What Are Social Skills?
Social skills, or pragmatic language skills, are the basic skills you need to be an effective communicator.
What Are 'Soft Skills'?
Soft skills are those invisible skills that involve interacting with others that many take for granted: Managing your time, problem solving, and empathizing with others are just some of a few necessary skills. It typically refers to skills you need to be a successful employee and member of the workforce. To learn more about this, check out our page on soft skills by clicking here.
Why is this important?
Without these skills, you will find it very hard to get or keep a job, make friends, or interact with colleagues. Soft skills further encompasses executive functioning skills, such as time management. A person who effectively manages their time is less stressed, more organized, and has good work and peer relationships.
Types of Skills You Need To Be A Good Social Communicator
- Identification of Emotions: You must be able to identify when others are experiencing an emotion so you can respond appropriately.
- Self-Regulate: You need to be able to stay calm and keep an open mind. A fixed mindset can make conflict resolution extremely difficult and lead to fighting and behavior problems. Regulation of your own behavior is also important. Keeping your hands to yourself, ignoring the behavior of others that you find bothersome, and accepting consequences are all important skills related to self-regulation.
- Play Skills: With children, it is important to know how to invite others to play and how to be a good sport when playing competitive games.
- Understanding School Rules: Knowing how to appropriately request help, ask for help, work in a group, and being respectful are essential to school success!
- Perspective Taking: 'Putting yourself in someone's shoes' is very difficult for some children. Understanding what empathy is and why it is important is another life long skill
- Conversations: How to start, continue and end conversations appropriately can be very challenging. Knowing when is a good time to interrupt a conversation, when you are talking too much, or not enough are very fine lines for those who are more concrete in their thought process and have trouble with 'gray area' that conversations almost always have. Conversation further encompass:
- Direct/indirect language
- Non-literal language
- Cyber skills
- Body language
- Eye contact
- Personal Space
- Understanding tone of voice
- Feigning interest
- EACH OF THESE SUBSKILLS HAVE THEIR OWN UNIQUE CHALLENGES!
- Problem Solving: This is another higher level language skill that is essential for daily life. Problem solving is learned from what steps are appropriate to take, and how to compromise and work together with others to solve problems.
- Friendship: Issues in friendship can arise if a child does not know how friends are supposed to act with one another. Understanding complements, and how to handle conflicts with friends.
- Self-Esteem: While often overlooked, it is important to encourage and teach how to have good self-esteem. Advocating for yourself is extremely important, as well as how to handle situations when we suffer rejection or bullying.
- Hygiene: Believe it or not, this often becomes a social issue! If you do not have good hygiene, it quickly affects your social standing at school or at work. Understanding why these issues arise in yourself or in others is important to maintain social relationships!