How to Become a Social Butterfly in High School

Four Methods:Getting InvolvedDeveloping The Right SkillsApproaching New PeopleChanging Your Outlook

Chances are you already know a social butterfly at school. The social butterfly flits around with ease, comfortably socializing with everyone, and you’ll never catch them sitting at home alone on a Friday night. They radiate confidence and cheerfulness. How do they do it and make it look so easy? You might find this hard to believe, especially if you are naturally shy or introverted, but with a little work you can also become a social butterfly

Method 1
Getting Involved

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    Mingle with different crowds. Identify the cliques at your school, and then make it a habit to interact with all (or most) of them. Don’t limit yourself to one crowd! The key to being a social butterfly is being able to flit from one situation to another with ease, so the more groups you are friendly with, the easier that becomes.
    • Being friendly with a variety of people expands your social circle greatly and provides opportunities to attend all sorts of different events. This leads to meeting even more new people!
    • Put yourself out there and you will see results.
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    Put yourself in the spotlight. Being a social butterfly doesn’t mean you always have to be the person to initiate every conversation. By putting yourself in the spotlight, people will learn your name and recognize who you are. This often leads to them starting conversations with you instead of the other way around!
    • Participate in class. Join or start a club. Run for student council. Put yourself in situations that cause other people to notice you and they will.
    • Being in the spotlight provides plenty of opportunities for interaction with others and can introduce you to entirely new groups of people.
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    Sit with different people at lunch. Everyone has a group of people they usually sit with at lunch every day, but lunch can be a great time for socializing. You don’t have to abandon your usual set of friends, but after you chat with them awhile and catch up, excuse yourself to go say hi to other people.
    • Don’t just wander up to random tables for no reason, of course! Have reasons to initiate conversations and then stick around for a chat or short, light-hearted exchange with their group if it feels natural to do so.
    • A reason for approaching a group can be as simple as asking one of them about a homework assignment. Don’t make it complicated, and keep the exchange casual.
    • Don’t stick around longer than a few minutes and definitely make a quick exit if any awkward silences ensue.
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    Make plans and accept invitations. You can talk to new people until you’re blue in the face, but your social circle won’t truly expand until you start developing your relationships with new friends. Make plans with a new pal to see the movie you talked about at lunch last week, or ask someone from class if they want to study or do homework after school.
    • Whenever you get an invitation from someone to hang out or go to a particular event, make every effort to do so. You can’t say yes to every invitation all the time, but if it’s feasible, get out there and socialize!
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    Follow school events. Keep up with what’s going on at school and try to make it out to a variety of different events so that you can meet a wide range of people. Attend a basketball game, volunteer to help organize prom, check out the theater group’s new play – no matter what you choose to do, it’s inevitable that you will meet new people, create bonds, and widen your social circle. Before you know it, you’ll be that social butterfly that you’ve always envisioned yourself to be.

Method 2
Developing The Right Skills

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    Remember names. When you meet someone new, make it a point to cement that person’s name in your mind. Write the person’s name down if you have to. The next time you see them, say hello and use their name. It sounds like such a small thing, but people feel recognized and important when they hear their own names.[1]
    • When you are in conversation with someone, sprinkle their first name in a few times. Do it smoothly and simply. Saying things like, “Hi, Erin! Did you do today’s reading assignment?” and “Michael, what do think about the new history teacher?”
    • Using someone's name is one of the very easiest ways to get someone’s attention and it makes them feel respected and remembered.
    • Use the name that someone gives you, not a nickname. For instance, if someone introduced himself as “Robert” don’t call him Rob or Bob unless he invites you to.
    • Don’t avoid saying someone’s name because you are unsure of the pronunciation. Instead, just go for it and say, “Please let me know if I’m not pronouncing that right.”
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    Give genuine compliments. Avoid saying things just to feed someone’s ego or get their attention. When you give someone a real compliment that you honestly mean, that person can feel that it’s genuine. Not only will the person feel flattered, but they will remember you for it.
    • Get in the habit of noticing the small things about others and pointing those things out rather than delivering vague compliments. If you can, combine a compliment with a question, which will get a conversation started.
    • Instead of, “You look really pretty today, Jennifer” try something more specific like, “Your hair looks so good today! How do you get it like that?” or “I love that shade of lipstick, where did you get it?”
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    Relate to others. One of the best ways to start conversations and make friends is to relate to the person you are talking to. When you steer a conversation in a direction that allows you to relate to someone, it creates the feeling of sharing something. It forms a kind of bond between the two of you, and even if it’s a small one, it’s a start.
    • For instance, perhaps someone you'd like to get to know better is talking before class about not understanding last night’s algebra homework. Join in the conversation by saying something like, “I didn’t understand it either! I’m definitely going to ask the teacher about it today,” or something to that effect.
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    Look interested. You aren’t going to be interested in everything that people say to you all the time. It’s just not possible. But make an effort to at least appear interested and engaged in the conversations you’re having.
    • Smile, nod, and ask a simple question every now and then to show that person that you’re listening to them.
    • By making yourself available and open to listening to what they have to say, they will feel closer to you. Sometimes people just need to be heard.
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    Enjoy conversations. Getting in the habit of small talk and chatting takes practice, but don’t let it become an empty gesture. Be lively, make jokes when appropriate, and talk about topics you genuinely find interesting whenever possible. This makes chatting with others so much easier, and you’ll find that both of you will start looking forward to future conversations with one another.

