Best Books That Teach Social Skills
Are you looking for some books to add to your collection to help boost your social skills?
To help you with that, I’ve created a list of what I consider to be the top 10 most compelling social skills books that you need to read.
Not everyone with social anxiety struggles with their social skills, but many people feel that they could use some help knowing how to behave in a magnetizing way in social situations.
That’s where these social skills books come in handy.
Whether you’re looking for tips on how to talk to people, how to read other people’s body language, or how to make friends and influence people (as Dale Carnegie would have said), there’s something here to help you.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 picks for social skills books you should add to your library.
1. How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships by Leil Lowndes
How to talk to anyone helps you with things like how to make a good first impression, how to make small talk, how to read body language, and how to build rapport.
Author Leil Lowndes likes to give funny names to concepts in the books to help you remember them, such as “Rubberneck the room.”
The author also has other books on similar topics, so if you find you like the writing style, you can dig in further!
2. The Fine Art of Small Talk by Debra Fine
The Fine Art of Small Talk is all about what it sounds like it would be: small talk!
If you’ve ever wondered how to start a conversation with someone or struggled through awkward silences this book could be for you.
3. The Social Skills Guidebook: Manage Shyness, Improve Your Conversations, and Make Friends, Without Giving Up Who You Are by Chris MacLeod
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- How to use "Conversational Threading" to avoid awkward silence
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Here’s a fun fact: Chris MacCleod and I both worked for the same company but we’ve never met!
We both worked there at different times and it was only later that we connected through our shared interest in helping people with social anxiety and social skills.
If you haven’t visited his website, Succeed Socially, it’s totally worth checking out! His book is a compilation based on the website.
His take on things in the Social Skills Guidebook is that you don’t have to change who you are to get better at being social.
It’s a unique perspective that resonates with a lot of people who live with social anxiety.
4. The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane
Do you think that charisma is something people are born with or that it can be learned?
Olivia Fox Cabane argues in The Charisma Myth that you can learn to be charismatic by putting into practice specific things that fit with who you are.
In other words (same theme as the book above), you don’t have to change yourself to be charismatic—you just need to tweak.
The author originally used these techniques at Harvard and MIT.
5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
It’s a classic! Everyone should read How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Dale Carnegie got his start teaching public speaking and quickly grew that into a company where he taught business leaders how to excel.
6. What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro
This book is your key to unlocking the secret signals that the people around you are sending with their body language.
Authored by Joe Navarro, a former FBI officer, this book will also show you how others perceive you based on your own body language.
If you become an expert on body language, you’ll be miles ahead of everyone around you even if you have social anxiety!
7. People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts by Robert Bolton
This book by Robert Bolton is a guide to communicating with a focus on listening skills, body language, and resolving conflicts.
The author talks about the 12 most common blocks to relationships that create problems and how to assert yourself and work out problems.
If you’ve ever struggled with assertiveness, this book will help you to communicate your needs more clearly.
8. The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease
Are you looking to boost your confidence through your body language?
If so,The Definitive Book of Body Language may be right up your alley.
This book examines each aspect of body language and creates a framework for you to understand other people’s feelings even when they don’t say a word.
Improve Your Social Skills by Daniel Wendler is a guide to conversation, body language, meeting new people, making friends, telling stories, managing social anxiety, and dating.
The author wrote the book to help himself overcome the challenges of Asperger’s Syndrome.
Even though he was awkward, he studied social skills as though it was a foreign language until he became fluent and started building friendships and gaining confidence.
10. The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over by Jack Shafer
The Like Switch by former FBI Special Agent Jack Shafer is a handbook on how to read people and influence how you are perceived.
Shafer argues that you can influence people to like you in all types of situations from dating to job interviews (based on something he calls your Likeability Quotient (LQ).
Have you read any of the books on this list?
Which book you choose will depend on what you’re looking to work on.
If you’re just not sure where to start, I suggest choosing the one that jumps out at you most and go from there.
And if you are still not sure, Dale Carnegie is a classic that anyone looking to improve their people skills will want to read.
What books have you read that have helped you with your people skills? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Related Articles about Social Skills
- A Guide to Decoding Body Language
- 7 Types of Social Skills Training
- How to End a Conversation (in 6 Easy Steps)
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10 Best Social Skills Books
Here are some of my favorite social anxiety tools
Thanks for reading! I hope you found some helpful tips. Since this site is about social anxiety, I wanted to also share some tools I use that I hope you’ll find helpful. Some of these are affiliate links, so if you decide to try them, I’ll earn a commission. However, I only recommend things I have used myself and would recommend to a friend or family member.
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