This is a guest post by from my friend Bud  Hennekes, @pluginid.

What does your current social situation look like? Are you surrounded by people who bring the best out of you? Or are you held back by individuals who just drag you down? Do you have an abundance of connections? Or do you constantly feel alone?

Regardless of your current social situation, it’s safe to say that one of the most important aspects of your life, is your relationships. Aside from perhaps your spiritual beliefs,  your relationships have the greatest impact on who you are as a person.

Unfortunately, one area many people struggle with is their social life, and for much of my life I struggled to. Fortunately , I soon realized that we are in complete control of our social situation. I’d like to share with you some ways to drastically improve your social life.

Stop Fearing Rejection:

One of the main reasons people struggle to have the social life that they desire is  because the fear of rejection is constantly on their mind.

“What if they don’t like me?”
“What if I’m not good enough?”
“What if I’m different from everyone else?”
“What if they make fun of me?”

Have you ever had any of these thoughts? If so you’re not alone. But here’s the thing, everyone is insecure. Yes, some are more insecure than other’s but everyone has their faults. Don’t waste a second of your time thinking you’re not good enough. Drop those beliefs immediately.

When you focus your attention on what you lack, you can’t see what you currently have. Realize that no one is perfect. No one has everything figured out. That’s what makes you, well you. Remember not everyone is going to like you accept that. Embrace your differences and rise above the fear of rejection.

As soon as you make the decision to stop fearing rejection, your social life will dramatically improve.

Focus on Quality Not Quantity:

Which would you rather have: a ton of half-hearted-connections, or a small group of really good friends?  I don’t know about you, but I’d gladly choose the later.

Unfortunately, many equate having a ton of friends to having an amazing social life, which isn’t always true. While it’s certainly possible to have a large group of friends who you share a wonderful connection with, true intimacy generally occurs in small numbers.

I know plenty of people who have a ton of ‘friends’ but at the end of the day they remain all alone. Don’t fall into that trap. I’m not suggesting  you can’t or shouldn’t have a bunch of friends, but rather  you should focus on the quality of your relationships instead of  the amount of people you can call ‘friends.’

As you develop more and more deep connections your social life will slowly begin to expand to the place where you want it to be.

Care:

While this tip may come off as common sense, so many people forget to do this. Instead of making their relationships a mutual source of happiness, it quickly becomes all about them.

It’s important to make a conscious effort to be as understanding and compassionate as possible.  Genuinely care about the connection you’re creating.

When someone needs a friend, be there to listen. When someone needs advice, be there to give it to them. When you truly care about someone you’ll often find that that person will soon begin to care about you.

The sole purpose of relationships is to care. :)

Don’t Complain:

Do you enjoy listening to people complain? I know I don’t. When you complain you do nothing but attract more negative thoughts. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, choose to focus on whats right. People like hanging around people that make them feel better about life, not worse.

Although complaining may seem like a good outlet of frustration, it radiates a considerably bad vibe to all those who notice. While a complaint every now and then isn’t the end of the world, don’t fall into the habit of becoming a chronic complainer.

There was once a period of my life that I would do nothing but complain. During that time I also found that very few people wanted to hang out with me. Coincidence? I think not.

Network:

One of the amazing things about being alive today is that we literally have the ability to connect with millions of people all around the world. 50 years ago that wasn’t possible.

Thanks to the likes of Facebook and Twitter we can connect with virtually anyone we want to. We can establish relationships with people who share our interests and goals, as well as explore other types of belief systems and ideas.

Reach out to people. Share your story. Connect.

Over the past year I’ve literally made hundreds of new friends because of how easy it is to network online. If you’re not actively using social media to mold a social life with an abundance of wonderful connections, you’re missing out.

Take Responsibility For Your Social Life:

Take a look at your current social situation. Realize that you are responsible for each and every relationship you currently have in your life. Only when you take full responsibility for your relationships can you then begin to craft the social circle you desire.

Taking full responsibility isn’t always effortless. Sometimes it’s easier to blame other people for your relationship shortcomings. However when you do that you lose your ability to craft the relationships you wish to have. If you want more meaningful connections in your life it’s up to you make them. If you want more friends in your life it’s up to you to find them. Sitting back and doing nothing will get you nowhere.

As human beings we are incredibly social creatures and relationships play a large role in how we live our life. Are you happy with who you surround  yourself with? Or could you use some work in this area?

Believe You’re Worthy:

Perhaps the greatest thing you can do to drastically improve your social life is this: Believe you’re worthy.

Don’t walk around with your head down low thinking you have nothing to offer. Know deep down that you have something meaningful to share with this world. If you don’t know what that is just quite yet, continue to search.

No matter where you are currently, know that you have the ability to change your social life. It doesn’t matter if you’re shy, or you’re just trying to make a few more friends, you are deserving of the relationships you want.

You have nothing to prove to anyone, you’re perfect the way you are, faults and all. An abundance of wonderful relationships await.

Author Bio: Bud Hennekes is the new writer behind the personal development blog PluginID (you can subscribe directly to his blog by RSS). His hobbies vary depending on the day but more often than not he enjoys: reading, writing, conversation, meditating, and changing the world.