Method 3
Approaching New People

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    Prepare your intro. Often the hardest part of making new friends is breaking the ice. Work on a generic, simple routine for introducing yourself to others and modify it to fit each new situation and person. Incorporate a question into your introduction so that the other person will have to strike up a conversation with you, even if it’s a short one.
    • Practicing your intro in your head is definitely helpful, but you must practice it on actual people to get it to really stick.
    • If you want to approach someone but you don’t feel prepared, go home that night and think about what you want to say, and try it the next day.
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    Smile! Even if you’re feeling nervous, always try to start conversations with a smile. It immediately makes the other person feel relaxed and friendly toward you.
    • Walking up to someone with a blank or scared expression on your face is not a good introduction, and can make that person feel apprehensive about what you’re about to say to them.
    • If you approach someone with a relaxed demeanor and easy smile, they will want to know what you’re about to say.
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    Watch your body language. You’re probably going to feel a little nervous, but work on maintaining a relaxed demeanor. Always make eye contact when you are interacting with people. Stand up straight and don’t cross your arms, since that gives off the vibe that you are uncomfortable.
    • It will take a little practice, but once you start making it a point to keep your body language relaxed and confident, it will start to become second nature to you.
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    Bond on social media first. Making friends with someone on Facebook first, or following them on Twitter or Instagram, can be a great way to start a face-to-face conversation later. Try to keep your interactions lighthearted and natural, not creepy and stalker-ish.
    • “Like” their status or a picture that they post. If they post an article, link, song or anything else that you find genuinely interesting, share it on your wall or repost it. Pay attention to what the person is into – then you can approach them and talk about that band you both like, or the movie that you both want to see.
    • Really strive to keep interactions on social media natural and simple. Interactions online can get distorted without the aid of a facial expression and tone of voice for interpretation, so avoid heavy topics and excessive comments.
    • If it feels natural to do so, use social media as a tool to plan a hang-out session. If someone posts a video by a band that you like, you could approach them and say, “I saw that you like such-and-such band, too! Are you going to their concert this weekend?” Shared interests are the foundation to almost every friendship.

Method 4
Changing Your Outlook

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    Confront your fears. Think about what’s holding you back from being a social butterfly. Are you shy? New at school? Afraid others might reject you? Not good at small talk? Whatever it is, once you identify it, you can eliminate it by facing it dead on. Stop focusing on what people will say about when you walk away, and start focusing on what you want to say when you walk up to them.
    • When you are contemplating making a major life change, you are going to feel a little vulnerable and experience some self-doubt at first.[2] This is normal!
    • Make a list of all the reasons why you want to expand your social circle and revisit it when you are feeling less than confident.
    • Put “what if” scenarios out of your mind. No one knows the future, so you’re just wasting time when you fret over negative “what if” thought patterns.
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    Leave your comfort zone. In order to expand your social circle, you’ll need to start putting yourself in social situations that you aren’t used to. Start expanding your horizons in small ways and work your way up to bigger things. Pick a few events that you wouldn’t normally go to but are interested in, and make it a point to check them out.
    • You don’t have to be the life of the party at this stage! You are adjusting. Focus on that triumphant feeling you get when you go out and do something new.
    • Bring along a friend if that makes it easier for you to go to new places, especially at first. It will make it a little easier for you to transition into a different frame of mind, and you’ll have someone to talk to during those inevitable awkward moments when you are first starting out.
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    Set goals. Becoming a social butterfly is a process that takes time. If you go in expecting to change overnight, you may set yourself up for failure. Set small goals along the way that you can achieve and feel good about. Keep your goals simple and strive for things like introducing yourself to two new people every week and going to one place you’ve never been to before.
    • Write down your goals for the week and cross them off your list as you accomplish them. This will help you focus on what you need to do and give you a sense of progress and achievement.
    • Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t meet all of your goals in any particular week. No one is keeping score.
    • If you set a goal that you can’t seem to accomplish at first, try breaking it down into smaller parts that are easier to achieve.
    • For example, if your goal is to get invited to a particular party or event and it doesn’t happen right away, try simplifying. Make it your new goal to chat with the host of the party at lunch that week and start saying hello in the hallways between your classes.
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    Start your day with positivity. Look in the mirror in the morning and tell yourself that you’re awesome, because you are! Put a sticky note on your alarm clock with a positive message on it, so that it’s the very first thing you see when you wake up. It doesn’t have to be complicated – something as simple as “Today will be a good day!” can make all the difference in the world.
    • Do other things that make you feel good, like blasting your favorite song on the way to school.
    • Eat a good breakfast so that you’re ready to face the day.
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    Embrace your new self. To really change things up, you have to shed your old perceptions about yourself and embrace a new you. Don’t let your past define you, especially not in a bad way. Turn your negative perceptions around and make them work for you.
    • Maybe you are quiet and you like to read. Instead of letting that hold you back from socializing, use it to put yourself in situations where you can socialize about books!
    • For instance, you could join (or even start) a book club at school. If you’re reading something cool in English class, take notice of who’s participating in class, sit by them and start chatting about the book.
    • It’s much easier to talk to people and make new friends when you are talking about something that really interests you.
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    Be patient. Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t seeing results right away. It takes time to build new friendships and explore new places. One action won’t suffice – instead, it takes many small actions to make a big life change.[3]
    • Focus on ways to reach out to new people and broadening your horizons and you’ll find that the rest will start to naturally unfold.

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Categories: School Popularity