You’re reading this blog because you want to improve your social skills. But exactly how much improvement are you looking for? What are you aiming for? Are you striving to be that social butterfly at the work events? The cool guy at the parties?
Many people have lofty social goals… and that’s okay. But I want to tell you what else is okay: aiming for mediocrity. If you’re currently a poor conversationalist, there’s nothing wrong about aiming for just “average,” or “competent.” In fact, I encourage it to be your ultimate goal. Don’t aim for perfection. Don’t aim to be the group comedian. Aim to be a competent conversationalist. A conversationalist who can sometimes maintain a decent conversation. A conversationalists who sometimes says something interesting or witty. A conversationalist who occasionally weaves in a story. But also a conversationalist who sometimes can’t maintain a conversation, who sometimes says something stupid, or something boring. Aim to be that person.
Mediocrity is powerful because being comfortable with mediocrity removes the stress and anxiety that comes with aiming for perfection. Aiming for mediocrity means that when you make a mistake, you accept it, and move on. It means you no longer feel very anxious before every social interaction because your expectations aren’t sky high.
Let’s get something clear:
Having good social skills can’t carry you very far if you lack the depth of knowledge or experiences to contribute anything of substance.
And vice versa, having good knowledge and experiences can’t carry you far if you lack the social skills to express your insightful opinions and observations.
But having average social skills is all you need if you have a lot of knowledge and experiences. Average social skills plus good knowledge and experiences equals a very effective conversationalist. It’s no secret that being a poor conversationalist holds you back from many of life’s opportunities, but often average social skills is all you need to succeed.
Stay social, my friends.