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How to Improve Social Skills When You Have SAD

Tips to Improve Your Social Skills


Updated July 08, 2012

Social skills are the building blocks of social interaction. If you suffer with social anxiety disorder (SAD), you may be behind in the development of your social skills. Fortunately, social skills are behaviors that can be learned. Below are a number of areas that you may wish to focus on.

Managing Party Anxiety

Have you been invited to a party? There are a number of considerations for those with SAD when planning to attend a party. Should you arrive early or late? Who will you talk to? What if you don't know anyone? Parties can be a lot of fun once you learn how to cope and manage your social anxiety. Here are 10 steps to help you do just that.

Eye Contact

If you suffer with SAD, chances are that you have trouble maintaining eye contact during conversation. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and tricks that you can use to make the process easier. How can you maintain eye contact while speaking to a group? What if looking someone in the eye is too difficult? Here you will find answers to these questions and more.


Assertiveness is a method of communication that takes into account your needs and the needs of others. If you are not used to behaving in an assertive manner, it can seem uncomfortable at first. Rest assured that in the long run, acting assertively will help to reduce anxiety, and make both you and the people around you more comfortable.

Telephone Calls

The telephone has become the staple of communication for many households. What happens when you are afraid to make or answer calls? If you have a phobia of using the phone, there are a number of tips and tricks that you can use to overcome your fear. In addition, you can practice exposure therapy on your own to gradually desensitize yourself to using the phone.


If you suffer with SAD, you probably have trouble gracefully accepting compliments and may not give compliments easily. Learning these two social skills is important; compliments are a way of initiating and deepening relationships. They are great conversation starters and a way to show appreciation for others.


The art of conversation may seem like a puzzle if you have SAD. Perhaps you never know what to say. Maybe you feel uncomfortable talking about yourself. Conversations are the building blocks of relationships, and knowing how to navigate them better will help you to get to know those around you. Below are some tips for having better conversations.


Introductions are a way of making people feel comfortable. Whether you are called upon to make introductions, or you are being introduced, it is important know the rules of these social encounters. Knowing how to confidently make introductions is a useful social skill.

Active Listening

Active listening involves paying attention, asking questions, and reflecting back what someone says. When you practice active listening, the other person in the conversation feels heard. If you suffer with SAD, you may find that practicing active listening helps to turn off the internal dialogue in your head. When you are fully focused on someone else, it is hard to worry about yourself.

Building and improving upon your social skills is an important component of treatment for SAD. These are just some examples of ways that you can learn to better negotiate social situations. If you find yourself severely lacking social skills, talk with your treatment professional about social skills courses or other methods for improving your abilities.

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