Book Cover
The Social Skills Guidebook

TL;DR: Grab bag of tips, advice, walkthroughs on how to navigate social interactions and make friends. I was looking for a deeper level of content on the human psyche, but this was mostly common sense.


  • I guess my social skills are better than I thought? This book is more for those whose lack of social skills severely affects their lives, or maybe even lie on the autism spectrum. Most of the advice is pretty common sense to me, which I suppose is a good thing.
  • For the things I did struggle with, it was nice to see them put into words. The author does a good job of presenting things simply and nonjudgmentally.
  • Didn’t get into deeper stuff (negotiations, etc.) that I hoped it would
  • Get over counterproductive thoughts:
    • Step 1: Identify your counterproductive thoughts and beliefs.
    • Step 2: Critically examine your counterproductive thoughts and beliefs.
    • Step 3: Come up with more realistic, balanced alternatives for your counterproductive thoughts and beliefs.
    • Step 4: Continually question your counterproductive thoughts and beliefs.
  • Goals for initial conversation:
    • Goal 1: have an interaction that’s rewarding for everyone involved
    • Goal 2: Learn about the other person and try to find common ground
    • Goal 3: Share things about yourself with the other person
  • Ending conversations:
    • Wrap it up without any window dressing: “I gotta run. Good talking to you.”
    • “Anyway, I’ll let you get back to it…”
    • Use a reason for why you have to leave the conversation
  • Forming relationships, a formula:
    • Find some potential friends
    • Make plans with those potential friends to hang out
    • Once you have some budding friendships, gradually take those relationships to a deeper level
    • Repeat the above steps until you’ve made as many friends as you’d like


Disqualifying the positive is when you dismiss positive events for no real reason, probably while being all too eager to accept the negative ones. (54)

People often respect someone who has the guts to go for what they want, even if they're rejected. (65)

You'll never stop having undesirable thoughts, but with practice you can get better at not reacting to them. (70)

The most effective way to face a fear is to gradually expose yourself to it; this is called exposure therapy. (87)

People tend to see attractive, put-together individuals as having more appealing personalities. It's a mental bias called the **halo effect**. (240)

State what you want, and then keep repeating it if they argue against you. It won't guarantee they'll give you what you're asking for because there's no way to perfectly control other people, but at least from your end, you won't let yourself get pulled off course. (263)