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The Social Skills Guidebook

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The Philosophies And Assumptions Behind This Site

This article will give you a good idea of where this site is coming from and what my worldview is. It'll help you decide if my other writing is something you want to spend your time reading.

Everything here is just my personal conclusions and opinions

I don't think anything on this site is the word of God. It's just a bunch of ideas that I arrived at through my own experiences and research. Based on what you've come across in your own life, you may not agree with some of the things I've put down.

This site is remedial and is focused on moving from Below Average to Average

This site isn't a source of information on how to be the most magnetic, popular person in your city. It won't give you any high-end pointers on how to be ultra-charismatic. In fact, if your people skills are already decent, a lot of what I have to say will seem overly obvious or like common sense.

My goal is to help people who are unhappily socially below average become contentedly average. That means covering lots of basics and fundamentals. Typical people just absorbed this stuff as they grew up without really thinking about it. More awkward people can have the experience of finding themselves in their early 20's, or later, and realizing they're missing all of this social knowledge that everyone else seems to have acquired by the time they were 15. They normally then have to try to piece everything together themselves to play catch up. Hopefully this site can help that process go more smoothly.

The advice here is not about magic quick fixes or shortcuts

I think to get better social skills you simply have to put in the time to genuinely improve them. I don't think there's an effortless way to side step this process.

The advice here is straightforward and about how to do better with people by being the real deal, not about manipulating others or 'beating the system'

I believe it's important to truly become more socially savvy, comfortable, and likable, even if it takes a while to get there. Some other writing I've seen on this topic is based more on the attitude of, "Do this trick to make people like you when they otherwise wouldn't", "Do this to subtly control the interaction", "Do this to outwit so and so at their own game." I'm not about that. Little tactics like this have their place at times, but overall I'm more about genuinely getting more things going for you and then letting the natural rewards of that come your way.

This site assumes you're a fairly hard case

If you have relatively decent social skills and are just looking for the odd tip, some of the content on here may seem a little strange to you. It may seem like I'm stating the obvious or treating you like you know nothing at all. I find more socially inexperienced people appreciate things being broken down for them, even the info most people assume is common sense. Also, I figure the downsides of sometimes over-explaining things are a lot more mild compared to if I glossed over details some people really needed to see.

You may also feel like the site is assuming you're more negative or messed up than you actually are. Not everything written here will apply to everyone, but the more 'messed up' things the site covers are going to be relevant to some of its readers.

This site can't help taking on the author's perspective, of being a relatively young guy

My age is mostly reflected in all my references to activities like hanging out at bars. My gender probably influences the advice I give in a million subtle little ways. I believe a lot of what I write can be helpful to everyone, but I don't think all of it is applicable. I'll never try writing any articles on, say, topics specific to women and the unique aspects of their relationships because I don't personally know enough about that area.

Along with 'young' and 'male' you could also add: North American, white, upper middle class background, university educated, etc. If you're not in the same demographic as me I can't vouch for how well what I write may apply to your situation.

At times this site is willing to say things you may not want to hear

You'll know this stuff when you see it. Some socially awkward people carry around inaccurate and counterproductive beliefs about themselves, the world, and others. Some of the articles here will challenge these viewpoints. On the whole, I'm not about telling people that everything is fine, it's all other people's fault, or that there's nothing wrong with them at all.

I don't expect anyone to follow every last thing that's written here, and at all times

I think it's pretty reasonable to expect that the people who read this site will pick and choose the pieces of advice that they want to try, and skip the stuff that doesn't resonate for them. Also, I realize that we're human, and that even when we've learned all kinds of information about how we're ideally supposed to behave, on any given day we'll probably choose not to act on half of it. We're not always 100% efficient or organized at school, or at our jobs, even if we know the techniques to do so. Similarly, we may know how we 'should' act in a certain social situation, but just not feel like doing it.

I don't think this site is the final word on anything. Check other resources too

I think there's some good advice on here, but I'm not perfect and there are dozens of other good sources for this kind of information as well. Take what you want from here, ignore what you don't agree with, and consult other books, articles, sites, and people.

This site is constantly evolving

I'm always working to refine this site into the best resource on people skills it can be. Besides the obvious step of adding new articles whenever I can, I'm also constantly revising the content I've already written. At times I'll add a new point or two to an old article. On other occasions the entire site's tone or one of its underlying messages will change. I'm a bit of a perfectionist that way. When someone new stumbles onto this site and wants help in this area, I want to have the most solid, tight, useful resource that I can manage at that moment waiting for them.