Rewarding and enjoyable communication between people is one of the most important components of life. Throughout
each day most people are exposed to a wide variety of interpersonal situations. On campus, students interact with their peers and their professors. In order to meet the needs of everyday living it is necessary to deal with bank
tellers cashiers at shops, doctors, and the postman. Skills that enhance developing and maintaining relationships are also important, as well as our more intimate relationships with significant others, close friends, and family. In
each of the aforementioned situations, adequate social skills make life easier and more enjoyable.
What are social skills?
Person to person communication that involves giving, receiving, and interpreting messages.
* They are primarily developed through learning. In addition to the goals and messages a person wishes to convey, the interaction will depend upon the particular situation he/she is in, as well
as aspects of his/her personality, past experiences, what he/she sees in the other person and the consequent impression arrived at.
Includes detailed verbal (semantic content of speech, the words and sentences) and nonverbal or paraverbal behavior (posture, use of eyes, tone of voice, and facial
Influenced by the person's culture and the particular social group he/she belongs to.
* Increases with social reinforcement from others.
* Are mutually interactive in nature, and require appropriate timing and reciprocity of specific behaviors.
* Reflect environmental factors that include age, sex, and status of the other person.
Social Skills Difficulties
* Developing appropriate social behavior may be impaired for various reason such as:
1. Inappropriate or lack of adequate models
2. Failure to be provided with learning opportunities
3. Periods of emotional disturbances that interfere with or impair social skills
* A failure to learn adequate social skills can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, rejection, and
poor self-esteem. Psychological problems that can be both the cause and effect, such as depression, anxiety, aggression, and suicidal attempts are common.
* The severity of the social impairment varies more from person to person than from one situation to the next. In one
person, the problems may be poor eye contact, with another; it may include every aspect of verbal and nonverbal behavior. These problems are usually seen in most or all social situations.
Typical Social Skills Training Methods
* Warm-up Exercises
* Homework Assignments