What we know as social skills are one of the contents that we most often intervene in the psychology consultation. Such skills make it easier for us to increase our well-being both with ourselves and in our relationship with others. Social skills can and should be learned.
If you are able to use them consistently you will be able to show them naturally; without almost any effort, they will become a habit for you.
Social skills to improve your relationships
I show you below the following social skills from which to improve your day-to-day relationships, divided according to the phase through which the communication passes.
1. When starting a conversation
You should try to express yourself naturally , show interest and put yourself in the other person’s place, be empathetic.
Say hello and introduce yourself (if the interlocutor does not know you). Look into the eyes when you talk to the other person. Try to say the positive characteristics of the other person without being “artificial”. Your goal is to convey a good image to the person you are talking to. It would be interesting if you could comment on or ask about the reason for the encounter.
Try to modulate the volume of your voice so that it is neither too high nor too low, nor have inappropriate body postures.
2. When having a conversation
He listens actively, showing interest. There must be proportionality between what you speak and what you listen to so that you and your interlocutor can both intervene and express yourselves.
Make gestures to show you’re listening, and when you want to intervene. It’s very important that you hold eye contact. What you convey verbally should be related to the object of interest of the meeting and avoid “beating around the bush”. When you want to change the subject, say so. Do not use only monosyllables in your speeches.
3. When explaining
Explain why you are denying a request or favor to a friend or acquaintance. You can offer some alternative solution . Distinguish the possible attempts of manipulation that you can be made with:
- Free compliments (“since you are so good…”, “since you always do it so well…”).
- Empty criticism (“I will never ask you again…”, “don’t worry, I will never ask you for help…”)
- Guilt feelings (“I didn’t believe that about you…”, “I’m sad because you don’t help me…”).
In these three cases, you must empathise with the reasons that lead our friends or acquaintances to express themselves in this way, but you must stand firm if you are clear that your position is the right one for your interests.
4. To ask a favor
It is common to consider that others know what we need and/or want. This is not usually the case.
Sometimes you will have to ask for a favor and you will have to do it with confidence that your loved ones will attend to your request. Don’t consider that they will deny the favour from the start . And if they do, they will surely have good reason to do so.
5. Serenity in the face of criticism
When facing criticism, don’t let yourself be carried away by the initial impulse , reason, ponder and reflect on what you are told.
For starters, don’t consider the criticism as an attack. Your first reaction is probably immediate defense through justification or counterattack. Avoid both the counterattack alone and the systematic defense.
That’s what I recommend when it comes to accepting or rejecting someone else.
Life is a paradox. On many occasions you put up with people you can’t stand or don’t like at all, and yet you attack those you love the most… Is it because you have confidence? Show firmness in these situations, whether it is to consolidate friendships or not to have companies that do not interest you. To do this I suggest you use appropriate behaviour:
Smile, keep looking, position the body towards the other person and demonstrate with words and gestures the interest we have in what they say or do, etc.
Showing in a polite verbal and non-verbal way what is necessary for the other person to perceive our feeling of lack of interest, responding to their comments with monosyllables, removing the miranda, saying goodbye politely.
7. Recognizing mistakes
Expresses humility and recognizes that you have made a mistake, we all make mistakes that we should recognize, since that is from mature and balanced people.
Besides, if you apologize you will even gain respect and social recognition. If you hide your mistakes, you’ll show weakness.
8. The reception of the recognition
Don’t resort to false modesty when you are flattered or when a task is well done. Consider that compliments are sincere when they come from people around you who you know value you.
I recommend that you thank and accept recognition from those who do. Thank and express the great effort and commitment you have put into achieving what the other person values.
9. Admitting your lack of knowledge
You don’t have to know everything. You should consider that acknowledging that you don’t know about the topic of a conversation , is not bad.
Avoid arrogance and don’t use phrases like: “yes, I knew that…”, “you’re going to tell me…”, even if you knew them in advance. On the contrary, I recommend that you show interest in what others are talking about, even if you know more about the subject than your companions.
If you don’t control the subject matter, you shouldn’t get carried away with thoughts such as “what will they think if I say I don’t know…”, “I should know more about the subject they are talking about…”. Giving importance to these thoughts will not help you.
10. At the end of the conversation
You have to get to the point to finish and not drag the conversation out any longer than necessary.
I’m sure you’ve “suffered” conversations that seemed to never end. You have every right to choose and express with all sincerity your desire to end the conversation. So don’t consider it impolite to interrupt the speaker; believe that he or she will be offended. You have to say something like: “Sorry to interrupt you, but I have to go