When we start a new friendship with someone, things don’t always turn out the way we imagine. Sometimes interpersonal relationships last less than expected, and part of the causes that lead to this outcome may be poor management of social skills.
In the next article we’ll see how to maintain good relationships with others , in a natural and quite practical way. The idea is not to stop being who we are in order to fit in with friendship relationships, but it is important to know how to properly express our positive attitude towards other people.
Why are social skills important?
It has been proven that a large part of a person’s success is based on the ability to relate to others . Technical knowledge, study and talent are important to get by in life, but it is thanks to interpersonal relationships that we manage to achieve our objectives. The individual does not exist without the collective.
There are many people who have great talents and impressive abilities, but who nevertheless do not manage to prosper or establish friendly or affective relationships in a stable manner. On the other hand, to know how to maintain good relationships with others, it is also necessary to know the importance of social skills; and it is thanks to them that we are able to establish and properly maintain our bonds of friendship or companionship with others.
By this I do not mean that the only thing that counts to succeed in life is to know the right people and to take advantage of their friendship, because if you do not have the preparation and the necessary desire to succeed, the ability to relate to people is irrelevant.
This is a dialectic between capacity and sociability ; if we manage to have an adequate balance between these two variables, we will be better headed towards a promising future.
Tips for maintaining good relationships with others
The following list contains effective and practical advice for maintaining good interpersonal relationships with others.
1. Be faithful to your principles
One thing we must always keep in mind when relating to others is that our principles cannot be negotiable . In other words, there is no point in maintaining a friendship in which we are not valued for who we really are.
When we are able to show others that we are willing to respect their views as long as they do the same for ours, we are on the way to developing a more transparent and sincere friendship.
2. Practice honesty
Whenever we get involved in a friendship relationship it is important to be honest with others, keeping in mind that honesty is not always about saying everything we know, but simply about not deceiving other people .
Another important aspect of honesty is saying things directly, and avoiding using intermediaries to communicate our opinions. It is common for information to be distorted when it is not told first-hand.
3. Demonstrates confidence
An essential aspect of strengthening and maintaining relationships with others is to be trustworthy, to achieve this we must maintain integrity in our opinions and actions, avoiding constantly changing ideas about what we say or do .
Another thing that works well to create bonds of trust with people is to show a certain level of vulnerability, to tell some anecdotes about ourselves where we have been in difficult situations makes the others able to empathize with us.
4. Practice spontaneity
Hardly anyone could plan exactly how he behaves when he is with his friends, the ideal is to be ourselves, without fear of being judged . Spontaneity refers to behaving freely without the need to use rigid social protocols to fit in with the group.
5. Empower your empathy
Having the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others is indispensable for maintaining good interpersonal relationships. It is not enough just to talk about ourselves and listen to the stories of others. It is also necessary to understand other people’s situations.
6. Learn to listen
To maintain good relations with others it is necessary to practice active listening , which consists of listening to other people’s speech without interrupting and giving signs to pay attention to what is being said.
Let’s remember that hearing is not the same as listening. When we listen we are paying attention and interpreting what the other person wants to convey to us with his words, while when we hear we are not making use of our capacity for analysis.
7. Stay humble
No matter how successful you are, or how many material resources are available to you, if you manage to maintain humility you will be more likely to sustain real friendships . Good friendships do not come to you because of the things you have, but because of your virtues as a human being.
Be nice, show some manners, and avoid ostentatious behavior so that people around you feel better about being with you. And don’t do it just to please, do it because you know it’s right, practice humility as a matter of course.
8. Keep in touch
An important part of getting along with other people is taking the time to see how others are doing. Although it may seem a fairly obvious question, sometimes the days go by and we don’t hear from any of our colleagues, neighbours, friends… You can give them a call, write them some messages, or go to visit them to check that they are well, if the treatment is close.
- Aronson, Elliot (2008). The Social Animal. Worth.
- Tajfel, H. & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations. Chicago, IL: Nelson-Hall Janis, I. L. (1972). Victims of groupthink. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.