Dusting off your social skills


Picture: courtesy of Niomi Nunez, made on Canva 

Now with a mostly unmasked campus, learning to socialize without hiding your facial expressions is a key culture readjustment.   

Niomi Nunez, Contributing Writer

All it takes is the faint natural stretch of your lips and the appealing posture in your cheekbones to welcomingly say, “Hello!” That “hello” may only seem like the beginning of a splendid conversation, but that conversation could be the beginning of many wonderful opportunities and life changing moments. That first “hello” is so natural, yet so hard.  

COVID-19 took a lot from people. Unfortunately, people lost loved ones along with healthy habits and motivation. People spent day after day in isolation burdened with anxiety and sadness, hoping for the world to heal. And as the world begins to slowly recline back into its state of normality, people are literally left speechless. Many have lost the ability to converse and be social.  

Being able to start and hold a conversation can be seen as a necessity in life. Because of the pandemic, people’s social skills have been negatively impacted. People are relearning how to talk to one another beyond technology and social media. Socializing, especially after months of hiding behind screens and masks, will not be easy, but like riding a bike, it will all come back to you. Here are some tips to revitalize your social skills. 

Tip One: Ditch the anxiety and be more confident.  

This is easier said than done. During the pandemic, many befriended a crippling anxiety that feels and acts like a parasite in social settings. It is important that you know you are not alone in your anxiety. Many people are anxious and scared. Don’t let this anxiety deter you from talking to people. Some of the people you meet might help you with your fears. You’ll never know until you evict this anxiety from your body—even if it’s only for a second—and replace it with confidence. Even if you have to fake it till you make it. 

Tip Two: Be open-minded and not pessimistic.  

The world has consistently been delivering catastrophic events for the past 2 years now. It is easy to assume the worst of things, even social situations. But you need to get rid of this perspective and go into socializing with an open mind. Do not expect it to be life-altering and don’t expect it to be terrible. Go into it expecting nothing at all, and maybe come out of it with something amazing.  

Tip Three: Get back out there. Like really.  

The expression “get back out there” has been severely injured by the pandemic. Getting back out there is now code for messaging more friends on Instagram or adding more people on Snapchat. But really, get back out there. It may seem scary, but truthfully it isn’t. Join a club, attend an event, approach a fellow classmate, etc. In order to socialize, there must be another person, and you won’t meet that person sitting inside all day. 

Tip Four: Quit being so and so. Start being yourself.  

This tip is cliche but true. People enjoy authenticity and pretending is exhausting. It’s great to know the people you surround yourself with are supportive of the real you. It makes socializing a hundred times easier. Pretending to be someone you are not, is tiring and only hinders your social life more. Plus, who wouldn’t want to get to know the real you? The real You is the only You that should make an appearance in any social situation ever.