Relationships are complicated. They seem to require a mountain of social skills to build and foster. Feeling like you lack these skills can leave you second-guessing even the most basic situations. Without this expertise, you may be wondering how to move forward.
The solution is simple — break down the complexity into easy to learn social skills. The six listed below apply to all types of relationships and can help you navigate new situations with ease. Keep reading to learn more!
Communication is the key to any successful relationship. It’s one of the most important social skills to develop because you use it every day. In school and work, people rely on their written communication skills to express themselves accurately. Without this ability, people may misunderstand your intentions and goals.
In relationships, you need communication to understand one another. With good communication, you can show your respect and cooperation. It will also allow you to be empathetic and open to compromise. Effective communication leads you to problem solve and learn new things, which can help you strengthen your relationships.
To build this skill, practice talking with people from different backgrounds. The more you converse, the more comfortable you will feel. You can also read books and watch TV to gain a better understanding of how people interact. However, you must choose positive guides and resources as some media is highly inaccurate and inappropriate.
When people think of respect, they may have flashbacks to their parents, teaching them about manners. In the context of relationships, it indicates a willingness to listen and communicate even if you disagree with another person’s opinions. You choose to act civilly and utilize manners because it’s what’s appropriate in a social situation.
Respect in relationships also acknowledges a right to personal space. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes — their views deserve your consideration. Empathy can play a powerful role in respecting one another. To reach this stage, consider their position in life and how you might feel in their place. Pay special attention to what they say and how they act. Only by making these considerations can you truly build healthy relationships.
3. Cooperation and Compromise
Many people think of relationships and negotiations from a fixed-pie perspective. In other words, there’s a winner and a loser in every scenario. However, this frame of thinking can harm connections. Instead, you should look for ways to cooperate and be open to compromise when necessary.
Rather than viewing compromise as a loss, look for ways to make it beneficial. For example, you may compromise by accepting a lower salary, but you can negotiate for other nonmonetary benefits like better health care or more paid time off. By keeping a positive mindset, you can strengthen relationships through everyday interactions and negotiations.
How aware are you when navigating social situations — do you pay attention to nonverbal cues? You can gain a lot from noticing how someone physically reacts during a conversation. For example, tense posture and closed body language indicate that a person is unresponsive and closed off from the conversation, so you may need to reframe the discussion or speak at another time.
Besides learning to read nonverbal cues, it’s essential to understand the nonverbal signals you may be demonstrating. In social settings, your movements can give away your mindset, which can have unintended side effects. Managing your emotions and gestures is a sign of emotional intelligence.
5. Self-Regulation and Discipline
Two key factors of emotional intelligence are self-awareness and self-management. You’ll need to show discipline if you want to become confident in navigating social situations. This means you follow the social norms and rules associated with each relationship. For instance, it would be inappropriate for you to shout out during a work meeting. This lack of self-regulation could damage your connection with your boss, causing them to pass you over for a promotion.
When you acknowledge and follow these unwritten rules, it’s easier to build healthy bonds with others.
What’s the difference between an expert and a beginner? An expert recovers from setbacks and keeps working towards their goals. You’ll need to be resilient if you wish to improve your relationships. With time and practice, you’ll maneuver your way through complicated environments until you become an expert too.
Push yourself outside of your comfort zone during social situations. Talk to people who intimidate you and learn from the mistakes you make. Establishing social skills takes time and patience, so remember to keep going even when you feel awkward. You never know what opportunities may open up when you work hard and refuse to give up.
The Bottom Line
As a parent, you want to pass your knowledge along to your children. Teaching them these six social skills is a great way to get started. As they grow, guide them towards deeper thinking and encourage them to develop their skills further. While there’s always room for improvement, and utilizing the abilities listed above will help you successfully manage relationships and social situations.