10 Social Skills Books You Should Read This Year
Are you looking for some books to add to your collection to help boost your social prowess? To help you with that, I’ve created a list of what I consider to be the top 10 most compelling social skills books at the moment.
What are social skills? Not everyone with social anxiety will be lacking in social skills, but many people will feel behind others as far as knowing what is expected 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’s body language, or how to make friends and influence people (as first written by the great Dale Carnegie), 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.
Top 10 Books About Social Skills
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
Here’s a fun fact. Chris MacCleod and I both worked for the same company but we’ve never met! I worked there before he started, and it was only later on when we connected about the work that we are doing that he let me know of the connection. I truly love Chris’ website Succeed Socially, and his book is a compilation based on the website.
His take on things is that you don’t have to change who you are to get good 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 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 and it should be on the top of your list to have sitting on your bookshelf. Dale Carnegie got his start teaching public speaking and quickly grew that into a business teaching business leaders how to excel.
6. What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro
What Every Body Is Saying 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. Here’s a tip! If you become an expert on body language, you’ll be miles ahead of everyone around you even if you have social anxiety!
People Skills by Robert Bolton is a guide to communication 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.
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 part 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.
The Like Switch by former FBI Special Agent is a handbook on how to read people and influence how you are perceived to get them to like you in all types of situations from dating to job interviews (based on something he calls your Likeability Quotient (LQ).
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 (for me, that’s the two from the former FBI agents!) and go from there.
And if you don’t read any others, I suggest the Dale Carnegie book just because it’s a classic. I also suggest taking notes as you read, particularly for social skills books that give you concrete strategies. That way you’ll have a game plan when you’re done and won’t forget what you’re supposed to implement.