The quality of your daily interaction with people among the society determines your social skills. The norms/standards of the society and relations are formed, communicated, and changed through verbal or non-verbal communication, this process of learning is termed as ’socialization’. Building social back ups to avoid social punishment is one of the feature characteristics of man. In the year 1985, Schneider and Bryne, conducted a ‘Meta-analysis’ for a social skills training process – ‘Operant Conditioning’, a technique that has highly favorable effects on the pupils/subjects, and it also includes social cognitive techniques, coaching, and modeling.
Social skills are measured in terms of your behavior with others, which includes your degree of bonding and your proficiency in reacting to differences. Practice is the best way to improve your social skills. Study of some techniques such as matching and mirroring to build a special bond with others, memorize friendly acronyms such as SOFTEN (Smile, Open posture, Forward lean, Touch, Eye contact, Nod).
It is said that practice makes a man perfect, another philosophy that we tend to praise and forget about it. We need to impart these values within ourselves, and get them embedded in our disposition. Practice adapting to your surroundings, and you’ll eventually start feeling comfortable and confident in different social situations. We do this, and we’ll gradually become natural, close to the nature of what we are in real. This is the base of effective interpersonal communication.
If you are very comfortable with other people, then you do not feel conscious in front of them in terms of how you look or how you sound. Just harmonize. Be comfortable with the way you are, and focus on conversation and content within a communication, instead of the parties involved in it.
Ways to improve your social skills:
- Get over your shyness, open yourself up to whatever may be showered or bestowed upon you. There’s no such thing as a “stranger.” We all know each other very well, we don’t even need to gain access to the bond, it’s there for us to take in – free love. Be naked, let’s put all our fears at display, and purge them one by one.
- Most of times, we tend to discuss mediocre subjects in our daily lives, all connected to our likes and dislikes, and our interpretation as to what or who we are. So, we need to be light during communication, so as to allow its flow to pass uninterrupted. We are still incapable of assuming things, our assumptions still result in a thumbs-down, many times. So, let’s pay complete attention to what people say, capturing the meaning of each word within a sentence.
- Talk to people with whom you’ve never interacted before. A great way to begin a conversation with a stranger is by offering a smile and introducing yourself to them. Develop self confidence and pave your way to success.
- Be friendly and casual with other people; people like you if you are interesting. In reality, what we see as “personal life” is merely our imagination of what we are and how we lead our life. Our experiences undergo manifestation and come to be our interpretations, which we tend to think as reality. So, there’s no need for applying the mask of personality, where we all are here to share lives.
- You can talk to people who act like open doors, they will make you feel comfortable and relaxed. You can talk about anything with them; they will give you helpful advice on your doubts, and will contribute to your opinions. This is how you will transcend your current state.
- Never hurt others; do not use offensive language or never be mean to other people. Never gossip about those who you do not trust, it’s a cycle that breeds negativity. Being explicit is way different what we think it is, and it sure can be clubbed with diplomacy, and one can still be true and open-minded. There are channels for achieving precision in communication, seek and adopt them.
- Be careful when you talk to others, figure out your mistakes and try to amend your behavior for better results. If there is confusion due to miscommunication, it does not call for an index finger to be pointed at the culprit behind the scenes; in fact, you must take responsibility as you could have contributed to correcting the situation, and find ways to mend the severance. Dive inwards, feel your inner-self. Watching the world from the exterior won’t lead you anywhere, you need to develop counter-judgments often, so that you ensure your growth, internally.
- Take responsibility for your behavior; never hesitate to apologize for your mistakes, errors, or insensible actions. No man is perfect, which means that we must take mistakes lightly, primarily because they’re “mistakes,” and they come with full force when we are least expecting them. These circumstances hold evident scope for self-advancement, so we need to get deeper and analyze our experiences before we come to a conclusion. Remember your mistakes and regrets fondly, as they make better teachers than past successes, and where their true purpose is further self-advancement.
- Remember, never make decisions during the night with a heavy head; instead, sleep out your disturbances, and the decision that you take the next morning will certainly differ from your previous judgments.
- Ask for feedback from your friends (negative as well as positive feedback) on your behavior, and the way you interact or behave with others; try to correct yourself accordingly. Often, we fail to realize our fallacies, simply because the roots of these complexities go deeper than we can normally imagine, and hence the effects remain subconscious. But these fallacies can be brought under our conscious control if we come to know that we possess them. Warning: Do not judge those giving feedback in the process, it will only result in denial.
- Non- verbal communication is equally important; proper body language is important in your communications with others. If you find yourself unable to control your bodily impulses while reacting to differences, try meditation. It helps you acquire and sustain a state of balance, patience, and peace.
- You cannot improve your social skills overnight; trying to change your personality completely will be counter-productive. Try out one or two traits at a time and work on them, take benefit of your personal strength and make good impact with those qualities on others.
- You can also improve social skills by developing good listening skills, taking initiative in resolving your problems and clashes with others; learn to read body language well, but keep your assumptions under supervision – things are often not what they appear to be. Take responsibility for your misbehavior and misthoughts.
Follow the above instructions, and absorb in these values, as they come from the foundation that keeps us integrated in the midst of this chaotic environment. Improving social skills in easy when you turn your pointing finger towards your own fallacies, rather than taking differences seriously.