How To Improve Your Social Intelligence In 4 Simple Steps
Have you ever wondered how your partner can effortlessly command a crowd? How can they befriend anyone they meet without much effort? Or how they can steer a conversation in their favor no matter the topic of conversation? Well, it can be their social intelligence driving their actions.
People with higher social intelligence can understand how others feel and what (when and how) to add to a conversation. They are self-assured and are considered to have great “people skills”. In truth, it’s all about having higher social awareness and social intelligence.
Social intelligence theory was first introduced by Edward Thorndike, a psychologist, in the 1920s. He defined social intelligence as the ability to know and control men, women, boys, and girls alike to act wisely in social situations and relationships.
Just like emotional intelligence, social intelligence can be cultivated, and below, I’ve listed some simple steps on how you can cultivate and increase your social intelligence.
What Is Social Intelligence?
Social intelligence is the ability to understand the social and emotional aspects of a situation. Social intelligence is often seen as a set of skills that can be developed, such as empathy, emotional regulation, and social problem-solving. This skill can also be thought of as an innate ability that some people are born with.
A person’s social intelligence has been said to influence their success in life. This includes relationships, work performance, and personal well-being. People need to develop their social intelligence skills because it helps them understand other people better and form deeper connections with them.
Social Intelligence vs. Emotional Intelligence
Social intelligence is the ability to understand the social aspects of a situation aka how other people feel, what inspires them, and how to connect with them while emotional intelligence is an internal skill that can be defined as the ability to understand your own emotions, learning to control your emotions, and using this awareness to guide your actions.
There are five elements of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. On the other hand, social intelligence centers around how well we understand other people around us, how emotions drive our interactions, and how well we present ourselves in social situations.
Signs Of Social Intelligence People
If you’re socially intelligent, there here are some traits you’ll more likely to have:
1. You are an active listener:
You not only listen to what others are saying but you also actively respond to them. The other person in the conversation does not feel excluded and feels like they are making a meaningful contribution and connection.
2. You are a good conversationalist:
The way you communicate can make a difference. You are the one who can carry on any conversation with anyone. You are tactful in your approach, have funny quips, and have appropriate phrases to add to a conversation.
3. You care about the reputation you leave:
When you’re socially intelligent, you consider your reputation and impression. You try to be authentic as much as you can but also keep in mind the balance of your reputation.
4. You do not argue with others:
You like putting your point forward but don’t like to argue with others. You understand that arguing isn’t the correct way to prove a point so you refrain from doing so. You listen to others while keeping an open mind even if you disagree.
How To Improve Social Intelligence?
Here are 4 simple steps in which you can improve your social intelligence and become confident in social situations:
1. Be Open-Minded
Being open-minded means being willing to accept different points of view and ideas without judgment. If you want to increase your social intelligence, then you need to be able to listen to others and understand their point of view.
You should try not to judge people based on what they say, but rather look at how they say things. Try to understand where they are coming from and why they believe whatever they believe in.
2. Improve Your Empathy Skills
When we think about ourselves, we tend to focus on our thoughts and feelings. We often forget that everyone else is thinking about themselves too. When you start to think about other people’s thoughts and feelings, you’ll realize that they’re just like you.
So if someone says something negative about themselves, don’t get offended. Instead, try to find out why they said it. Maybe they were trying to make themselves feel better. Or maybe ally meant it. Either way, you’ll learn something new.
3. Work On Your Communication Skills
When cultivating social intelligence, it is important to keep working on your communication skills – verbal and nonverbal. This can include listening actively, paying attention to the conversation, minding your body language, learning others’ body language, and not interrupting others when they’re talking.
When someone asks you a question, take your time to think about the answer. Do not be hasty in your replies. Understand what’s being said and respond appropriately. Remember, there’s always a place and time for jokes.
4. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is the act of being thankful for everything that happens in your life. This practice helps you value the little things in life. It helps you become more positive and happy. If you want to improve your emotional and social intelligence, then you need to practice gratitude.
Think about all the great things that have happened to you in your life. Appreciate them. Write down all the things you’re grateful for. If you ignore the little things in life, then you’ll miss out on how to connect with others.
Social intelligence is not easy to cultivate and it takes a lot of socially awkward moments to understand how to effectively cultivate social intelligence. That said, it’s not impossible to cultivate or improve social intelligence. When you know how to use social intelligence to your benefit, you can have better relationships and social success in life.
Try to observe social situations, pay attention to how others behave and act, and note all the things you’d like to avoid in the next social meeting. Think about how you want to lead a social interaction rather than just being a part of it.
By actively practicing social skills, you can improve your social intelligence. Remember that it’s OK to mess up and be awkward, in the end, you learn from your mistakes. Right?
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