Social skills cannot be engendered on a whim, I don’t believe that you are interested in sport and have no social skills. You might not have been interested in socialising. You have been to college and doubtless you have had the opportunities. What you have done, and we all tend to do it, and that is confirm the stereo type others make of us. We tend to be put in a mould, and it can be hard to break out of it.
The easiest way, if it is open to you is to change location. Change everything. Change your address, change your work, change your attire.
Now things that sound easy to do are often hard to implement. At thirty seven it may not be so easy to change your job. I would venture that few people increase their circle of friends as they age, and those that do it is usually the result of their children making friends and they meet the parents of their children’s friends, be it neighbours or from school.
I also reckon that one can only socialise within one’s comfort zone. Once you step outside your comfort zone, then you lack confidence, your are reticent, you are shy, you are uncertain and meeting people is the last thing you actually want to do. One of the most useful things is a common topic of knowledge. I take it that now sport has not the same appeal as it had in your college days, but surely your knowledge and interest is still there. Take any sport you care to mention, especially if it is to be televised, and people will talk at length before the match, during the match, and after the match. If you can rattle off names and statistics so much the better.
Also don’t ignore your own anecdotes, you must have some other than being voted the ugliest girl in the class. To paraphrase Orwell, ‘All women are beautiful, but some are more beautiful than others.’ One can see many a fat lady with a less than desirable face, pushing a kid in a buggy and another in tow and wonder, ‘How did that happen?’ Believe me, from what I have seen from the mirror and beyond ugliness is the norm, rather than the exception. Fortunately most people don’t give a fig and make out that on the stage of life, they are the star.
You may find it useful to join a dance class. As a precursor you may want to join a gym class. You know the sort of thing where some fit and agile youngster cavorts away while a bunch of would be keep fitters puff and sweat before her. Now there are people who like to talk, simply let people talk to you, and don’t be upset if nobody does. The golden rule is that you do not unburden yourself, not that you would, but I say it as I believe it is easier to do than one may imagine and is the quickest way to loose friends.
Now I have suggested these activities because of your sporting past, and it seems to me that you would be comfortable doing them, and if that is the case, you will be comfortable with the company and they are more likely to accept you, and feeling that you are accepted is a vital component of socialising, and developing relationships.
You have had the ugly duckling experience. Now it is time to preen your feathers and be the swan.