Good Social Skills: A Secret to A Happy life

Good Social Skills: A Secret to A Happy life

Do people tend to blow you off? Have you made assumptions because you’re afraid to ask? Do some take things you say the wrong way? Feeling like you’re getting nowhere in life? If so, you may want to improve your social skills.

What Exactly Is Meant By Good Social Skills?

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Social skills are more vital than we realize.

The concept of good social skills is often neglected or misunderstood by the average teen or young adult. Others are simply turned off by the thought of someone telling them how they should behave among others. Nobody likes to be told how to conduct themselves or that they need to change their habits.

As you go through life, you will meet people who you’ll want to interact with. They could be potential friends, dates, employers, or people who can help you with other needs. Once you met them, you’ll want to win their approval in hopes that they’ll help you. This is why you need good social skills.. They can make a big difference in your life and help you to connect with people and build relationships. When doing business with others, you will definitely benefit with good social skills.

Interpersonal skills is yet another technical term for social skills. What is does this mean? Interpersonal means “between two or more people.” Hence, interpersonal skills can be defined as: “how we speak, how we behave, and how we respond to other individuals.” This is a vital term that all teens should know as this will help them not only understand themselves better, but to learn to improve how they interact with others.

What Would Life Be Without Good Interpersonal Skills?

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Social skills help fight isolation

To better understand the importance of having good interpersonal skills, I will discuss the realities of living life without them. Suppose nobody was a good communicator. We would all have all sorts of problems in our everyday lives. Every person would be blind in a sense when dealing with others. We would all just randomly act on impulse and just hope things will work out right in the end. And if they don’t, we would just suffer our losses in peace.

Now imagine you lacked good social skills. A number of bad things will happen in your life repeatedly as you would:

  • transmit negative vibes towards people, but not realize it until you see how they react towards you.
  • offend people without meaning to.
  • find that others react in a certain way toward you, but you don’t know why.
  • find people avoiding or dodging you.
  • be controlled by others or taken advantage of.
  • feel you’re being looked down on a lot.
  • neglect to defend yourself when you should.
  • never care how others feel or understand the problems they’re facing.
  • have trouble making friends or getting dates.
  • have difficulties finding or keeping jobs.
  • be more of a follower than a leader.

Life would be quite aggravating. You’re likely to feel isolated and would develop insecurities about yourself.

While some people are good conversationalists, others just don’t ever seem to have anything to say. People naturally love people who appear confident and portray character, especially when they’re in a good mood . On the other hand, people naturally shun those who are quiet and seem withdrawn.

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Talkative people show social skills.

Why? Most anyone would like to be around those who are upbeat and teach them useful things. Everyone would rather be influenced by someone else than to have to lead others. Talkative people seem to be highly intelligent and those who can show others the way to live. As for quiet people, they can seem to be very hard to approach. You can never tell how they’ll react and it may seem that they’re waiting for someone to lead them. Quiet individuals seem to lack a direction of their own.

On the other hand, their are the egotistical type of people. They are boasters or know-it-alls. Sure, they talk positively and seem to have great confidence, but they only do so to manipulate people. Deep down, they’re insecure so they pretend to be something they’re not. Basically, they are liars and don’t really care how they affect others. They have no empathy whatsoever.

In a nutshell, if you had poor social skills, you would go “wherever the wind blows.” Rather than controlling your own circumstances, your circumstances would control you.

OK, Then What Are Good Social Skills?

Of course I could say people who are the exact opposite of those with poor people skills, but that still doesn’t say everything about good interpersonal skills.

Those who possess good social skills:

  • can listen attentively and can identify with what the other person talking about. They have empathy meaning they can relate to what another is experiencing, especially if there is a problem.
  • can put themselves into the shoes of the one speaking to them.
  • give constructive feedback rather than make blunt, cruel remarks.
  • provide continuous communication and can do so without a fear of upsetting others. They’ll seek out an answer if they’re not sure rather than jumping to conclusions.
  • offer suggestions rather than simply tell a person what he/she should not do.
  • defend themselves if they feel they’re being treated unfairly or explain why a mishap wasn’t their fault.
  • can admit when they’re wrong will try to make things right.
  • seek out ways on how to satisfy others. They can convince others they are able to come up with solutions.
  • can honestly tell anyone why an interpersonal connection will not work without being harsh or avoiding that person.
  • can express ways of improving everyday situations and come up with positive ideas.
  • can enable a potential friendship or romance with positive conversation.

Those with proficient interpersonal skills have a great sense of humility. By this I mean, they see all people as equals and are not egotistical. Likewise, they are honest and intend to give constructive criticism. Even if they dislike the actions of others, they can express their point of view without becoming angry or being cruel.

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Social skills rule.

People with good social skills naturally attract others. First, they’re individuals we can depend on and trust. Second, you can feel comfortable talking just about anything with them and know they’ll keep it confidential. Third, they seem to be knowledgeable sources of info. They aim to find out everything they need to know about subjects they deal with every day. If they can’t help you, they’ll say so and suggest where you can go to find the info you need. Finally, they are sincere and you can be sure they won’t steer you wrong.

