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How to Make Your Social Life Better

Improving your social life means thinking short term. Start with baby steps. If socializing scares you, fills you with anxiety and dread, or otherwise gives you cold feet, don't expect to change the problem overnight. Research shows that shy, introverted people often possess these qualities due to genetic and hereditary reasons, so don't give yourself a hard time if you are naturally shy and withdrawn.

Others opt out of social situations because they were raised in an environment that discouraged socializing. For whatever the reason, if you are not inclined to socializing but you understand the rewards of doing so, you can change the situation if you want to. Studies show that people who socialize frequently enjoy strong immune systems. That makes them less inclined to become sick, or contract any disease or illness.

There are obvious career and personal relationship rewards that come from socialization. So if you want to become more of the social animal, begin close to home. Why not take a minute to talk to your mail carrier or the person who landscapes your yard? You are physically in your own backyard in both of these situations, so to speak.

That means you will experience less discomfort in trying to socialize with people that you see on a regular basis, but may not have much interaction with.

At work, volunteer to teach a class or lead some training in an area where you feel extremely comfortable. This way you are interacting with people that are not entirely strangers, and you are involved with processes and behaviors where you are capable and self-assured.

Think about exactly what you want from social interaction. This allows you to guide your efforts in the right direction. Make yourself approachable. Use open, inviting body language. Invite your closest and dearest friends, who you are comfortable with, over to your house. Ask each of them to bring a friend of theirs that you don't know that well.

Always remember that your unrealized fear of the consequences of failure are in almost every situation blown out of proportion. Spending time imagining nightmare scenarios is a horrible waste of your mental and emotional energy.

Things never end up as bad as we imagine they will, so be yourself. It is easier to feel like socializing when you are comfortable in your own skin, and trying to be something or someone else adds unneeded pressure to your social commitments.