Have you ever noticed that some people can talk to anyone they meet without any hassle, no matter how different their backgrounds are? It shows how different we humans are in our ability to interact, cope and communicate with others. Just as we have different academic competencies, we may also have different social competencies. This social competence is what is called social intelligence today.
What is a social intelligence mean?
People who have a lot of social intelligence:
- Can understand the feelings of others;
- They know intuitively what to say in different social situations;
- Even in large crowds, they seem confident and self-assured.
You might think that these people know social etiquette well, but in fact, they have social intelligence. No one is born socially intelligent. This intelligence includes a set of skills that a person learns over time.
Social intelligence in terms of psychology
Our ability to successfully lead our lives depends heavily on our level of social intelligence, as it can affect our relationships with colleagues, friends and children, as well as our ability to advance in our careers. It is therefore in our interest to better understand the concept of social intelligence and to develop the skills needed to improve it.
The modern concept of socialintelligence was first introduced by the American psychologist Edward Thorndike in 1920. He categorized intelligence into three basic dimensions:
- Ability to understand and manage ideas (abstract intelligence);
- Objective topics (mechanical intelligence);
- People (social intelligence).
Thorndike defined socialintelligence as “the ability to understand and manage human beings to act wisely in human relationships.”
Since then, there have been differing views on whether this trait should be considered a psychological structure alone. Recent research, however, has focused on the idea that intelligence is not a single perceptual ability, but rather different types of intelligence, all of which are separable.
This idea largely stems from Howard Gardner’s (1983) theory of multiple intelligences, in which he proposed eight different types of intelligence:
- Verbal language;
- Visual space;
- movement body;
Gardner’s theory has been criticized for its breadth and lack of empirical research. However, there is a growing interest in the individual and social aspects of his theory, namely intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. Today, these are called emotional and social intelligence, respectively.
Comparison of social intelligence with emotional intelligence
Social intelligence is the ability to understand other people, how they work, their motivation and how to work with them, while emotional intelligence is more of an inner ability. Emotional intelligence focuses on understanding emotions, learning to control oneself, and using this knowledge to guide behavior.
Signs of having social intelligence
People who are socially intelligent have qualities that help them communicate with others. Some of these features are:
- Effective listening : The person does not just listen to others to respond, but really pays attention to what the other person has to say. In this situation, the other party feels good talking to this person and thinks that it is well understood.
- Conversational Skills: Conversational skills allow one to enter into discussions with almost anyone. People with high social intelligence are tactful, humorous, and friendly in their conversations with others, remembering details about people that make the conversation more meaningful.
- Do not argue: One knows that arguing or proving something by making the other person feel bad is not the right thing to do. This person does not completely reject the other person’s ideas, but listens to them with an open mind, even when he does not personally agree with them.
How to develop social intelligence?
While some people seem to develop social intelligence without real effort, others have to work to develop it. Fortunately, there are specific strategies that can help a person develop social skills. Here are some tricks to help you increase your social intelligence.
1. Pay attention to the things and people around you
People who are socially intelligent pay attention to the subtle social cues of those around them. If there is someone around you who you think has strong social skills, try to pay attention to their behavior and see how they treat others.
2. Boost your emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is similar to social intelligence, but it is more about how you control your emotions and how you empathize with others. A person with high emotional intelligence can detect and control negative emotions such as frustration or anger in a social setting. Try to strengthen your emotional intelligence.
3. Respect cultural differences
Most people learn their skills from family, friends, and the community, but one with high social intelligence knows that others may have different reactions and customs based on their upbringing.
4. Practice active listening
Before answering, take time to think about what the other person is saying. Active listening can give you good information for effective communication with others. The ability to actively listen to others and respond to them with related questions and comments are clear examples of social intelligence.
5. Be careful of your body language
People’s body language tells us a lot about how they feel, even if they do not talk about it themselves.
Be aware of your body language. If you bend over during the conversation and seem physically apathetic, the speaker may lose confidence in what he or she is saying, resulting in negative interaction.
6. Show that you care
If you feel that someone is upset, or if someone says they are having a hard time, show them that you really care. Showing empathy for others can help you connect with them on a more meaningful level.
7. Appreciate the important people in your life
People with high social intelligence have deep relationships with their loved ones. Pay attention to the feelings of your spouse and children, friends, co-workers and other peers. If you ignore the closest people in your life, you will not be able to communicate well with them.
Mastering this feature is not easy; If it were easy, there would never be an unpleasant conversation at parties or gatherings. Pay attention to what people with high social intelligence do, as well as the mistakes you want to avoid. Then think that you want to act differently in the next social situation. Be active to improve your skills and learn from your failures as well as your successes.
We hope you enjoy reading this article. We now know what social intelligence is and how it can be strengthened. Do you agree with the solutions we presented in this article? Have you ever taken a step towards improving your social skills? Please share your opinions and experiences in this field with us and our dear users.
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