In my work as a Calgary psychologist and a Cochrane psychologist, I often have clients whose goal is to improve their social lives by having more friends or people to date. My advice to help these clients is to do what the best baseball players do in order to get on base: Make frequent contact with a ‘good swing’ and the hits will come on the baseball field as well as in your social life.
In the following sections, I will discuss how you can make this contact and how you can increase the likelihood of contact eventually leading to hits when you step up to the plate in social situations.
The model for frequent contact with a good swing leading to hits: Ted Williams
Many baseball experts consider Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox to be the greatest hitter of all time. Two things distinguished the ‘Splendid Splinter’. One is that, despite his greatness, he reached base on average about half the time he came up to the plate (there were some seasons when he accomplished the phenomenal feat of reaching base more than half the time by either hits or walks). In other words, he was not successful about half the time—being put out by various means.
The second distinguishing feature of this student of hitting was that his success at getting on base with hits was the result of frequent contact with the ball while employing a good swing. In other words, he didn’t strike out very often and the contact he typically made was good solid contact as a result of his having a good swing. That is, he often hit the ball hard for line drives rather than making easy outs with pop-ups or slow grounders.
Making good solid contact as a result of his good swing still resulted in his getting out at times because of plays by the infielders and outfielders. However, making good contact often enough resulted in much of this contact leading to getting on base with hits including singles, doubles, triples and home runs.
What does Ted Williams getting frequent hits because of his excellent swing have to do with improving your social life? I will explain in the following sections.
The secret to getting hits: Make frequent contact
Just as Ted Williams’ frequent contact would eventually lead to hits, your making frequent contact socially will eventually lead to social ‘hits’ in the form of friendships and dating partners. Some of these hits may be singles (casual friendships or casual dates) while others may be extra base hits like doubles, triples and even home runs in the form of close friendships and fulfilling intimate relationships.
And just as ‘Teddy Ballgame’ had to be patient while making contact given that some of his contact resulted in outs, so you need to be patient while you make social contact given that some ‘outs’ also occur in this domain. For example, sometimes we don’t connect with certain people because of differences in personality, background or interests. But if we keep making contact the hits will come as we eventually encounter people with whom we do connect. So if you exemplify the patience in hitting for which Ted Williams was noted, your persistence in making social contacts will be rewarded with hits in your social life.
Ensuring that frequent contact leads to hits: Make sure you have a good swing
In order for Ted Williams’ frequent contact to translate into frequent hits, he needed a good swing which was conducive to hits. In baseball terms, contact while employing such a swing would result in the ball being driven hard rather than leading to pop-outs and weak grounders which are characteristic of contact while employing a poor swing.
In a similar manner, frequent social contact will lead to ‘hits’ if you have a good swing. A good swing in this context entails presenting yourself in a manner which attracts others to you. Being relaxed, confident and in a good mood while you have social contact are the hallmarks of a good swing in this domain. If these characteristics describe you on most occasions, then you have a good swing which is likely to get you social hits.
On the other hand, if you often feel uncomfortable, lack confidence and are not in a good mood while you make social contact then you likely need work on your swing to improve it. Otherwise, you will experience frustration as a result of your social contact rarely leading to hits.
The good news is that, just as baseball hitters improve their swings by working with a hitting coach, you can improve your swing in social situations by working with a ‘social hitting coach’ such as a psychologist. This professional can help you to improve your social swing by identifying issues which are leading you to be uncomfortable, lacking in confidence and not in a good mood during social interactions. They will then help you take steps to improve your swing so that you are relaxed, confident and in a good mood while interacting socially.
Making these improvements in your swing while you make frequent social contact will allow you to get hits in the social part of your life.
May contact lead to hits in your social life,