Having a set of well-developed social skills can tremendously improve your quality of life. They can bring untold blessings and rewards in each of the twelve areas of life, as defined by Mindvalley’s Lifebook Quest.
But what if your social skills are lacking?
Luckily, they can be learned, practiced, and perfected like any art or craft. Daily work and dedication can do wonders if one has an open mind and is willing to make the effort. Keep reading for more on these skills and their primary role and benefits.
What Are Social Skills?
Social skills are the skills used in social interactions that help us interact and communicate with others. They include both verbal and non-verbal skills.
To have well-developed social skills is to be able to adjust your behavior according to the present situation and goal.
3 Benefits of good sociability
Good social skills can bring numerous benefits. Like any other set of skills, there are best learned from a young age.
Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent benefits:
1. Better communication
The ability to express your thoughts, ideas, and feelings in a manner that’s both clear and appropriate to the situation can improve your relationships with others. If you can relate to people easily, they will be more likely to confide in you.
2. More meaningful relationships
Good social skills will allow you to connect with those who bring out the best in you. In turn, this fosters deeper and more meaningful connections.
3. Better career
Knowing how to act in a professional environment can open many doors for you. If you work well within a team and are responsible and reliable on your own, more and more opportunities will continue to present themselves.
What causes deficits in social skills?
First of all, certain behaviors and medical conditions can diminish one’s social skills. For example, the neurotoxic effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain may impair social skills.
People suffering from depression and anxiety disorders may also struggle with their social skills. This happens as a result of excessive fear of rejection and failure.
Also, individuals suffering from anti-social disorders, autism, and ADHD may experience significant difficulties with social interactions.
How Do You Define Sociable?
A sociable person has a friendly disposition and finds it easy to start up a conversation. Sociable people are more likely to approach a stranger at a gathering and start chatting with them.
A large misconception is that introverts have poor sociability but this isn’t true. In fact, being an extrovert or introvert has nothing to do with sociability.
Being an extrovert means that you gain your energy from social interactions. Being around other people pumps you up, fills you with excitement, and leaves you feeling fantastic.
Introverts, on the other hand, gain energy from being alone. They need alone time to recharge and reboot after long periods of social interaction.
But this doesn’t mean introverts have poor social skills or that extroverts have superior social skills! In fact, you could have an introvert with incredible social skills and an extrovert with poor social skills.
Because at the core, genuine social skills are about being able to communicate, connect, and relate to others. Both introverts and extroverts have the capacity to develop these skills in equal measure.
What are the different types of social skills?
Social skills can roughly be divided into:
- Survival. Listening, rewarding yourself, ignoring distractions, and following directions.
- Interpersonal. Empathy, politeness, sharing, and conversation are all interpersonal skills.
- Problem-solving. Decision-making, accepting consequences, the ability to apologize and ask for help.
- Conflict-resolution. Dealing with peer pressure, omissions, accusations, and loss.
6 The most important social skills
Good social skills are important in every area of life. Also, they are becoming more and more important in professional settings. Here are a few important social skills at work:
- Negotiation. The ability to reach an agreement with another person.
- Coordination. The ability to synchronize your actions with others.
- Service orientation. The ability to grow compassionately alongside others.
- Leadership. The ability to encourage and support others.
- Mentoring. The ability to pass your knowledge and experience to others.
- Social perceptiveness. The ability to respond to others with understanding.
How To Improve Your Sociability
Sociability doesn’t happen overnight. It is only through time and effort that you can become a more social person and reap all the associated benefits.
Let’s take a look at how to be social and improve your social skills:
- Work on your self-worth. First, you must tackle your insecurities. Stop dwelling on things that bring you down and make a list of all the things that make you someone worthy of other people’s company and acceptance. Do your best to stop comparing yourself to others and give yourself a little self-love.
- Start smiling and adopt a welcoming body language. Become more mindful of your body language when interacting with others. Standing with your arms folded or staring at your phone for the duration of a social encounter doesn’t send the most welcoming message.
- Just be yourself. Take every opportunity to hang out with interesting new people and those you already like. Expand the scope of your activities and maybe take up a hobby or two.
Why are social skills important?
Possessing a good set of social skills can increase your overall happiness, life satisfaction, and the ability to have more meaningful relationships with others.
Furthermore, good social skills also help to build a good character.
In the words of Jon Butcher, Author of Mindvalley’s Lifebook Quest,
“If you want to build a good character, it is a really good idea to get in touch with the virtues and values that you want to inject into your character.”
Developing better sociability is a great start.
What social skills would you like to develop?
Social skills are tremendously important to one’s life, as they affect almost every aspect of your experience. Start working on your sociability and watch how everything else falls into place.
What are your strongest social skills? Which do you think you could improve? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.