Improve Your Social Skills And Be Smarter In Your Relationships

Improve Your Social Skills And Be Smarter In Your Relationships
Sergio De Dios González

Written and verified by the psychologist Sergio De Dios González.

Last update: 17 October, 2023

Do our social skills play a part in how we feel? What do you all think… how have you felt when you’ve been able to effectively communicate with another person, or when you’ve handled an argument in a way that kept the relationship from being damaged at all?

Now that you have something in mind… What emotions have come up when things went wrong?

Basically, this ability to build and maintain good relationships plays a part in your emotions and well-being. What’s good about that? Well, this ability is not at all rigid, and you can actually boost it.

Keep on reading to learn more about how to connect more intelligently with people!

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people

-Theodore Roosevelt-

Human beings are social creatures: the importance of social skills

We communicate with people constantly in our daily lives. This could mean anything from ordering a coffee, talking to a coworker about a shared project, or telling your partner how much you love them. There are a ton of wide-ranging social interaction scenarios in our daily lives.

And how successful these scenarios are will depend on how intelligent or wise you are when it comes to developing your skills in the social realm.

This is how you can make the difference between satisfactory and unsatisfactory relationships with family, friends, and lovers. But that’s not all.

Having good social skills will help you interact effectively with other professionals and get along with your coworkers. In addition, you’ll be able to resolve conflicts and speak in public in a pleasant, relaxed way.

Only through the development of mutual respect, and in a spirit of truth, can friendship come about.

-Dalai Lama-

You’ll also be helping your children develop in a healthier way. And in the end, you’ll be able to grow too. Why is that?

Because having proper social skills means better psychological adjustment, better health and happiness. It also means better social support systems.

a couple talking on the roof

Communication: The key to social skills

Your ability to communicate — and how developed it is — is a big part of your social skills. One key concept when it comes to this is assertiveness.

Assertiveness is a way of communicating where you express your thoughts and opinions, while still keeping other people’s in mind, in situations where it might not be so easy to do that.

Therefore it’s an ingredient in communication of both self-respect and respecting others.

It’s a balance between aggressive communication (where you just try to protect your rights) and passive communication (where you just try to protect other people’s). A fundamental part of this sometimes saying “no”.

It’s also very important to put the many kinds of social skills into practice. Some behaviors will help you respond effectively when interacting with other people.

To do that, it’s essential to listen and pay attention to what the other person is saying, without assuming ulterior motives.

On the other hand, you’ll also have to express what you feel and think. Just like you, the people you talk to aren’t mind-readers, so explaining your position on things will make it easier to connect. 

Being able to start up, maintain, and end conversations when necessary is one of the basic building blocks of having good social skills.

When people talk listen completely. Most people never listen.

-Ernest Hemingway-

friends enjoying time around a bonfire: effective social skills

It’s more than just communication: other parts of social skills

Communicating effectively is the final goal when it comes to trying to improve your social skills. But to achieve that objective you’ll need to be skillful in other areas too. These other areas will help make it so your relationships with other people are satisfactory and high-quality.

One example of this is having prosocial behavior and a willingness to cooperate. That is, doing certain things for the sake of other people, even if they haven’t asked you to. 

That doesn’t mean you stop worrying about your own problems and radically push them away. But it does mean finding a balance between the two.

It’s also very important to learn how to prevent and solve problemsBeing able to effectively identify, anticipate, and confront conflicts will help you find a solution that satisfies everyone in the best, calmest, and fairest way possible.

Work on all these things and improve you’ll improve your social skills!

Images courtesy of Priscilla du Preez, Bryan Apen, and Phil Coffman.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.