The Social Skills Guidebook: Manage Shyness, Improve Your Conversations & Make Friends, Without Giving Up Who You Are, by Chris MacLeod

My copy: 9780994980700

This book was written by the same guy running the website, so if you’re already a devotee of that site, then much of the info in this book won’t be a surprise to you. However, if you like reading paper instead of screen like me, then it’s probably worth getting for yourself.

The Social Skills Guidebook is a self-help book that’s pretty self-explanatory as far as what it wants you to accomplish. It can be useful for those (like me) just needing a social push, or too terrified to open your mouth and speak, or anything in between.

I’ve read it cover-to-cover, but like most self-help books, it takes re-reading and re-analyzing, note-taking and such to get the most out of it. I found it had some good tips regarding social discomfort and anxiety, a few quizzes to help you out. Section 1’s all about  “Tackling the main mental barriers to socializing.” Section 2 is about “Developing your conversation skills” (yeah, I’m re-evaluating that section big time). Section 3 is all about “Forming and growing friendships.”

If you’ve found yourself in a position where you’re completely alone all the time and need to make changes, but don’t know where to start, this is a good book to help you. There’s lots of possibilities, and though some things might seem as if they won’t apply to you, there’s always room for improvement and understanding other people.9a660158fe001170f216a087975a1c77

Now, I admit, I did have some pet peeves with this book, and maybe it’s just my copy was a bad print, I don’t know. I think the information’s basic organization is alright, but the section layouts on the pages could use a printer’s help. Quite a few pages look like they were cut and pasted straight from the original website without correcting the alignment and layout. Plenty of them have bullet lists where the text is split in half between two lines while the first three bullet points stretch across the page like normal (and are about the same length. If there was a graphic in the way (which maybe there was in the website) it would make sense, but nope. I think the printer would’ve been able to cut 20 pages easily just by re-aligning the text in this book format with consistency.

If that bothers you, stick to the website–or buy the book and compare it to the website to see if my theory’s right and the break-ups of the text occur where an image or ad would be (hee hee).

The info’s going to take time to work with again, but I think it’s got a lot to offer (printed presentation aside). I’ll definitely be referring to it many times as I try new skills out.

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