Social skills, emotional intelligence and self-esteem

Since our birth, the social component has been integrated into our daily lives.

The first interactions take place with the mother in the mother’s womb, and once birth occurs, they mostly occur through the skin. The main figures of affection are the first context in which social skills will be developed and shaped, Starting with the looks between parents and babies, the smiles, the vocalizations and the words. Later, school will become another of the main contexts for the development of these skills.

    The emergence of social skills

    It is important to stress the importance of the cultural, social and temperamental characteristics of the individual, which will determine that two people behave differently in the same situation.

    Social abilities they might describe a person’s ability to relate to another through effective communication. Among these we would find qualities such as: welcoming when we come to a place, assertiveness, inference from other people’s states, expression of feelings, thoughts, opinions and desires, and orientation towards conflict resolution.

    Through social behavior the individual becomes aware of the limits, which in the future will promote his ability to self-regulate. The ability to regulate our behavior and our emotions is a fundamental part of what we call emotional intelligence; therefore, social skills are closely related to this, and this, in turn, to self-esteem. On the other hand, social skills deficits are linked to psychopathological disorders, such as anxiety disorders and mood disorders.

    Emotional intelligence

    Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to perceive, identify and manage one’s own emotional states and those of others.

    Goleman (1995) divides emotional intelligence into two: intrapersonal and interpersonal emotional intelligence. In the intrapersonal we find emotional self-awareness and the ability to communicate with oneself to regulate one’s own emotional states. It positively affects security and self-confidence. Interpersonal relationships would include social skills and empathy, with the aim of recognizing and dealing with the emotions of others, which relates to charismatic people eager for leadership.

    As we can see, in emotional intelligence, language expression and manipulation are important, used to regulate internal and external states. Having good emotional intelligence promotes the ability to build healthy relationships with others, which greatly influences our self-esteem.


    Self-esteem is a very common concept heard in everyday life, but what is it? Refers to feelings of worth that a person has towards themselves. These feelings are stable over time and persist in different situations.

    It’s common to confuse high self-esteem with narcissism: an inflated self-image characterized by feelings of superiority, which is unrealistic, but unstable and fragile. Healthy self-esteem incorporates awareness of one’s own limitations, authenticity, recognition of one’s mistakes and virtues, and self-acceptance.

    How do these psychological elements interact?

    These three concepts are related to each other. Without the development of sufficient social skills, our emotional intelligence would be diminished; thus, also our self-esteem, as it is affected, in part, by interactions with other people, where we find direct or indirect reactions on us, which shape our self-concept.

    Through interaction with our environment, we increase our knowledge of ourselves, Reflection on our behaviors and our states, and the capacity to manage, modify and adjust our emotions and our attitudes to the demands of the environment.

    People with more empathy (quality of emotional intelligence) are more able to perceive the emotions of others (characteristics of social skills), which makes them more socially accepted and valued positively.

    Improving these qualities from childhood is essential so that boys and girls have an optimal psychological, social, even academic development, which will promote, in the future, adaptation to multiple situations, and their confrontation, in a proactive and resolute manner.

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