As a relatively reserved person, I constantly tease a more-outgoing friend of mine that she’s my social capital encompassed in one friend. She’s an expert at striking a chord with a stranger and cannot understand for the life of her why people like me keep holding back. When we talk she makes reference to someone in our circle whom she thinks I should know and I have no idea about. When we step out, she stops like a thousand times to chat with someone she knows. Overtime, I’ve come to accept that my teasing her is an acknowledgement of how important social capital is.
At all levels of our schooling years we meet so many people and sometimes it is not enough to just say hi or fiddle with your phone over the four year period. Build bonds, build social capital. Get over yourself consciousness, nobody is looking at you, nobody is paying attention to your sentence construction. You really have no idea, the issues that people have on their minds. They are really just thinking about themselves and how to lead their lives. Those who are really thinking about you and looking for avenues to make you feel low about yourself are just suckers and will suck you up into their den if you allow them. It sounds like a difficult math test, but honestly get over yourself nobody is really thinking about you, the way you think they are.
Complement people out loud and not in your head, say hi, find out what interests others, talk about the red and green banner at the bottom of the stair case, stop stratifying your class and placing yourself in the bottom strata. Its alright to stratify – but place yourself in the top strata so you are comfortable enough to be nice to everybody without feeling below some group of people. Constantly practice making small talk and you will realize it’s not half as hard as it seems. Pay attention- remember names, remember details- it will come in handy in building that bond. You will realize that most people are nicer than you assumed. You will realize that nobody bites your head off. Some might actually be rude ( because they have issues of their own which has nothing to do with you). Relegate them to a simple hi and a smile (if you feel like it) remember you are at the top of the strata and they should be privileged to make your acquaintance. If they can’ t acknowledge that- it’s their loss not yours.
Social skills are essential not only because we need to build social capital, but because we are social beings and there’s fulfillment in social interaction. Its a wonderful delight if after school you meet your classmates and you can remember their names. It’s even more exciting if there’s some basis for starting a conversation because you built a bond some years ago. Get over yourself-get out there!