Importance of social smartness
Some time back we visited one acquaintance at their house. It was a Saturday evening. The TV was on and their child was playing on the tab. The host greeted us and we settled in the drawing room. We had not met the child before, so she did not know us. As we were speaking with my friend, the child picked up the tab and moved into the bedroom. No greetings, no conversation.
Me and my wife exchanged glance and kept mum. How common is this situation where children do not engage in a conversation with others? Is it restricted only to children or is it even prevalent in adults? What are the reasons behind such poor social skills?
The anecdotal evidence is that even adults behave in this way.
If you visit any office party, you are most likely to see that people of same department/location will be flocking together. They will not make a point to go and meet new people.
Such behavior is also seen at the airport, on flight, in the train, etc. where people sitting next to each other may not even smile at each other. Conversation is a tall order!
Social smartness is an essential part of personality.
It is this skill which allows all of us to make new contacts. It is said that ‘people work for other people’. You like someone based on the interaction you had. And then you are fine doing work for them. All these get done due to proper social skills.
At the young age, students experience this when they contest any election in the school e.g. student council. You get votes from students only when they know you, in a positive way. For adults, social skills and networking is extremely important. So, if it is so important, why people still behave in this way?
The research suggests that the reason people have poor social skills is is due to their lack of confidence. And the confidence is low because they have never been taught the social skills. It is an acquired skill and can be learnt.
So, if you are a parent, you should be ensuring that your child knows how to behave in a social situation. You would have given a wonderful gift to your child by ensuring appropriate development of this skill. So next time I visit my friend, I will be happy to see if the child in the house not only greet us, but also talks for a while before continuing his game on the tab.