|Social skills are the skills we rely on when interacting with other people. Navigating social situations is one of the most complex tasks human beings perform.
By Samvaad Bharti Post
Social skills are the skills we rely on when interacting with other people. Navigating
social situations is one of the most complex tasks human beings perform. Socializing
involves many parts of your brain, including:
* Language skills
* Visual and auditory perception
* Problem-solving skills
Good social skills involve behaviors like cooperation, compromise, and respecting the
personal space of others. These skills develop as we get older and gain experience in
life. When we aren't properly using our social skills, social exchanges can get a bit
rocky. For example, a student with poor language skills has difficulty communicating
his or her desires and opinions. impulsive people often make snap decisions that lead
Why are Social Skills Important?
Humans are social creatures by nature. You can't help but yourself in social situations.
The Six Keys to Social Skills
Social skills are behaviors that can be learned and improved wit practice. Try using
the following six strategies as a guide to better interactions with friends, family
members, and colleagues.
KEY ONE: REMAIN RELAXED
Regardless of how skillful you are social situations, if you are too anxious, your brain
functions in ways that interfere with speaking and listening. Anxiety can make you focus
too much on small of conversation, which actually reduces your ability to communicate
n addition, when people socialize they naturally change their behavior to fit the moods
of the people around them. If someone's body and face gives the unconscious message that
he or she nervous, it will probably make other people nervous too. That makes building
rapport more difficult.
KEY TWO: LISTEN ACTIVELY
People like to speak with good listeners. It's a mistake to think tha good listeners
are people who don't do anything while someone else speaks. A good listener is actually
an active perticipant in conversations. Active listening skills include:
* Maintaining eye contact, physical stillness, and attentiveness while another person
* Paying attention while another person talks instead of thinking of your next rersponse
* Making occasional responses to show you're listening: "Uh-huh." "really?," "Oh yes?"
* Acknowledging what you've heard and asking for more information: "So, he went to the
dentist? What happened?"
* Referring to the conversation later: "You know how you were saying earlier..."
KEY THREE: SHOW EMPATHY AND INTEREST
A major part of social anxiety is self-consciousness. A great way to alleviate self-
consciousness is by focusing strongly on someone else. If you're uncomfortable talking
about yourself in a conversation, ask the other people questions about themselve.
Sometimes it's easier to respond to someone else's statements than to make your own.
If showing interest is the way to connect with someone logically, empathy is the
emotional connection. Empathy allows you to listen to someone's story and imagine how
you would feel in the same situation.
It may require a conscious effort to make yourself focus on someone else at first, but
truly engaging with another person increases your comfort levels. Engagement will also
make the people you interact with feel good.
Empathy is the basis for connecting wit other people on an emotional level, and it's an
important part of emotional intelligence.
KEY FOUR: BUILD RAPPORT
Rapport is a state of understanding or connection that occurs in a good social
interaction. It basically means that you have an unconscious ability to communicate well
with someone. When two people have good rapport, their language, speech patterns, and
postures fit well together.
* Intentionally "mirroring" the other person's gestures or posture
* Reflecting your partner's language and speech, including rate of speech, spoken
volume, emotional tone or energy and word choice
* Feeding back what you have heard, as described in Key Two: Listen Actively
KEY FIVE: PRACTICE APPROPRIATE SELF-DISCLOSURE
Talking about yourself too much, too early, or too personally can show disregard for other
people in the conversation. Here are some example of ad self-disclosure:
"How was my summer break? Let me tell you a 20-minute story about it."
"This math homework reminds me of the time...sniff sniff...that my dog died!"
"Have you seen this rash on by back? It's disgusting. Check it out!"
Good intial conversation is often characterized by discussion of subjects not personal
to either party, or by exchanging personal views in a balanced way. However, as
conversations and relationships progress, disclosing personal facts (small, non-
emotional ones first!) fosters a feeling of getting to know each other comfortably.
KEY SIX: MAINTAIN GOOD EYE CONTACT
If you don't look at people when you are talking or listening to them may get the idea
* You are ignoring them
* You aren't telling the truth
* You don't like something about the way they look
Make sure that you're making frequent eye contact whether you are listening or talking
to someone. This dosen't mean you have to stare at them. In fact, too much eye contact
can make people feel just as uncomfortable as too little eye contact. looking away
occasionally but returning your gaze to someone's face while you are listening is
preferable and helps with the flow of the conversation.