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February 12, 2024 4 mins

Practice any social skills that happen to be weak

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to exercise your social muscles. If you have

(00:21):
any social skills that are weak, consciously thinking of how
to strengthen them can make your social life better over time.
Today's tip comes from friendship expert Shasta Nelson, who has
been a guest on my other podcast, Best of Both Worlds.

(00:41):
Shasta recently gave a TEDx talk called Relationally Fit The
Social Secret to a longer, happier Life. In her ted talk,
she argues that no pain, no gain turns out to
be true for relational fitness and not just physical fitness.
Just as you have to lift heavier weights and perhaps

(01:04):
feel a little sore in order to strengthen your muscles,
she says that sometimes we have to do things that
feel a little uncomfortable in our relationships in order to
get stronger. So think about this. Where might you be
socially flabby? Shasta suggested a few areas. Maybe you rarely

(01:26):
initiate plans. Maybe you have a tendency to start talking
about yourself as soon as the other person takes a breath.
Maybe you withdraw from conflict. I could think of several others,
like not working to remember the details of other people's lives,
or not staying in touch with people who you really
like but who are no longer in your daily circle

(01:49):
of activity. It happens, we can all get socially flabby.
But if you search yourself in your life and see
that you have a particular week spot, you can consciously
train to get better in these areas. For instance, if
you tend not to be the person that initiates plans

(02:12):
and you think your friends and loved ones may be
wearying of always taking charge, challenge yourself to do this
once a week for the next few weeks. Put it
on your priority list each week to reach out to
someone and suggest something. The first time might feel awkward,

(02:32):
but by your fourth or fifth time doing this, it's
going to start feeling a lot easier. You are getting stronger,
that is a good thing. Or if you tend not
to remember the details of people's lives, try to take
at least one note from something someone told you, send

(02:53):
an email to yourself about it, or write it on
your calendar for when you are next going to see
this person. Whatever it takes that way. When Jackie from
book Club mentions that she's going to Miami to celebrate
her fifteenth wedding anniversary, you can see that note in
your calend DURAN. When book Club meets again, you can
ask her about it. Over time, you might not need

(03:16):
to be so formal about this, remembering as your flabby
muscles get stronger. While some people are more natural connectors
than others, a lot of relationship building is a skill.
I love Shasta's metaphor about being relationally fit. We can
improve at most things if we try to improve at them.

(03:40):
Identifying weak spots lets us train to get stronger in
the meantime. This is Laura. Thanks for listening, and here's
to making the most of our time. Thanks for listening

(04:02):
to Before Breakfast. If you've got questions, ideas, or feedback,
you can reach me at Laura at Laura vandercam dot com.
Before Breakfast is a production of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts
from iHeartMedia, please visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or

(04:25):
wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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