself out there. People won't notice you or will be uncomfortable talking to you if you never introduce yourself.
When talking to someone make sure you have good posture and don't look sad.
Complimenting people, even strangers, significantly improves your own quality of live in very weird ways.
Care. When people feel that you truly care about them, they will be more receptive to you and will respect you more.
Everyone has something that they love talking about - find that think for the other person and talk to them about it (be interested!) - that's how you have a good conversation.
Get into metta (compassion) meditation. This type of meditation focuses on cultivating compassion for everyone, yourself included. When you practice metta, you combat the negative self-talk that kills confidence. #confidence
Buy a new outfit and have it tailored to fit perfectly. When you wear something that looks fabulous, it can make you feel great, too. #confidence
Look up. Looking up at the sky helps relieve anxiety. #confidence
Try doing what's called "social skydiving": Talk to strangers. People who will never meet you again. People on buses, trains, grocery stores and other towns. This will make you a better conversationalist. I know this is hard if you are anxious about strangers, but no pain, no gain. Learn to accept the fact that you will be anxious about this. But also remember that you're doing this so that in the future, you won't be anxious when talking to non-strangers.
Body language and expressions - read up on body language and figure out how to fake interest (things like slightly lean in, smile, nod occasionally). Laugh with the other person as hard as they are laughing even if you didnt find the joke as funny as the story teller. #conversation
Get a good night’s sleep. When we get enough sleep, we experience less anxiety and pain, and just generally feel better. Nothing kills confidence like feeling like roadkill because you got four hours of sleep the night before. #confidence
Compliment people. This not only takes your attention off yourself, it makes other people feel good, as well. #confidence
Regarding conversation: Remember that sometimes it is okay not to say anything. There is the awkward silence and then there are the perfectly acceptable, sometimes short, sometimes long non-awkward silence which is like a break you both would need in between conversations. For example : if you are both travelling in a car for say 4-5 hours. It can be okay to just take a few minutes every now and then and observe the view around you. Point something interesting out and you can continue the conversation. #conversation
During conversation, avoid simple yes/no questions, one word reply questions or questions you reply with ok. Avoid them as much as you can! These are conversation killers! Especially when the other person is not as talkative. Dont ask them unless you have something else you can go on about even with a one. #conversation
Focus all your energy on what's happening externally around you, and respond instinctively. This may help you, because it stops you from over-analyzing the situations and living "inside your head", it also forces you to interact more naturally.
Short-circuit negative self-talk. When you catch yourself enumerating all the reasons that you suck, and listing out every failure, make yourself stop. #confidence
Master a new skill. It can be as minor as learning to make a perfectly smooth béchamel. Doing things well makes us feel more secure about our abilities. #confidence
Tell yourself that no one is as focused on your blunders as you are. Even if you make a fool out of yourself, people won’t remember because they are too busy thinking of everything they’ve done that made them look like a fool. #confidence
Make a personal soundtrack. Collect music that makes you feel confident, and play it to get yourself into a more upbeat mood. #confidence
One thing that helped me to improve my "social skills" was realizing that I am naturally a self-centered jerk. I was having trouble carrying on a conversation because I really wasn't that interested in what anyone else was saying. I just wanted them to be impressed by me. For the same reason, I often said inconsiderate things.
When at a party, introduce everyone. No, you’re not the host, so technically it’s not your job, but when you start introducing strangers it gives you a leg up. You can introduce all of the random people you’ve been talking to and you will appear to be the most popular person in the room. This is easy since you’ve already greeted people as they have been walking in. Know what’s even better? Your new friends will introduce you to their friends, and so on and so forth, which gives you 'social proof'.
Make a list of your accomplishments, both personal and professional. When you see it all together, you can see that you have done a lot that is worthwhile. #confidence
Stand up straight and look ahead, not at the ground. It doesn't sound like much, but it can make a huge difference in how other people perceive you. You will appear more powerful and confident that way.
Be stylish. It doesn't have to be a total makeover, but dressing well can help your first impression. Look at what celebrities wear and imitate them. If you have a stylish friend or cousins, etc. ask them if they can help you pick out a few new outfits. Find a simple haircut that suits you, and stick with it. Pick one out of a fashion magazine or website.
Take a public speaking class. This is a valuable life skill, it will boost your confidence, and allow you to talk more clearly and smoothly. Taking classes is also a good way to meet new people. Look for a Toastmasters club in your area - they're all over the world.
Learn to cook, and not just in the microwave or out of a box. You can even structure a date around it if you invite her over to sample your cooking. There are lots of lessons on youtube, and infinite recipes online, however, my favorite way to learn was to have my grandmother teach me. You can spend quality time with your family and learn an important skill at the same time. #dating
If you don't know a lot about the topic that's being discussed, or find it tedious, wait until the next time the conversation dies down, and start a new topic. Example: "do you guys know of any good ___ places in the area?" (Lame example, I know, but these things tend to vary depending on the context.) If the conversation doesn't die down any time soon, try to engage yourself in it by asking questions. "What is ___? How long have you been doing it?"
Play a sport. It's exercise, and it will (if you're not terrible) boost your confidence, as well as expand your social circle. If you aren't into team sports, a martial arts class may be a good option. Learning to defend yourself will, of course, improve your self-confidence.
Get a job. People like guys who show some incentive and who aren't broke. You don't have bring home a huge paycheck, you just have to show that you aren't lazy and lacking in ambition.
Get a social job (bartender/waiter is the best)
Walk a little faster. A brisk, confident pace makes you look, and feel, more confident. #confidence
How to not be boring: Say yes more. #be-interesting