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How to Be Socially Successful

By Guest Contributor Vanessa Van Edwards, Behavioral Investigator and Author

social etiquette and tips

We often hear about how to achieve financial, romantic or business success. But what about social success? After all, to be successful in business, sales or romance you need to understand what makes people tick. I’m going to show you a completely new way of interacting with people based on brain science and relationship psychology. Are you ready? Let’s get started:

1.  Turn People On:

Socially successful people know how to turn people on. I don’t just mean physically turn us on, I mean how to emotionally turn people on.

Leading American psychologist John Dewey discovered that there is one thing that every person on this earth wants: To feel valued. Here’s the psychology behind it: If you make someone feel important by valuing their opinions, time or feelings, YOU will be attractive to them.

Next time you are at an event or out with a friend, approach all conversations with one goal: Make whoever you are speaking with feel valued. I promise people will see YOU as more interesting and attractive even though you are all about them.

2. Don’t Be Judge-y

Nothing kills rapport faster than being critical. Make a commitment to being open-minded when interacting socially. You can do this both verbally and nonverbally:

– If someone says something you don’t agree with, don’t say no right away. Ask how and why questions to find out more information about their opinion—you might learn something!

– Don’t peer over your glasses. A universal body language cue of superiority is peering over your glasses at someone—it’s Judge Judy’s signature move. Nonverbally, this is a cue of disdain and scorn. If you wear glasses, try not to peer over them at people. It makes you look distant and snobby.

3. Use the Power of Touch

We have a secret super power sitting at our fingertips. Literally—in our fingertips. Research has shown that when waitresses lightly touch patrons on the arm, they leave larger tips. When librarians touch people at checkout, they get higher ratings. When speaking with someone you feel a connection with, lightly touch them on the elbow or upper arm to solidify a relationship. Try this once and notice their reaction, if they flinch you might need to work harder to make them feel comfortable and build rapport. If they lean into the touch, you have a go for a strong connection!

4. Learn Other’s Value Language

Social masters understand that they have to find out what other’s value to connect with them. I call this a value language. A value language is what drives someone to make life choices, what gets them up in the morning and informs their goals and actions. When speaking with someone, try and find out what motivates them. Then, you can appeal to what they value, instead of what you value. This is the crux of sales, business and dating. If you can align values. You have a partner, client or friend for life.

Being socially successful comes down to really connecting with people based on their needs, not yours. If you can tap into the feelings and values of others, you will master the social world.

 About the Author:

Vanessa Van Edwards is an author and highly sought after behavioral investigator. She is a columnist for Huffington Post and her work and research has been featured on CNN, Forbes, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal. Vanessa speaks regularly and appears in the media regarding the latest research. Vanessa’s groundbreaking workshops and courses teach individuals how to succeed in business and life by understanding the hidden dynamics of people. Her specialty is human lie detection and body language in business. For more information visit

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