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5 Ways to Increase Social Skills as an Alumnus

Social skills do not come naturally to everyone. If you’re like most people, you’ve experienced awkward moments when your social skills have failed you. The good news is that there are ways to improve social skills at any age, even while you’re in recovery.

This article will delve into the importance of healthy relationships in recovery and provide five positive ways alumni can enhance their social skills. Additionally, the article will provide a safe space to explore how The Guest House can foster positive social skills through an alumni program.

How Do You Build Social Skills in Recovery?

Making amends and reflecting on how your relationships impacted your life during addiction can be a complex and delicate process. Undertaking the amends process requires honesty, vulnerability, and acceptance. It’s not always easy. To experience a healthy relationship, though, you must be willing to tolerate those uncomfortable moments. Healthy relationships do not just appear. Instead, developing good relationships requires courage and strength. What’s more, those relationships require the ability to acknowledge the areas where you need to grow in your recovery.

Often, relationships become centered around substance use. When in recovery, it is important to acknowledge what a healthy relationship consists of. The following are several components of a healthy relationship in recovery:

  • Healthy communication
  • Solid boundaries
  • A focus on recovery
  • Encouragement
  • Support

During recovery, it is necessary to have healthy relationships that support you in your recovery. Healthy relationships will teach you the value of exploring social skills and the importance of having positive support in recovery. There will always be barriers to getting where you need to go, but with several suggestions on cultivating social skills, you will find more comfort with socializing.

#1. Practice Self-Compassion

When it comes to personal development and social skills in recovery, self-compassion is a good place to start. Self-compassion teaches you to accept yourself just the way you are, flaws and all. According to an article in Psychology Today titled “What is Compassion and Why Should You Care?” when you open your heart to life’s challenges and offer care, you are engaging in compassion. Practicing compassion toward yourself can magnify your social skills. People tend to be drawn to those who show compassion amid adversity.

There is no better feeling than accepting yourself just as you are and where you are at. You are an imperfect being living in an imperfect world. Developing social skills can be as easy as recognizing those kinds of things. If you struggle with self-compassion, talking to a therapist may help you discover yourself and create positive self-awareness. The Guest House has a skilled team of professionals who can assist you on your self-compassion journey.

#2. Know When to Be Vulnerable

Shame is a common feeling in recovery. It is easy to reflect on the past and get caught up in thinking about actions that you cannot change. Additionally, the feeling of being alone can prevent you from reaching out to others.

Vulnerability is the opposite of shame. It allows the hidden parts of you to surface and exposes those areas that you feel ashamed of. Famous author Brene Brown refers to vulnerability as “Our most accurate way to measure courage.” Learning when to be vulnerable in recovery is courage. You have explored the deepest parts of yourself throughout recovery. That takes courage and is not for the faint-hearted. Essentially, you already did the hard part.

Additional tips on embracing vulnerability include:

  • Be honest with yourself
  • Forgive yourself and others
  • Focus on your strengths
  • Be wise about the people you engage with

Remember that you are a work in progress. Be kind to yourself and know your boundaries. You know what you can handle and what does not work for you.

#3. Be Interested in Others While Practicing Social Skills

Showing interest in others is essential for building social skills. One of the most powerful recovery tools is learning how to listen to others. When you listen, you give others the power to be themselves genuinely. This is one of the ways to allow yourself to decide whether or not you want to invite them to be a part of your positive support system.

#4. Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Social Skills

According to a 2009 editorial published in Substance Abuse, mindfulness “encourages awareness and acceptance of thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations as they arise, and recognition of their impermanence.” Practicing mindfulness teaches you to acknowledge thoughts, feelings, and emotions instead of repressing them. Meanwhile, mindfulness encourages you to build social skills with those around you.

In order to connect with others, it is important to be mindful of how they are responding to you. This is another way to know if you want to invite them to be a part of your positive support system.

#5. Improve Social Skills at The Guest House

Learning how to improve your adaptability and strengthen your social skills can be a challenge. At The Guest House, we understand your struggle to connect with others and learn social skills. It can be a challenge for most people in recovery, especially if you struggled beforehand too. This is why an alumni program is beneficial. It can be a great resource if you need positive people around you who can understand your struggles.

Building social skills in recovery can be the difference between a potential relapse and a stable recovery. It can be hard to engage with others for a variety of reasons. No matter what you are going through, The Guest House is here for your recovery needs. We offer a variety of programs that will connect you to others, build your social skills, and support your recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling to build social skills in recovery, please do not hesitate and reach out today at (855) 483-7800. We are delighted to answer any questions you have. It’s our goal to treat you with compassion and link you to the right program for you.