If you’re currently reading this as you sit in the fetal position in the corner of your room, with your door locked and headphones on to block out the loud and irritating people on the other side of your wall, there’s a high chance that your interpersonal skills aren’t too great. It’s just a hunch, but we think we might be right. If you’re aware of this fact and want to do something drastic to make you the most sociable person in the world with the ability to talk to anyone and anything that you come across, why not buy a single ticket to a destination of your choice, pack your bags, and work your way around the world? Here’s how traveling can drastically improve your interpersonal skills…
We’ve been taught to be closed off
Although you may not be the kind of person to strike up a conversation with the person you begrudgingly sit next to on the train, you’re not alone – because they won’t strike up a conversation with you either! This is because we have all been taught to be closed off in the world. We avoid eye contact to avoid the risk of stranger danger, we don’t talk to people we don’t know in case they turn out to be dodgy, and we just about manage to say “thank you” to the shopkeeper who beeped through our goods. Yet, traveling the world will force you to ignore all of these lessons that you have been taught in life, and will force you to speak to people you don’t know for directions, or even force you to speak a different language.
You get to enjoy the life you have been given
Okay, it might not seem like it right now, but your life is properly pretty darn great. You’re healthy, you have a roof over your head, and you’re relatively happy (you know, apart from the whole sitting-in-the-corner-avoiding-people thing). Yet, we live in a world where we are used to instant gratification and rarely have time to stop and enjoy the life that we have been given. If we have to wait for our food, we impatiently tap our foot in annoyance, if our train is delayed we all moan as if the world has come to an end, and we stop enjoying what life has to offer. When you go traveling, taking the time to actually enjoy what you’re doing might actually give you the chance to actually enjoy the company of others who share the same values as you do.
Non-verbal communication is all of the rage
Interpersonal skills are not just about actively speaking out loud and conversing with others – non-verbal communication is also all of the rage! When you travel to a new country, there’s a high chance that you can just about say, “hello,” “goodbye,” and “thank you,’ and little else. Of course, this makes living and traveling within an unusual country pretty difficult. This is where non-verbal communication comes into play. If you want a specific item on the menu, you will probably point to the item in question. If you need directions to a famous waterfall, you might use hand gestures and whooshing sounds to indicate that you don’t know how to get there. By being able to communicate without words, you will drastically improve your social skills.
Forcing yourself to be social and have great interpersonal skills is one of the only ways to improve yourself as a person. After all, would you actively take yourself out of your corner and speak to your neighbor on a normal day? This is why you need to book a ticket, and wave goodbye to your corner!