Good Social Skill Traits

1) Emotional Intelligence: The ability to recognize your own emotions and those of others around you and being able to understand and manage them effectively.

2) Problem Solving Skills: Being able to identify problems and resolve them effectively through the use of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

3) People Skills: The ability to interact and communicate with other people in a positive and productive way.

4) Interpersonal Skills: The ability to work with others and form and maintain positive working relationships.

How We Can Improve Our Communication Skills

By Understanding What Makes Communication Difficult

There are three basic things that can discourage good communication:

  1. The wall of fear: By sharing your thoughts with another, you fear that they will reject your idea or take it the wrong way. This is especially true when you feel you have a solution to a problem, but are afraid you’ll upset the one you intend to tell it to.
  2. The wall of confusion: Trying to explain a technical subject to an average person who is disgruntled and knows little or nothing about why a problem occurs is one good example. Subjects with much jargon or terminology can confuse those not knowledgeable in these areas.
  3. Being vague: As they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Trying to describe events or objects that are made up of numerous visual details can be hard, especially if you don’t have photos or videos to help you get your point across. (ie: telling a friend about a movie with great visual effects). Also, this may involve a situation with many technical details you don’t quite grasp. (ie: trying to explain health ailments a person is being treated for). Many situations you’ll experience contain numerous details that are hard to explain and thus, people tend to assume their listeners can picture what’s going on.

Practice & Develop Good Listening Skills
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Listening and speaking

As a communicator, you must listen carefully to what the other person is saying so you know you understand them. Let them explain things in their own words and not interrupt until they are finished speaking. Don’t jump to conclusions. Allow them to explain the situation fully before you butt in. If they’re not clear, say something like “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” This will show them you’re respectful of their time and wishes. As a result, and they’ll be more willing to clarify what they mean.

Build Our Emotional Intelligence

Developing your communication skills means being able to clearly explain your ideas to others. And it’s important to be able to listen actively and respond to what the other person is saying as well. People with high emotional intelligence are able to think and act rationally when dealing with upset people. They understand others feelings and can help them to deal with difficult situations easily. Likewise, they can empathize (comprehend how it feels being in their shoes).

Hence, you must be polite and state clearly what you mean. Avoid using slang or improper language when you are talking to them. Never make derogatory remarks about them, especially in public. Sarcasm or passive aggressive behavior can make them uncomfortable or angry. Just speak plainly and be honest. Let your actions and your words speak for themselves.

Consider Outside Sources That Teach Interpersonal Skills
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Learn social skills online

If you feel you want to and need to further develop your people skills there are many resources you may want to consider. Some may be free if you have internet access, but others are low cost as well. If you just intend to boost your skills for your personal needs, the free or low cost methods may be adequate. These are numerous publications as follows:

  • Videos are available on YouTube or other similar sites. In fact, there are so many videos out there, perhaps too many to site in this blog. Some sites may be free while others charge low monthly membership fees.
  • Paperback books are also available. You may want to check your library or get on sites that sell books like Amazon.
  • Audio books can be viewed for little or nothing from sites as Audible, or Amazon. Many come in the form of cassette tapes or compact discs while the bulk of them are available on Kindle or other audio book service sites. Some sites may be free while others charge low monthly membership fees.
  • Podcasts are alternate sources that can be found on sites that offer them.
  • Jaunty Gym – This is an online organization that offers great activities for individuals wanting to improve their social skills. It enables people to start and hold good conversations, flirt, and interact with others in any type of social situation. Here, you can meet members anywhere in the country and if you find people in your area, you can also arrange to meet them in person. Jaunty is continuously growing as it does have meeting hubs, but not everywhere just yet. They have three membership plans that charge monthly fees: Pioneer $59 Master $89, and Flirt $150 at the time of this writing. Fees may be lower if they run specials. Simply check out the site and answer the intro questions and from that point on, you may decided to join if interested.

However, if you work on a professional level or desire to become a public speaker, you may want to invest in yourself by considering these sources:

Toastmasters: Where leaders are made.
  • Toastmasters International – This is a worldwide organization that holds weekly hour and a half meetings with different activities to help build listening and speaking skills. It features table topics where you speak for a minute on a given topic, but you won’t know the topic until you’re given it. Three speakers do speeches (5 – 12 minutes) and three evaluators give feedback on how well they done or how they could have done better. Nearly all cities have multiple groups where they meet in person while others meet online through devices as Zoom. Anyone can join whether for personal or work purposes. Each group has monthly dues that vary so if interested, find out what they are before joining. Toastmasters is fun for everyone that is, if you don’t mind giving a speech in front of a group once a month or so.
  • Jaunty Gym – As mentioned above, they are not just for personal communication, but for professionals as well. They have multiple plans so you’ll want to join the appropriate one for you. See the above section.

