Why I Made This Site
I created this site to give other shy, awkward people the kind of guide I wished I had when I was trying to improve my own social skills. I had to figure everything out the hard way, but hopefully I can make things easier for anyone else who's in the same situation I was.
When I was struggling with my own social cluelessness I couldn't find a lot of the information I felt I needed. Whether through a Google search or in various books, the advice on social skills I came across usually seemed too basic or not relevant to what I was looking for. Most of it fit into these categories:
Advice about teaching basic social skills to children
Sure I was dorky, but I was also a young adult and I did know things like how to share or take turns.
Advice about teaching social skills to people (often kids again) with specific difficulties like ADHD, learning disabilities, or autism
This stuff was also too basic for what I was looking for. The advice was also understandably geared towards dealing with the specific issues these conditions caused (e.g., not being impulsive for ADHD, not having odd body language for Asperger's Syndrome). Again, I was awkward, but otherwise I was a pretty typical individual. I didn't have any of these problems myself.
Advice on things like smiling, body language, listening, and being interested in people
I could have stood to brush up in these areas, but what frustrated me wasn't that these points were unhelpful, but that they came up over and over again. A lot of the sources I read also seemed to present these ideas as the entirety of social skills. I felt there was more to socializing than just those concepts.
I felt like half the articles I read were along the lines of, "The key social skills are... smiling, having good body language, listening, and being interested in people", or "The keys to making friends are... smiling, having good body language, listening, and being interested in people" or "The keys to being likable and charismatic are... ... smiling, having good body language, listening, and being interested in people" or "The keys to having a good conversation are..."
Advice on assertiveness, arguing properly, and persuasion
A lot of social skills books and articles seemed to cover this. There's nothing wrong with it, but I was looking for suggestions on more day-to-day questions like how to organize plans with potential new friends.
Advice geared towards succeeding in the business world
For example, networking, confronting your boss, and resolving conflicts with co-workers. Not what I was looking for.
There was also a lot of advice that I tried, but which I didn't find effective:
So I had to figure a lot of things out for myself. When I discovered how to do something I naturally remembered it. I felt many of the solutions I'd hit could be useful to other people, and in my spare moments I'd sometimes organize and rehearse the information in my mind as if I was explaining it to someone else. I occasionally shared some of my ideas in various discussion forums. They went over well with the handful of members who read them.
Right after I felt I had gotten over the worst of my problems, at around age 25, I kept daydreaming about writing a book on everything I had learned. I imagined it as a guide on how shy, socially awkward young guys could get over their issues, like I had gotten past mine. I eventually stopped toying around with that idea though, as it seemed like too much work to write a book, let alone pursue the seemingly unlikely chance of it getting published. And while I knew I had a few ideas that could help other people, I honestly didn't know if they were that good, or if I had enough of them to fill 200+ pages.
Meanwhile, I got into a serious relationship and started my first "real" post-college job. I thought it was all well and good that I had gotten over my shyness, but now I had to move on and concern myself with other areas of my life. Over a year passed and the whole 'I could write my ideas down' concept faded from my mind.
Then one day I was surfing around on the internet and I accidentally came across an article about how to create a web site. I guess my little dream wasn't too dormant after all, because it didn't take me long to think, "Oh! That's what I can do. I can make a simple site and throw all my advice up there." I spent the next month learning basic things like how to register a domain name, or how HTML and CSS works. The site's first ten articles were a breeze to create, as they were already written in my head.
I put the site up and have continued to add to it and tweak the content since then.