A small background
I’ve lived abroad for quite some time now (around 6 years) over those years I’ve come to accept the fact that most people lack some certain type of soft skills. For me, the most obvious one was socializing.
I’ve realized that I'm shy, not comfortable in groups or being the center of attention, and don't know how to make new friends or acquaintances. That was an issue for me because it stood in the way of my work and my career progression. In general, the more you know people at work or the more people know you, the better chance that you can market your skills. In my case, it was my technical coding skills that I wanted to market. So, for me to be recognized for my technical work, I’d have to be known first. It's just like food brand recognition, you’re familiar with it then you buy it.
Anyhow, I‘m not going to bore you with my life story. But, in short, this problem has led me to the following X steps to become better socialized.
Start individual conversations even if they scare you
Don’t be afraid to talk to someone outside of a group, it helps you create a better bond with someone and over time it will reduce the stress of being alone with someone or being the center of attention.
Come up with topics to talk about
Here’s a really easy way to start up conversations. start with any topic or let the other person talking start picking out words from the conversations and pin them.
Then take each of those words or the one that you remember and start with the one that comes to the top of your head which triggers an interesting topic usually.
let’s say the other person is saying:
A: dude! its been really long time we havent played football? hows your skills feeling rusty!
Now you pick up the main keywords from this. Which in this example are: