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7 Substantial Books to Improve Your Social Intelligence and Skills

Looking for a book on social skills?

Strengthening your social skills poses numerous benefits. Not only does it build your confidence, but it also establishes networks. It maintains connections whether in business, friendships, or relationships.

7 Substantial Books to Improve Your Social Skills

I find the following books remarkable and outstanding among the many emotional and social intelligence books on the Internet today. I feel strongly that these references will help in your career and relationships.

Regardless of the publication date, the following books carry significant, actionable, and relevant knowledge for people who desire to improve their social skills. It may also suit those who struggle in social interactions.

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Alright, let’s start. Here are references and what I find as the best books on social intelligence:

1. “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

By: Dale Carnegie

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Throughout the years, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” has always been a strong and impactful one to remind us of basic concepts we ought to forget.

In this book, Carnegie highlights granting others the spotlight and the authenticity during interactions. It doesn’t only let you “win friends” but also win favors. Truly, this book is a powerful tool for business and leadership.

On contrary, some people say the advice here are “manipulative”. But hey, sorry to break it down this way, but all social interactions are indeed manipulative in some sort.

That’s why great communicators have an upper hand and oftentimes receive more benefits. Because they can manipulate for their gain.

Nonetheless, this book will help you win favor without displaying aggressiveness. I highly recommend this one.

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3. “Talking to Strangers”

By: Malcolm Gladwell

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Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know

“Puzzle Number One: Why can’t we tell when the stranger in front of us is lying to our face?” – Malcolm Gladwell

The author of 5 New York Times Bestsellers, Malcolm Gladwell, strikes again with a strong concept on miscommunication, misperception, and false assumptions we commit towards people.

Talking to Strangers is not a book about making friends. Rather, it is an insightful reference to evaluating the strangers we meet.

People are not as transparent as we thought they are. Malcolm sets multiple crimes and their psychology to establish such a strong perspective on how we should look into people.

How much should you trust a person? How should you interact with strangers?

According to him, assuming and predicting a stranger’s personality can turn into ugly consequences.

Despite the people claiming objectivity, they still decide and act with a sense of subjectivity, and we must take that into account.

This is a stellar and thought-provoking book on social intelligence and psychology.

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3. “Difficult Conversations”

By: Douglas Stone

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Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most

“Difficult conversations are almost never about getting the facts right. They are about conflicting perceptions, interpretations, and values.” – Douglas Stone

Is it hard for you to deliver a conversation?

Difficult Conversations is an in-depth book that will guide you to understand people better and be understood better at the same time.

Stone provides concepts that work in both personal and professional social settings. It aims to create bonded communication that leads to a solution, even for complicated conversations.

Do you feel like your words don’t get through to anybody? Then, this is for you.

Also, if you’re looking to build harmony in the family, relationships, and work settings, then this book is a systematic and digestible read that will improve your approach to conversations.

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4. “The Charisma Myth”

By: Olivia Fox Cabane

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The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism

“Presence is a learnable skill.” – Olivia Fox Cabane

Charisma isn’t a gift that only a selected few can enjoy. Rather, it’s a free-for-all skill and can be taught.

Unlike other reads, The Charisma Myth doesn’t revolve around vague advice. Cabane dissects the science of charisma and presents it into practical and actionable steps.

As Cabane says, “The world will become your lab, and every time you meet someone, you’ll get an opportunity to experiment.”

How do you make your presence known without pushing too hard? How to be “charismatic”? This book will tell you how.

It is a book applicable for business conversations, building self-esteem, and social interaction. A highly recommended book on improving social skills.

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5. “Captivate”

By: Vanessa Van Edwards

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Captivate – The Science of Succeeding with People

“Whether we like to admit it or not, we decide if we like someone, if we trust someone, and if we want a relationship with someone within the first few seconds of meeting them.” – Vanessa Van Edwards

Do you struggle to make friends and relationships? If yes, then this will be a great starter.

Captivate  is a compendium of Edward’s years of research and experiments on human behavior.

This book discusses behavior hacks like micro-expressions, and identifying what makes people tick. Let this book help you win over the first 5 minutes, and the first 5 days of establishing your relationships.

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6. “Surrounded by Idiots”

By: Thomas Erikson

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Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life)

“Flexibility and the ability to interpret other people’s needs is what characterizes a good communicator.” – Thomas Erikson

Erikson categorizes people into four colors: Blues are the analytical and precise ones. Yellows are optimistic and social. Reds are dominant, decisive, and aggressive. Greens are thoughtful, laid-back, and friendly.

Surrounded by Idiots describes the 4 personalities in detail, including their strengths and weaknesses.

Here, he shares how these personality types harmonize or retaliate with each other.

Understanding such types could be a helpful guide to deeply understand each person’s motivation, so you can optimize your interaction with them.

This book works well as a guide for business networking, social interaction, and strengthening relationships.

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7. “How to Have Confidence and Power in Dealing With People”

By: Les Giblin

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A bit underrated but in this 1950s’ book lies a gem and timeless, concrete take on socialization. Its powerful advice ring very true to this day. It provides significant advice on:

  • making human nature work for you
  • controlling the actions and attitudes of others
  • making an impression
  • Making people feel friendly, and a lot more.

With relevant concepts, Les Giblin’s book is a must-keep guide and reminder.

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That’s it. I hope you find these books on social skills worth a shot. I consider them remarkable and implies beneficial factors to either remind you or set new perspectives.

Happy reading!

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