Bring your voice forward and break free from your shyness with Jennifer Alison. This book is great if you want to focus solely on becoming a better speaker and improving your social skills or if you want to build upon Jennifer Alison’s book about self confidence. Within the pages of this book, you will find exercises, causes, and the effects of being unable to express yourself verbally among peers, family, and friends. Alison talks about social anxiety, where it comes from, some of its symptoms, and how to deal with those symptoms in yourself and in others.
She points out some of the things that will help make anyone better at social interaction, how to prepare for these events, and how to slowly build up your confidence in your abilities to become an active part of any social discussion. One of the things covered by this book were topics to bring up or avoid during a dinner party or any other social gathering. If you’re not into politics, don’t talk about politics. This is some pretty good advice for finding your path in a conversation. You have to remember that you don’t have to have an input for everything, which I think is something that society as a whole doesn’t think is true. But I believe that people don’t have opinions about every topic under the sun and that it is a literal waste of breath to be feel forced to contribute to a conversation that you care nothing about.
Another idea I found interesting was over-preparing for a social discussion. This can also be like practicing an argument that you might have with a boyfriend or boss, nitpicking at every word until you get your speech just right. Well, it’s impossible to predict how others will react to your words and during your encounters, it’ll be necessary to be able to think on your feet, which is another concept covered by this book.
Something else worth mentioning is the detrimental effect that technology has had on our interpersonal skills as a society. If you don’t use it, you lose it, and this applies to your ability to communicate too. I’m pretty sure I never gave thought to practicing my social skills as I have always had to use them in everyday life to work, go to school, and to help manage home schedules. Basic communication has always been a constant during my upbringing though I must admit that certain social situations fill me with a fair amount of anxiety. Meeting a lot of new people at one time is one of the things that makes me anxious. I like to think my social skills are fine but I find it stressful to attempt to feign interest or familiarity with a lot of strangers in a single event. I’d be labeled an introvert. Alison goes through the different characteristics of introverts versus extroverts and the kind of behaviors and habits exhibited by both.
The best point you will take away from this book is how much it allows you to get to know yourself. This is not to say that you know nothing about yourself, but that people are complex and Alison goes a long way to explaining many of the things that make up people’s social behaviors.