Are you comfortable being around other people? Can you easily carry a conversation with complete strangers? Answering “yes” to these questions would indicate sociability, which is basically defined as the ability to relate and associate themselves with other people without any difficulty.
The opposite of a sociable person is one who is aloof, shy, or reclusive. They are not at all fond of going out, and they prefer to stay at home curled up in a good book than to go out with friends and colleagues. The extreme opposite of a person who lacks sociability skills is one who cringes at the idea of attending a social gathering, such as party or a formal dinner with people from their company. They get anxiety attacks and nervous breakdown in anticipation of such an event.
The Five Sociability Traits
The best way to define sociability is to identify the traits that are inherent among sociable individuals. These are:
1. Friendly. This person shows interest in others; they are generally pleasant people who make the first move to reach out to others.
2. Chatty. This person loves to talk about anything they find interesting. A sociable person must be able to carry a conversation with others, and have interest and knowledge on a wide range of topics.
3. Affable. This person is easy to like; a warm and pleasant individual with no qualms and hang ups, whom you can easily get along with.
4. Open-minded. Many people can be chatty and yet they find it difficult to talk to a person for a long time, and this is mainly because their thinking is narrow and they are not open to other people’s thoughts and ideas. These kinds of people can easily kill a conversation.
5. Curious. A person who is sociable is one who takes interest in other people- who they are, what kind of people they are, what they think, and so on. Interest sparks conversation, and a person who is genuinely curious would want to approach others and get to know them better.
Put simply, a person who has sociability skills is friendly, chatty, affable, and open-minded.
Importance of Sociability
Human beings are naturally sociable person. Think of a six-month old baby; they may not have the ability to talk and make use of cognitive abilities yet anyone who spends time with a baby will easily be delighted, amused, and feel comfortable. We have these innate abilities that allow us to reach out to others and relate to them well. However, as we grow older, we become more self conscious and more afraid to make mistakes, and if these fears and self limitations are not controlled and managed early on, it will make us less sociable.
Without sociability, it would be difficult to get out of our comfort zone and develop relationships with other people. At work, anti-social individuals are loners and would prefer to stay in one corner instead of being with colleagues. A person who is unsociable will always not get the approval and support of others because they easily come across as unpleasant, arrogant, and difficult to deal with.
How to Become Sociable
An unsociable person who wants to learn to become sociable will realize that this endeavor is not going to be simple. However, such efforts will surely pay off in the end. Here are some ways to help you improve your social skills.
• The first step is to smile. This may not seem like a hard thing to do but in reality, it is; at least, at the very beginning. But as you keep doing it constantly, you will find it easier and easier to do. When you arrive at the office, smile to everyone around and say “Hi.” Even if they do not smile back, it does not matter; the important thing is that you are making an effort to reach out to them and make them feel comfortable.
• Next, spend time with people. If you are so used to sitting at your desk all day, you would hesitate and dread the idea of getting away from your desk to approach others. But it is only difficult at the start; you will warm up to the idea and even find it enjoyable later on.
• Lastly, take a genuine interest in others. If you really want to get to know them, you will discover that starting and maintaining a conversation with them is not at all complicated.