What are social skills?

Simply put, Social Skills are those skills that we use to communicate with each other both verbally or non-verbally through our body language, gestures and our appearance.

Human beings have not restricted themselves to words as means of communication.  Even before language became means of communication people used to converse via gestures and sign language.

Even today when we have learnt language, we convey lots of things without the use of words through our body language, gestures or appearance. Words hold a limited importance what’s more important is how it is being said. Our non verbal communication says more about us as compared to verbal communication.

Whatever is said or communicated is only received well when it is also coupled with correct body language and gestures. Words do not have power of their own it’s the eloquence of speakers that makes them sound interesting or worth listening.

Now let’s have a look at these two pictures

Who among these two look confident? Who would you like to listen to? Whose words would be well received by the people and taken seriously?

Well it wouldn’t take a genius to guess I believe. This is how social skills create a difference.



What do social skills include?

The social skills have clearly become important part of our lives but what exactly social skills include. Here’s a list of the important social skills according to psychology.

Stay calm and peaceful

When we face adverse situations we tend to become over anxious and exhibit behavior which is often socially unacceptable like speaking loudly or creating a panic. However, if we see the reality being anxious doesn’t lead us anywhere and in fact worsens the situation. So the better way is to look for solution and try to find the alternatives to the problem at hand.

Be an active listener

Most of the people today are those who do not listen to listen rather with intent to reply. Most of the successful people in the world are those who listen more and speak less. When you listen you learn things and when you speak you get only repentance. Active listening would include responding to the person who is speaking. And all of us can manage a “oh that’s great”, “tell me more” or “that’s bad”, can’t we?

Just the way you are

If given an option who would you like to talk to- Person A who is very different from you, you do not share the likes, dislikes, taste in music or anything else that matters or person B who has difference in opinion but share some tastes similar to you. When you make a person feel that you are just the way he is, you make him comfortable and make a room for interaction. This can be done in many ways like adopting similar body posture, trying to make use of same language, tone, gestures etc. This however, should not be done too closely lest it makes the other person self conscious.

Clarity of communication

One should be clear about what one wants to say. Whatever you want to convey should be made crystal clear. Ambiguous messages show that you lack in your social skills. It leads to confusion and inefficiency. A person with clarity of thoughts is well received and respected in the circle.

Accepting differences and disagreeing politely

Not everyone can think on the same lines as you, and not everyone can agree on the same thing. To survive in society we must learn how to voice a disagreement. Even when you disagree with a person you should not show total disregard for his thoughts instead you can politely appreciate him or her for the suggestion or statement and very politely point out why you find it not very effective. Right way of disagreement helps you in NOT adding on to your list of foes.

Social skills can help you stay focused and be goal oriented. They make you a people’s man. However as Vincent Nichols puts it “We’re losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person’s mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point. Too much exclusive use of electronic information dehumanizes what is a very, very important part of community life and living together. “They make us who we are- Humans. They can be developed over time and should necessarily be developed.
Anchal Upadhyay

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