Education may help us develop many of our skills and do the job we choose and the live life we lead.   But on the other hand, human beings are social creatures. They need social skills to help maintain proper interaction with other human beings for the sake of their social developments.


People want to receive positive reactions in a social environment. This is because the positive feedbacks received from others boost their self confidence.   This is where social skills come into play.  By social skills we mean the skills which we demonstrate while managing our relationships. There are some characteristics that you need to possess to have social skills.  First and foremost you need to have confidence in yourself and what you do.  You can be able to relate to others’ feelings when you know yourself and your feelings quite well as well as managing them properly. Is it too hard to have such skills?   Many things can be sorted out by working hard and giving them a try.


Develop Your Social Skills


Those who possess inborn social skills are actually those whose social skills have been nurtured by their parents, environment and their schooling from a very early age.   Such promptings in childhood as “C’mon say hi” or “read a poem to the guests” or “show what you have done” do nothing to help build social skills, but on the contrary they may even be destructive. Instead, the development social skills can be supported by allowing and supporting the child to build his/her own skills, and by appreciating his/her efforts, as opposed to criticizing him/her, whenever he/she fails.   Developing social skills in adulthood starts with being aware of how we maintain social interaction, and give and receive messages from others. And, in so doing, the communication resulting from our non verbal behaviors and tone of voice are also involved in the individual interaction process just as verbal communication.   


What Do Social Skills Do?

Social skills are influential in both one’s private life and business life.  Those who have social skills foster more social relationships with others and thus have more friends. Fostering new relationships, guiding life in a new direction, and moving up in the business world are all related to your social skills.

Those who lack social skills tend to establish less social interaction with others.  Therefore they are not very willing to meet new people.  They try to avoid getting involved in groups with new people they do not know.   And since they do not get involved they can not develop their social skills.  Yet knowing some people in such meetings actually makes a person more relaxed.  It helps a person to avoid people who he/she does not want to see and spend time with other acquaintances.


An important aspect of business life is to establish and maintain relationships with other people.  When you fail to this you are left isolated in the office. Being able to start conversation in a meeting and breaking the ice by giving the first nod and initiating the conversation with a stranger brings to one’s life both happiness and success. When people are interviewed for jobs, they are evaluated in terms of their social skills as much as their competencies and business potentials. By getting to know and evaluating them, companies try to employ personnel with advanced social skills.

Some people may demonstrate social skills only in the environments they are familiar with.  But since they do not get into other culturally diverse environments, such social skills they possess are useless outside their own environment. This limits their environment and hinders their further development.     They fool themselves by saying “it is the environment that matters to me”. Being able to use one’s social skills in different environments and cultures can be achieved by guidance starting from childhood.  Some people can not build their social skills since they lack an identification model with which to develop their social skills throughout their development process.  Some mental disorders that impede the development of social skills should also be taken into account.  Problems such as Asperger Syndrome, which may be described as lack of social skills, impede the development of social skills.

Having developed social skills means that you actually know yourself.   If you consider developing your social skills, then it is time for you to try yourself under different conditions, know your personality and get professional support, if necessary.


Prof. Bengi Semerci, M.D.