Updated: Jan 21, 2022
Do you know why I think I like Social Excellence so much?
Because I’m bad at it.
I literally teach and preach this for a living, and I’m actually pretty bad at it naturally.
It’s not how my personality or brain innately operates.
And I find the fact that I like something I’m bad at ~fAsCinAtiNg*
What do I mean this isn’t how my brain operates? Allow me to demonstrate...
Social Excellence: “Hey Karli, you should reach out to that person you haven’t connected with in a while!”
Me: “Do not message that person, you haven’t talked in forever, that’s weird, you’re weird”
Social Excellence: “Ask people more questions! You can learn really cool stuff if you’re just a little more curious!”
Me: “I don’t even know them like that, how weird to ask them about stuff that matters to them”
Social Excellence: “Oh Karli, you should definitely use people’s names more in conversation, people love personalization, and it creates connection!”
Me: “Never use a person’s name so as to avoid mispronouncing it or getting it wrong somehow, even if you’ve known them for 20 years and they are your best friend”
SE: “Um ok but it’s like super normal to say people’s names it literally happens everyda-”
Me: “LEAVE YOUR LOGIC AND GENUINE HUMAN CONNECTION AT THE DOOR, SIR”
SE: “Weird hill to die on, but ok Karli…”
Me: *Feels warm and fuzzy because you said my name* *Realizes what just happened*
So as you might have guessed from that theatrical trip inside my head, I am naturally a very shy person. As a child, my shyness was nearly debilitating #SocialAnxiety. I craved deep, meaningful connection with others, but the actions which would create those connections were impossible to reconcile in my brain.
But once I started really developing myself as an adult, I watched my outgoing, gregarious friends and colleagues. I saw that no one thought they were weird for asking seemingly random, intrusive questions. In fact, they liked being asked those questions. They didn’t think those questions were random or weird or intrusive at all!
It was all so *FaSciNaTiNg~
So I set out to learn how to do it.
That’s right folks, all my conversation skills, question skills/curiosity, name-using skills, handshaking skills, everything that has to do with stepping outside the comfort zone and creating real human connection - it’s all learned.
I am literally a professional speaker and educator and all my communication skills are learned.
Wooooow. Let that sink in.
But I think that’s what makes me even more qualified to teach it.
I learned it, and so can you!
That’s also what makes me love it and believe in it so deeply.
I know it’s real and it works.
Because I’ve done life without being socially excellent, and then life with trying to be socially excellent.
And the latter is So. Much. Better. Y'all.
It’s not easy, and I have to consciously remind myself every day to choose Social Excellence. Sometimes my natural shyness wins. And that’s ok.
And then sometimes I choose to be curious, generous, authentic, or vulnerable and I create a new connection or deepen an existing one and it's really really cool.
Social Excellence isn’t just some fluffy theory in a book or pretty philosophy on a Pinterest graphic. It’s real behaviors that lead to better human connections. And better human connections lead to a more fulfilled life.
And even my weird, theatrical brain can get on board with that.