Throughout our daily life, we are forced to face a series of social situations in which we have to interact with other people. To effectively resolve each of these situations, people need to apply what are called social skills.
These abilities allow us to relate to others and resolve situations and conflicts in our interaction with others. Moreover, there different types of social skills which are classified according to their complexity and the functions they perform.
What are social skills?
At present, there is no single consensus in the world of psychology to uniquely and equally define the concept of “social skills”. However, if we take into account both their characteristics and their functions, we can define social skills as the set of tactics or behavioral maneuvers that people learn naturally and which they are used in situations of interaction with other people with the aim of successfully solving a social situation.
The fact that these skills are not innate, but acquired spontaneously throughout our lives, makes them susceptible to being trained and improved through the use of techniques for learning social skills.
A good development of social skills it allows us to express our emotions and feelings appropriately and satisfactorily. In the same way, it also gives us the opportunity to express our opinions and thoughts in a way that suits the situation we are going through.
Thanks to them, we have had favorable and positive interpersonal relationships; we feel better about ourselves and they facilitate the achievement of our goals in our social life.
These skills are also observed in the animal world, in nature we can observe communication and relationship skills between members of the same animal species, these abilities are analogous to what we call social skills.
Finally, and in summary, social skills exhibit a number of characteristics that distinguish them and differentiate them from other types of human skills. These characteristics are:
- They are learned and therefore susceptible to training and improvement.
- They are necessary if we are to enjoy good mental and psychological health.
- They are not rigid models of behavior, But rules adapted to all situations.
Types of social skills
There are different ways of grouping the different types of social skills depending on the classification criteria used. In this case, we will stick to the classic classification of social skills, in which there are 6 different sets, as we will see.
It should be added that all these categories are modulated by two basic attitudes when establishing interpersonal relationships. These skills are assertiveness and empathy., Which have the ability to condition the other skills that we will see below.
1. Basic social skills
They are the first to be acquired, being essential to generate and maintain satisfactory communication. These include:
- Know how to start a dialogue.
- To know to hold a conversation.
- Active listening skills.
- Formulation of questions.
- Introduce yourself.
- Say thank you.
- Ability to compliment.
- empathic skills.
2. Advanced social skills
Once the person has acquired the basic social skills, they have the necessary foundation to work on advanced social SKILLS, which provide us with strategies to manage them properly in social relationships. This type of social skill category includes the following skills:
- Ability to give an opinion.
- Ask for help.
- Ability to apologize.
- Suggest and give instructions.
- Follow the instructions.
- Ability to convince.
3. Affective social skills
These types of skills relate to the ability to identify and effectively deal with both our feelings and the feelings of others. In this category are:
- Identify and know the emotions and feelings.
- Understand the feelings of others.
- capacity of expressing feelings and emotions.
- Expression of affections.
- Respect the feelings of others.
- capacity for face the anger of others.
- Self-reward ability.
- Manage the fear of talking to people.
- Ability to encourage others.
- capacity for comfort others.
4. Negotiation skills or alternatives to aggression
Social skills related to negotiation are those that allow us to avoid conflicts or to manage them well. They consist of the ability to solve problems in interpersonal relationships without resorting to aggression or violence. These are:
- Know how to ask for permission.
- Ability to share.
- Ability to help others.
- Ability to love oneself.
- Ability to tolerate and respond to jokes.
- Negotiation techniques.
- Ability to control oneself.
- Ability to defend own rights.
- Don’t go into battle.
- Ability to avoid problems for others.
5. Stress coping skills
These types of skills are necessary for successful conflict resolution in contexts of tension or stress. Within this group are:
- Ability to deal with feelings of shame.
- Ability to defend the other.
- Tolerance for failure.
- Ability to respond to persuasion.
- Ability to respond to a charge.
- Ability to lodge complaints or complaints.
- Ability to respond to complaints or claims.
- Knowing how to cope with group pressures.
- Manage a complicated conversation.
- Tolerance of being ignored or despised.
- Ability to deal with conflicting messages.
6. Planning skills
In the category of social skills related to planning we can find:
- Recognition of own skills.
- Ability to make decisions.
- Determination of objectives.
- Identify the cause of the problems and fix them.
- Collection of information.
- Ability to concentrate on a task.