Popular Self-Help Books for Improving Interpersonal Skills

Social skills self-help books are a good option for those with social anxiety disorder (SAD) who want to improve their interpersonal functioning. These books cover a wide range of topics including body language, effective speaking and general people skills. 

How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships

Leil Lowndes' How to Talk to Anyone
Leil Lowndes' How to Talk to Anyone. Courtesy of Amazon

Author Leil Lowndes has dedicated her life to teaching the art of successful communication. In "How to Talk to Anyone," she offers 92 strategies for success in dealing with people in a way that will naturally attract others to you.

Tips cover topics such as first impressions, small talk, body language and rapport. Lowndes writes in an entertaining and direct way, even giving her tips catchy names so that you will remember them, such as "Rubberneck the room."

PeopleSmart: Developing Your Personal Intelligence

People Smart
People Smart. Courtesy of Amazon

"PeopleSmart" is a practical guide to improving your interpersonal effectiveness in both professional and personal relationships. This book presents a four-step plan for improving eight key interpersonal skills using examples, tools, and exercises.

How to Instantly Connect with Anyone

How to Instantly Connect with Anyone
How to Instantly Connect with Anyone. Courtesy of Amazon

In "How to Instantly Connect with Anyone," Leil Lowndes describes how to harness the power of a concept known as an emotional prediction for success in business and personal relationships. Research-based techniques are provided to help you make an impression and command respect in all areas of your life.

Conversationally Speaking

Conversationally Speaking
Conversationally Speaking. Courtesy of Amazon

"Conversationally Speaking" by Alan Garner offers tips for improving your conversation skills and reducing social anxiety. Advice covers areas such as the different types of questions that you can ask during a conversation, how to listen well and how to receive compliments.

The Fine Art of Small Talk

The Fine Art of Small Talk
The Fine Art of Small Talk. Courtesy of Amazon

"The Fine Art of Small Talk" offers tips from communications expert Debra Fine about making better small talk. Included are strategies and techniques to help you avoid awkward silences, improve your listening ability and start conversations.

People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others and Resolve Conflicts

People Skills
People Skills. Courtesy of Amazon

"People Skills" by Robert Bolton is a communication skills handbook geared towards helping you navigate relationships successfully.

The author examines the 12 most common barriers to communication that damage relationships and how to overcome them. Strategies offered cover areas such as listening skills, assertiveness, conflict resolution and how to use silence effectively.

The Definitive Book of Body Language

The Definitive Book of Body Language
The Definitive Book of Body Language. Courtesy of Amazon

"The Definitive Book of Body Language" is a guide to understanding and learning how to better manage nonverbal communication behaviors. Included are tips on how to read other's emotions and thoughts through their body language and how to ensure you are sending the right signals with your own body language.

Dale Carnegie's Lifetime Plan for Success

Dale Carnegie's Lifetime Plan for Success
Dale Carnegie's Lifetime Plan for Success. Courtesy of Amazon

This volume combines two of motivational author Dale Carnegie's best-selling books: "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living."

The former handles topics such as dealing with people, becoming a better speaker and attracting friends. The latter explores how to avoid an emotional upset and eliminate worry from your life. Though written over 60 years ago, both books are still relevant today.

Which Book Should You Choose?

Where should you start? That depends on where you want to end up. Perhaps begin with Dale Carnegie or Leil Lowndes, depending on whether you want big-picture ideas or specific tips and tricks. From there, you can move on to different aspects of interpersonal skills such as body language and small talk. Whatever you do, be sure that you actually try to practice what you read in these books. While it may be tempting to revert back to your previous behavior, reverting back to old habits won't help you move forward. Make it a game if you have to, and give yourself a reward every time you use a strategy out of one of these books.

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