There are so many courses or programs to learn better interpersonal skills, perhaps too many to mention here. So if you want to find a form of media, program, or workshop near ycommunicationou, simply type something like “how to improve my communication skills” in your favorite search engine and take it from there.

Another great way to learn how to improve and improve your communication skills is to practice using them on a regular basis when you are interacting with other people. Try using the different communication skills that you have learned whenever you are having a conversation with someone and see how it goes. Finally, make sure to keep practicing your communication skills until you become proficient at them.

Scenarios That Demonstrate the Need for Social Skills

I thought I would share two real life scenarios to demonstrate how important having good interpersonal skills are. Although these are fictitious, they serve as realistic examples of how troublesome things can be if the characters in each story were not able to communicate properly.

Scenario 1: Three Friends Share An Apartment

Social skills are needed to live together.

Sharon, Cara, and Flora, three single women in early twenties have been great friends for three years. Currently, all three are still living with their parents and want to leave home and move in together.

Suppose they lacked good social skills. What do you think will happen?

  • They would be “head over heels” about the thought of getting their first apartment together. There would be no foreseen need to make rules as each assumes things will work out naturally.
  • One may even go as far as suing another.
  • Each would assume that the other two had the same convictions and beliefs and was brought up exactly the same.
  • Each would have their own bad habits that would annoy the other two. For example, not flushing the toilet or not picking up after themselves.
  • Instead of talking out differences or misunderstandings, they’ll yell at each other or seek revenge on one-another.
  • One may feel burdened by the others in ways, for example, paying most of the rent or utilities, buying most of the food, or doing almost all of the cleaning.
  • Financial issues will arise without plans on working them out.
  • When upset, one may decide to give another the “silent treatment.”
  • One might move out and leave the other two in a bind.
  • If they signed a lease for one year or more, one of them would be left “holding the bag.” (being responsible for paying the remainder of what’s yet owed in rent.

What should they have done to make their living arrangement successful?

Scenario 2: The Savvy Investors Inc IT Team

Savvy Investors Inc is an investment firm that employs nearly 100 workers to enter and maintain info for thousands of accounts. . Each worker must meet a quota of entering a set amount of accounts daily. Some feared losing their jobs if they failed to meet that amount.

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Social skills are needed in office settings.

One week there was a problem with the company network and the system was running slow. Terminals were unable to move at the normal speed which made entering data difficult. Many employees had no choice but to sit idle waiting for their computer to catch up. Some would curse the IT department crew, thinking they were negligent.

Savvy’s data entry clerks know little about computers and don’t understand why the system was slow. Thus the team must explain the issues to the workers as well as their supervisors in a way they could understand. Hence, not only must the IT department work to keep their system going, but must portray good social skills as well.

Because there are so many facets to keeping a network running (which this blog is not about), not only must the IT team communicate well with the office workers, but among themselves too.

What if the IT team failed to communicate with one-another before troubleshooting the network? What do you think would happen?

  • There would be no plan to test all components and software, each worker would be doing his own thing.
  • No IT worker would know what the others done or why they did it.
  • Each team member would have his own perception of how the network should be fixed.
  • Confusion would arise when deciding what should be done next.
  • Things would be chaotic and arguments or fights may break out in the computer room.
  • The system would be down longer than necessary. More time would be lost as the data entry clerks would be unable to work.

Hence, all phases of computer operation, network, and repair require good social skills. Communication skills are required in job listings for IT positions.

In Conclusion

Social skills is one of the most important skills you will need throughout your lifetime. Having these skills is necessary when making friends, finding dates, maintaining relationships as well as finding and keeping good jobs.

By being a good communicator, you can

  • explain things in a clear concise manner that your listeners can understand.
  • listen effectively and thus, be able to understand and help those with problems.
  • make loyal friends more easily as they see you have qualities they can benefit from.
  • you can resolve quarrels and misunderstandings easily.
  • give constructive criticism as a means to help people rather than offend them.
  • offer suggestions on how to improve your everyday environments.
  • create and keep meaningful relationships going.

Individuals with good interpersonal skills live happier lives. By providing continuous communication, they can help prevent problems and misunderstandings from occurring and make good to correct situations that have gone wrong. Friendships flow more smoothly and marital relationships last longer or perhaps, until death do us part. Also, they are able to hold jobs longer and possibly open doors to further opportunities.

As for groups of people, they can work together as a team in perfect harmony. All team members can agree on a plan on how to accomplish tasks or troubleshoot problems rather than work against one-another. Successful teams can get more things done in less time if they all agree on how to do things.

Granted, few if any of us have perfect people skills, Nobody is born with them. However, if you feel you are one of them, you can aim to improve how you interact with others through many forms of media and programs. There are organizations like Toastmasters International where you can interact with others through meeting activities as a means of improving your interpersonal skills. And if you’re successful, you can find great opportunities and rewards in life you never thought existed.

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