12 Best Social Skills Books & Courses

best social skills books

Are you looking for the best courses and social skills books available on the market?

Do you want to level up your people skills?

Well, this list gives you more than just the best books on social skills but also includes the very best courses and YouTube Channels when it comes to learning social dynamics.

12. How to Talk to Anyone

how to talk to anyone

By L Lowndes
Summary | Amazon

Leil Lowndes is often present in any list of social skills books and resources.

I am not a huge fan of “list of tips” because I prefer a deeper approach, but Lowndes manages to make it work.

Keep in mind though that most people who want to do better with others need to start from the basics, and this book doesn’t tackle any of the basics.

11. The Charisma Myth

the charisma myth

By O Cabane
Summary | Amazon

Albeit seemingly focused on charisma only, this is one of the best books on social skills because it takes a wide-angle approach to charisma.

Olivia explains that you don’t need to bounce off the walls or talk all the time because there are many different ways of being charismatic, including the quiet, slow-moving, and silent style.

10. Soulmate Sequence

soulmate sequence book cover

By R La Ruina
Summary | Amazon

Richard La Ruina was a former dating coach, so this book includes tips and techniques to find a mate.
But it has enough wisdom to make it in this list of best social skills books. And it contains some of the best examples I have ever read when it comes to being a good conversationalist.

9. Improve Your Social Skills

improve you social skills

By D Wandler
Summary | Amazon

As an Asperger Daniel Wendler had to really learn social skills from scratch and “decode” social skills from nothing. 

He did quite a good there though, and his 

For other Aspergers and people starting from zero, this might as well be the very best social skills book available because it zeros in on the true basics of social interactions.

8. How to Win Friends and Influence People

how to win friends and influence people

By D Carnegie
Summary | Amazon

Talking about a book that doesn’t need any introduction and a constant presence on any social skills book list.

7. The Power of Positive No

The power of a positive no

By W Ury
Summary | Amazon

One of the biggest difficulties that people face in social interactions and a hurdle that I commonly see even in my more advanced coaching clients is that of turning people down.

Turning people down tactfully yet resolutely is indeed a bit of an art in and of itself and William Ury does a wonderful job in shedding new light and insights even for those who have been around social skills for a while.

6. Difficult Conversations

Difficult Conversations book cover

By D Stone
Summary | Amazon

This one was one of the very first communication and social skills books I have ever read and the depth of information and wisdom blew me away.

Many years later, it’s still one of the best resources on social skills in general and, possibly, the very best book on difficult conversations. 

5. People School

people school by vanessa van edwards review

By V Edwards

People School is a video course.
Vanessa van Edwards is a sparkling lady who can teach social skills even when she’s not talking about social skills: much to learn from her radiating personality indeed.

4. Charisma on Command / Charisma University

charisma on command

By C Houpert
Summary | Amazon

This entry refers to both the Charisma on Command YouTube channel and their book.

Charlie Houpert seems to prefer the high-energy, bouncing-off-the-walls type of charisma.

The book is good.
Charisma University, their main course, is also good with the drawbacks of mostly promoting one type of charisma (high energy), sometimes using low-power examples, and having few examples (it’s mostly Charlie talking in front of a camera).

On the other hand, I remember at least a few solid tips for group conversations.
The YouTube channel also has some very good videos.

3. People Skills

people skills book cover

by R. Bolton

Socially weak people have one thing in common:

They are afraid of confrontation, and they fail to enforce their boundaries.

Mostly, they are passive and submissive.
But they can swing from submissive to aggressive because they don’t know how to strike that assertive balance that is so crucial in life.

People’s Skills is a great in assertive communication, which in turn is one of the main fundamentals of social skills and social power.

It’s a good combo with “No More Mr. Nice Guy“, and for navigating the most difficult conversations go with “Difficult Conversations“.

Power Nugget:

Both submission and aggression have their own payoffs, but both lead to poorer lives.

