Maintaining healthy relationships requires contact skills which help you meet others and stay in touch. Expanding social skills isn’t easy for everyone. Some are shy and some are extroverted. Most of us are somewhere in between. For those who are shy, try to keep in mind that no one is born with contact skills; we learn them as we go.
Contact with others is a stress reliever. It is energizing and we need it; we seek company when we’re down. To increase your comfort in social situations you first need to realize a few things. You won’t be interested in everyone you meet, not everyone you meet will be interested in you. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hit it off every time. Trust the rhythm of the conversation and give it a shot! If you’re nervous about keeping up conversations, try asking open-ended questions. (“What do you do for fun?” instead of “You like soccer?”) If someone supplies you with an answer that goes beyond what you asked, take advantage of this ‘free info’; follow up on it and offer some in return! Tell them something unique about yourself. Also, don’t be afraid to admit it if you aren’t knowledgeable on a subject the other person is talking about, especially if they brought it up. Rather than think poorly of you, chances are they will be happy to tell you more. This is a great way to both get to know someone and learn something new.