How can you improve your social health if your social circle needs more high-value members?
How can you improve your social health in your current social circle? In our last post we discussed “value vampires,” those people who suck away attention from you and others. These value vampires can hold you back and bring negativity into your space. In this post we’re going to talk about how to start rebuilding a high-value social circle after you’ve dealt with those value vampires.
A lot of people struggle when it comes to meeting new people — especially with how to sort out higher quality people from lower quality people. It can be a scary thing to realize “Hey, the social circle I have isn’t conducive to encouragement and support.” You start to worry, thinking about how long it took to build this social circle and now you may need to let it go. You can have all kinds of irrational, emotional responses to it.
If you feel like you’ve been dealing with value vampires, you want to make sure you haven’t eliminated everyone in your social circle. Let’s discuss some social skills you can use to qualify the people currently included in your social circle.
How Can You Improve Your Social Health?
What are social skills? The first thing you want to do is be a leader. You’re picking up new skills and showing high-value attributes and new high-value traits. You want to use those to see if anyone in your social circle follows suit. The strong train always pulls the weaker one.
So if you’re setting the example, you should start to see people around you gravitating towards this new positive thinking attitude. If you see that your current friends start mimicking you and following your lead, you’re already rebuilding your circle into one of higher value. The ones who don’t follow your lead are going to be those value vampires we slayed last week.
Make Time for New People
Sometimes we hang onto low-value people because we don’t have any other options. We end up giving away time, our most valuable resource, to people who don’t really deserve it. It can be hard to clear out space in your circle by not answering texts or phone calls, or being too busy when lower-value friends are trying to take up all your time.
But you’ve heard this before; if you keep doing the same things over and over, how can you expect to get different results. If you keep hanging out with the same people, you’re going to keep doing the same things and getting the same results.
You have to clear off your calendar, start saying no more often, and being more judicious with your time. How can you improve your social health if you’re spending all your time with low-value people? You’ll never have time for those with higher value.
Body Language Never Lies
Start paying more attention to people’s body language. You know this is something we’re really big on at The Art of Charm. You want to start looking for high-value body language.
You want to see positivity in the form of smiling, showing enthusiasm, and being excited. Watch for open body language, like having your arms uncrossed at your sides, and having warmth in your face. A confident, high-value person is going to have that kind of open body language. These are good qualities in a friend.
We all know what a scrunched up brow looks like, and how crossed arms make you seem smaller. Those are examples of closed body language. Everyone has seen, at one time or another, the person with the scary processing face.
Sometimes we may have had that face ourselves and didn’t even realize it. It’s very intimidating and that’s why we do video work in our bootcamps. We actually videotape clients so they can see what they look like to others. Many times we’re not consciously aware of what we’re projecting out into the world.
Eye contact is also very important. High-value people make eye contact because they’re paying attention to what the other person is saying. They’re clearly listening and engaged in the conversation. It’s obvious they care about the people around them.
Low-value people will have that darting eye contact, never looking you in the eye, always looking like they’re hiding something. So watch for eye contact, check for open body language, and look for that warmth and enthusiasm. Those are all really good qualities in a friend.
Verbal Cues to Help Determine Value
If someone is high-value, you’ll see confirmation when they’re speaking to someone, a smile or a nod, showing their interest in the conversation. You’ll also hear supportive language, someone who’s trying to build people up, looking for their best attributes and celebrating people.
Lower-value people are always looking to one-up the other person, by cutting them down or making them feel small and insignificant. If you have someone in your group who is constantly shooting you down, or looking for ways to hurt you or others in the group in order to make him or herself look or feel better in front of you, be aware those are low-value behaviors. You’re going to want to limit the time you spend with those kind of people. Because you now know how to identify social skills, it will be easier for you to find the right people to draw into your circle.
You Don’t Need to Be a Judgmental A-hole
How can you improve your social health without being a jerk about it? Keep it around 80/20. Watch how they treat other people, how they treat the wait staff, the bouncers, new people you introduce them to. If 80% of the time they act like a jerk and are negative, rolling their eyes, judging people, then you can say with a fair amount of certainty that this person is low-value. You’ll want to start moving away and not spending so much time with them.
You may also want to consider looking in the mirror and determining whether or not you need to change some of your own behaviors and attitudes. It could open up new opportunities and help you surround yourself with higher quality people. None of us are perfect, and we’ve worked through all these things ourselves, so we’ve been there. We understand both sides of it and we know you can do it!