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An individual may experience interpersonal anxiety because of a deficit in social skills (reactive anxiety) or because of prior conditioning (conditioned anxiety) or because of some combination of both reactive and conditioned components.

While it is possible that a treatment program aimed at a reduction of either of these anxiety components may be instrumental in ameliorating the other component, it would appear that a comprehensive treatment program would attempt to teach social skills as well as reduce conditioned anxiety.

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Social skills are important for more than just sex. But I have a great social life, and this hasn’t always been the case.

I believe I started at a point of below average social skills, and I’ve made a lot of progress in the last few years.

A number of outcome studies have reported some success in the use of desensitization (Rehm and Marston, 1968; Martinson and Zerface, 1970) and systematic desensitization (Stark, 1970) in reducing anxiety in date anxious subjects.

The literature on treatment programs aimed at social skills training for date anxious subjects is meager.

I believe part of the problem when it comes to improving social skills is that the term is a blanket statement for many different areas of self-improvement.

I’ve seen so few comprehensive guides to improving social skills because the term includes everything from: With such a diverse range of different attributes, it’s hard to pin down exactly what “social skills” are, never mind create a complete guide to improving them.

Although this advice may be correct, it isn’t practical. This is the type of advice in books such as Steve Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Next, there is the advice to improving your character. Good ideas, but they aren’t useful if you just want to be more sociable.

Standing in front of a conference room table on the UCLA campus, Albert Miranda fixes a wide smile on his face and stares at Elina Veytsman, giving her the once-over. The students around the table giggle as the tension rises. Elina, the program's coordinator, and Albert, a Ph D student trainee from the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, then act out a slightly more successful scenario: Albert glances up with a brief smile, and looks away. Elina, charmed, returns the eye contact and smiles. Laugeson, an assistant clinical professor at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, laughs and turns to the whiteboard to go through the dos and don'ts of "flirting with your eyes:" Don't smile with teeth; don't stare.

Then Elizabeth Laugeson steps in."What was that like for Elina? Glance up briefly — but repeat the process a few times.

Most advice I’ve heard for improving social skills falls into one of a few categories.

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