2. The Social Skills Guidebook

the social skills guidebook book cover

By C MacLeod
Summary | Amazon

Warning first:

I read The Social Skills Guidebook right before writing down this guide, so consider that I might have been slightly biased towards it (it’s called the “recency effect” in psychology).

But, what can I say… I don’t think so because Chris MacLeod is simply good. Very good.

It’s more geared towards the social beginners and socially anxious, but what’s really special about MacLeod’s work is that while he tackles the basics he also manages to enrich the more advanced students of people’s skills.

1. The Social Strategist

By Ali Scarlett & Lucio Buffalmano
Summary | Amazon

First, let me come clean:

Since The Social Strategist relies on much of TPM’s material, I’m biased to put this one here.

And what’s better for you is not necessarily what’s number one -or two, or three, for that matter-, but depends on your current level -keep on reading-.

However, there is one reason why I think it’s at the very least fair for The Social Strategist to be high up on this list: The Social Strategist tackles both foundational and advanced social skills and provides a unique bridge between the two.

Plus, it adds new dimensions even to that “foundational” element of social success.
The Social Strategist adds an important piece of the “basic social skills” puzzle that was lacking in most other books in this list because it deals with something that no other book deals with:

The social exchange -and its dynamics-.

And getting the social exchange right is what will help you avoid the main pitfalls that plague most guys who are poor at anything social: being a value-taker.
Or, in more common parlance, a social burden.
Because before you can even make good relationships, you first need to avoid being a burden -and of course, most people who burden others aren’t even aware of it-.

After it lays out that foundation, The Social Strategist then bridges to more advanced topics such as frame control and covert power moves.

That being said, if you’re a beginner who struggles with basic social and emotional intelligence, I’d still recommend you start with something like “The Social Skills Guidebook”.
And then move to “The Social Strategist” which will add more foundations, and then take you further ahead with some more advanced material such as frame control techniques, social power dynamics, persuasion, etc.

Advanced Social Skills Resources

Once you get the basics down, you can start climbing your way up.

Here are some books to help you level up:

4. The Book of The Courtier

the book of the courtier book cover

By Baldassare Castiglione
Summary | Amazon

Castiglione’s courtier is an unabashed social strategist.

Yes, he is also ethical and value-adding, but he’s not going to socialize and talk to you just to chit-chat.
Instead, he wants to develop and defend his reputation, grow closer to the king, and attract the ladies’ attention and win their hearts.

This courtier is the type of all-around successful “social climber” that works on himself, moves forward in life, and gets what he wants.
And why would you want to improve your social skills if not to get what you want and move forward in life?

3. The 48 Laws of Power

the 48 laws of power

by Robert Greene
Summary | Amazon

The most popular primer on power dynamics and, in part, social manipulation.

It may not contain any “system” to social success, but some of these laws can help a beginner reader opens his eyes to the “higher level of social skills”.

2. The Psychology of Leadership

the new psychology of leadership

By A. Haslam
Summary | Amazon

Leadership is the ultimate stage of social skills.

Stage 1: clueless

When you have no social skills, you add no value, you may even take value, and when you’re truly clueless people don’t want you around.

Stage 2: average

When you reach average social skills, you become “neutral” and people don’t avoid you anymore.
They may be glad you’re around, but they aren’t exactly overjoyed you’re there, either.

Stage 3: good

As you get better, you add value and make friends and people see having you as a net gain.
That means they seek you out.
At this level, you also start to understand social strategies, so you also more and more get what you want out of others, and out of life.

Stage 4: leader

At the higher levels, people seek you out not just to be with them, but to lead them.

1. Power University

power university building


Go through the low-level stages if you’re at a social-burden level (no shame in that!)

If you need something more beginner-friendly, you have much to choose from the list above, which includes some of the very best books on social skills.

And when you want to take it to the next level, when you are ready for something edgier and more advanced you can come back to Power University for the full course on advanced social skills.

Check Out Power University Here

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