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From Caterpillar to Social Butterfly

When it comes to leading a good social life, there are many trials and tribulations to overcome on the road to going from caterpillar to social butterfly. And, I think we can all agree that this is a worthwhile endeavor. Humans are social animals, after all. No one wants to be alone, despite the loner archetype and the existence of introverts. We all need somebody sometimes, and so it behooves us all to put some effort into being affable and attracting the kind of people we want in our lives. Here are a few small tips to keep in mind.

First and foremost, there’s your appearance. Most human communication is nonverbal, and this has a number of implications when it comes to presenting yourself in the best way possible. For starters, there’s your appearance, which serves as social shorthand and largely informs first impressions. Therefore, you need to take some manner of pride in your appearance. First of all, this means maintaining hygiene and grooming, which goes without saying, but is important enough to warrant a small reminder at the very least. However, apparel is perhaps the most important part of your appearance. After all, the state of your clothing says a lot about you, so avoid dirty, damaged, and wrinkled clothing when out and about. These items are fine for lazy Sundays or sleeping, but you don’t want them to leave the house if at all possible. Instead, you’re going to want pristine clothing, though there are fashion trends that contradict these principles. These are the exceptions that prove the rule, however. As for what to wear, it’s largely up to you. However, some things are more trendy than others, such as Nike or Converse shoes, as opposed to Crocs. Therefore, having a finger on the pulse of the fashion world is, while not strictly necessary, quite helpful.

In addition to your appearance, your body language is important when interacting with others. For example, crossing your arms can be interpreted as being defensive and can create uease within the conversation. Likewise, fidgeting and yawning can be considered admissions of boredom and, therefore, somewhat rude. Your posture is also important, though this is admittedly more in line with the above point, as it relates more to taking care of yourself than what you’re currently feeling, though it can be both. Then, there’s the matter of tone. It’s important to make yourself understood not only in the words you say, but how you say them. For example, when being sarcastic, the exaggerated tone is important, lest your conversational partners think you’re dead serious.

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