Important Social Skills

Social skills are the skills needed to get along with others and to create and maintain satisfying relationships. People with good social skills are usually popular. Their popularity provides them with a large number of support people they can call on when experiencing difficulty in their lives. Further, good social skills lead to positive social reinforcement which enhances self-esteem. Social skills are important not just in school, but outside of school, and later on in the workplace. Like any skills, social skills can be learned and improved upon.

Here are 20 things that contribute to good social skills. Be sure that each is something you do.

  1. Important Social Skills IllustrationMake frequent eye contact when interacting with others.
  2. Smile when you greet and talk with others.
  3. Show basic politeness by frequently saying such things as please, thank you, hello, and goodbye.
  4. Show interest in others by asking what they have been doing, how their day is going, and other similar things.
  5. Show appreciation for and praise what others do.
  6. Support others who are having a difficult time.
  7. Be sensitive to the feelings of others.
  8. Be tactful if you have to criticize others. Be sure your criticism is constructive.
  9. Be willing to abandon your position on an issue for that of others.
  10. Really listen when others speak rather than think ahead to what you are going to say. Listening is more than just hearing.
  11. Try to see things from the point of view of others.
  12. Be patient and wait for your turn.
  13. Accept differences in others.
  14. Respect the rights of others.
  15. Be helpful whenever the opportunity presents itself.
  16. Be willing to apologize when you are wrong.
  17. Be able to respond appropriately to criticism.
  18. Accept compliments graciously.
  19. Take the initiative to make friends. Striking up a conversation with someone is a good way to do this.
  20. Laugh when appropriate. Others will appreciate your fun-loving side.

Good social skills are important in all aspects of your life. The most important way to improve your social skills is by getting out there and practicing them.