Human beings depend mainly on the performance of social activities. The interaction between people is what allows generating psychological stability, this is because the different communication activities stimulate various cognitive processes. For this reason, daily life promotes social interactions that in turn allow the development of certain essential survival skills .

There are different types of skills , these are classified according to their main characteristics. They focus on carrying out certain types of actions, which is why it is possible to make a selection taking into consideration what capacities they are related to. One of these classifications is the one that occupies the social skills.

What are social abilities?

Social skills are defined as a set of behaviors . Habits, emotions and thoughts are integrated into these . These influence the moment to generate a communication between people.

In addition, they promote the establishment of a welfare state. It is possible both on a personal and community level. It can also be defined as a series of norms or guidelines , the function they fulfill is to help people to establish respectful relationships with others.

They allow to maintain a healthy balance in interpersonal relationships. Some of the most important skills in today’s society are mentioned and described below:

  • The empathy to understanding the situations faced by other people.
  • The Assertiveness is the ability to act and express both opinions and ideas, these are externalized in order to defend their own rights. In turn, a relationship of respect is established.
  • The respect is tolerance to opinions and acts of others. Although the same opinion is not shared regarding these elements, respect helps to keep relationships stable.
  • Communication is the ability to express one’s own ideas and feelings in certain situations. But it is also related to the ability to listen and carefully understand other people. This is how the establishment of satisfactory communication for both is encouraged.
  • The understanding allows us to understand what personal and social situations rightly.
  • The self is the combination of two factors: understanding and ability to understand the feelings and thoughts of others. This is how you avoid acting impulsively .
  • Conflict resolution describes the ability to find alternatives that help apply solutions. It is combined with negotiation.

How are they classified and what are their characteristics?

They have an interesting peculiarity. These can be developed on a daily basis through practice. They allow you to interact and create more satisfactory emotional relationships . To a certain extent, its complexity is what helps people to put into practice behaviors that promote healthy and beneficial communication for all parties.

To classify them, three dimensions must be taken into consideration . The first is behavioral , the second is personal (it depends on unique cognitive variables) and finally the situational (which depends on the environmental context). The main types of social skills are described below:

Basic social skills

These are the ones that are learned first during the early stage of people’s development. They can be defined as fundamental , because they influence the initiation of interpersonal communication. Examples of this type are communicational linguistic skills, which allow you to maintain a verbal conversation.

Advanced social skills

These can be learned or acquired through the establishment of affective relationships. These are more complex because factors such as personal opinion and the ability to be assertive are involved. That is, they allow you to react appropriately to different situations. Examples of this type is the ability to follow instructions or also to apologize.

Emotional social skills

They are identified because they are linked to emotions and feelings . They maintain a close relationship because they are not independent of these psychological aspects. Examples are found in behaviors such as respect and empathy.

Negotiating social skills

These are essential because they encourage the development of actions that allow conflicts to be better managed . They allow you to analyze what is the most appropriate way to react at certain times. Examples are altruism, sharing and also the ability to solve problems of different kinds. 

Organizing social skills

They are essential because they allow people to maintain order in their daily activities. In this way, they avoid facing stress and anxiety situations, but also conflicts with other people. Examples of this type are the abilities to distinguish which solutions are best adapted to each situation.

Some examples of social skills 

These are influenced by cultural and socio-demographic aspects . In this way each person evaluates their own abilities and those of others, most habits are created in this way.

Healthy social competence depends on the implementation of these skills, they facilitate the establishment of a decisive emotional communication because they are adapted to each context. Here are some examples:

  • Starting a conversation depends on the ability to generate an opening that suits the circumstances. Handling a formal or correct language also requires courtesy and communication skills, this means that the person must be sure of himself.
  • Asking a question implies making appropriate use of information. That is, the assertiveness of choosing the right time and person to start an interview. It is considered to be a competition, because one of the two parties initiates and tries to obtain information.
  • The appreciation is also considered a social skill. It is a complex dynamic in which one person recognizes that they must show respect and acceptance for another. It is a show of appreciation , respect and civility.
  • Asking for help is being aware of the need for support or advice . It is considered to be an act of maturity, knowing how to use this resource demonstrates having a good command of social skills.
  • The ability to define a problem , subsequently evaluate possible solutions and finally negotiate; besides deciding. All these elements must be put into practice on a daily basis, however not all people have the same facility to achieve these objectives.
  • The belief is not related to the manipulation . Make appropriate use of arguments, combined with conduct that is appropriate to the circumstances; all are aspects that generate an impact that can be positive or negative.

What is the importance of social skills for psychology? 

They are a subject that is not only analyzed from the perspective of psychology . For other social sciences , such as sociology, pedagogy, communication, history, political science and law; in all of them it is essential to study how they originate and their effects.

The social sciences alike promote the search for well-being and the improvement of the quality of life of people. For this reason, they have an undeniable importance, because they allow us to understand how all the individuals who belong to the same society are related.

Social skills are an important part of developing and maintaining self-esteem . If each individual shows to have deficiencies with respect to the management of these skills, consequently, there is a predisposition to suffer from alterations of a psychological nature.

Providing adequate help to these people is the main objective. Avoid situations of rejection, as well as stress and frustration, but also avoid school and work failure. The psychology of people directly influences how all the activities that are carried out in society are developed. The participation of all is what is sought to guarantee, for this the conditions must be of equality and reciprocal acceptance.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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