What are some social life hacks? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Andrew Ferebee, 7-figure entrepreneur, on Quora:

Growing up, I was one of the shyest and most socially awkward people you'd ever meet.

I didn't know how to hold eye contact.

I didn't know how to hold a conversation.

And I sure as heck didn't know how to get a beautiful woman to go on a date with me. Today it's a slightly different story.

Today, I get to party with multimillionaires and celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Lance Armstrong, Naveen Jain (billionaire founder of Moon Express), and even Matthew McConaughey (alright, alright, alright).

I don't say this to brag. But rather to impress upon you that the tactics I'm about to share WORK. Being charismatic and socially adept is not a skill you are born with. It's not genetic. It's not something you are cursed with.

It's a skill.

And if you're willing to take the time to develop it, it's a skill that can (and will) change your life in every appreciable way.

Here are a few tips to improve your social skills and become a social powerhouse.

1. Speak Less, Listen More

This is the golden rule of social success.

People don't really care about you. This might sound harsh, but it's true.

People care, first and foremost, about themselves. This is simply human nature. If you want to unlock the hidden social genius that is inside of you, then you need to accept this fact and use it to your advantage. In any social situation, your goal should always be to do about 20% of the talking and 80% of the listening. Ask people genuine questions. Get to know them. Be genuinely curious about who they are and how they work.

Sure, you can talk about yourself and share stories from your life, but this should only account for 20-30% of any given interaction.

Instead, spend the majority of your time focused on the other person and I promise you will seem like the most likable and charismatic person in the room.

If you're ever at a loss for words, remember this magic phrase...

"So you said ... tell me more about that."

2. Learn How to Tell a Joke

People love to laugh. If you can learn how to make them laugh you will instantly boost your social value and increase your likability.

The best way that I've found to improve your sense of humor and tell better jokes is to watch hours and hours of stand up comedy.

Guys and gals like

  • Joe Rogan
  • Ari Schaffir
  • John Mulaney
  • Eliza Schlesinger (or however you spell it)
  • Sarah Silverman
  • Whitney Cummings
  • Chris Rock
  • Dave Chappelle

Are all hilarious individuals who will help you develop a vast repertoire of comedic material and learn how to tell and deliver a joke like a pro.

3. Enthusiasm Always Wins

In any social situation, the most enthusiastic person always wins.

Before you go into any social situation, I recommend that you take 10 minutes to get "In State" by listening to a song that motivates you and pumps you up and dance/jump around the room.

This sounds silly, but it will help you develop the right energy to succeed in a social setting.

Enthusiasm is contagious. When someone is excited and brings high levels of energy to the table, even the most mundane task can become an absolute joy.

Enthusiasm always wins.

So get some ... enthusiasm, that is.

4. Smile

A smile goes a long way. Scientists have found that people who smile more are more attractive, healthier, and more likely to have strong social connections.

So smile more. Watch lots of comedies. Listen to funny podcasts. Hang out with people who make you smile. The more you smile, the happier you will be, and the more attractive you will appear.

So turn that frown upside down and smile baby smile!

5. Hold Eye Contact (But Don't Be Creepy)

Eye contact is an important part of social success, but it's easy to overdo it.

I recommend that you hold eye contact for 4-5 seconds before slowly breaking it away and then reengaging a few seconds later.

Whenever you are holding eye contact it can be easier to look at a person's mouth, nose, or forehead since they can't actually tell the difference.

Strong eye contact is a sign of confidence and it makes people take you more seriously and listen to what you have to say.

A man or woman who can hold great eye contact is a man or woman who is attractive to the opposite (or same) sex.

6. Speak Your Truth

One of the sexiest things that you can do in any social situation is to speak your truth.

This doesn't mean that you have a hall pass to simply be a jerk and berate people. It simply means that you can and should express your feelings in an appropriate way.

If you want to do something, say it. If someone said something that was inappropriate and offensive to your group, call them out on it. If you think someone is cute, express it. If someone is getting on your last nerve, mention it. Don't hide behind dishonesty and half truths. Speak your truth and say what you mean. People won't always like it, but the right people will always respect it.

7. Use People's Names

Your name is one of the most powerful words in your entire vocabulary.

In fact, researchers have found that when you hear your name a completely different part of your brain activates than when you hear any other word.

Use this to your advantage.

Always try to use people's names in conversation. Drop their names casually and regularly without overdoing it. This is a simple subconscious hack that will make others like you more and make you seem more attractive.

8. Make Other People Look Good

The biggest social hack that I know of is to make other people look good.

People love to talk about themselves. But do you know what they like even more? When other people talk about them in a positive way.

Anytime you are out with friends, always try to tell stories and jokes that make the other people in your social circle look good.

Tell stories about times when your friends did something crazy, cool, or impressive.

Go out of your way to make the people in your social circle feel special and it will pay dividends in your social success.

9. Give Genuine Compliments

For whatever reason, our society seems to have lost the ability to give a genuine compliment.

Men are scared that if they compliment a woman they will seem creepy or if they compliment another man they will seem "gay" (not that this should be considered an insult, but that's just how society is).

But this is all bull.

When you genuinely compliment someone, they will appreciate it.

If they don't...

Well, they probably weren't worth having in your social circle in the first place.

Give genuine compliments on a regular basis and I promise you will see a massive increase in your social capital and charisma.

10. Present Yourself Well

While I wish I could tell you that looks don't matter, I'd be lying to you.

How you present yourself to the world MATTERS.

People make split-second judgment based on your appearance and, even though this might not be fair, it's the reality that we live in.

As such, it's important that you:

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Smell great
  • Dress appropriately with clothes that fit your body
  • Whiten your teeth
  • Get a good tan
  • Exercise regularly
  • And look the part

You don't have to be traditionally beautiful to be a social powerhouse.

But you do need to put some effort into putting your best foot forward and presenting yourself well.

This question originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:

Published on: May 14, 2018