They allow for feelings, attitudes, desires, opinions or rights to be expressed appropriately in relation to a particular situation, and at the same time respect the conduct of others. Thus, they improve our interpersonal relationships, make us feel good, help us to get what we want, and prevent others from interfering in the achievement of our goals.
These behaviors are necessary to interact with and relate to others in an effective and mutually satisfying manner.
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Some of them are:
- Empathy. The ability to put oneself in the place of another person.
- Emotional intelligence. The ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and action (Salovey & Mayer, 1990).
- Assertiveness. The ability to state what one wants in a clear, direct, and honest manner without hurting anyone’s feelings or underestimating anyone’s worth, only defending one’s personal rights.
- Listening skills. The ability to listen carefully, attentively, and understanding what the other person wants to say and then communicating that the message has been received.
- Capacity to communicate feelings and emotions. The ability to express one’s positive or negative feelings in an appropriate manner to others.
- Capacity to define a problem and evaluate solutions. The ability to analyze a given situation by taking into account all the objective elements, as well as the feelings and needs of every individual involved.
- Negotiation. The communication ability directed towards finding a solution that is satisfactory to all parties.
- Emotional regulation. The ability to adjust the expression of emotion to the environment.
- Capacity to apologize. The ability to be aware of mistakes made and to acknowledge them.
- Recognition and defense of individual rights and the rights of others. The ability to be aware of our rights and those of others and defend them appropriately.
Why are social skills important?
Social skills are a set of behaviors that allow us to socialize with others in a satisfactory manner, so they are essential in any environment (with family, at work, in the street, etc.). Adequate execution of these skills is beneficial for learning how to express oneself and to understand others, to take into account everyone’s needs and interests, to try and find the most satisfactory solution for everyone when facing a problem, or to be supportive. All of these behaviors are essential for living in society.