Social Skills for College Students


Dr. S. Janakiraman
Asst. Professor
Department of MBA
Prathyusha Institute of Technology & Management
Aranvoyalkuppam, Thiruvallur-602025

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 expressions).

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

Dr. S. Janakiraman
Asst. Professor
Department of MBA
Prathyusha Institute of Technology & Management
Aranvoyalkuppam, Thiruvallur-602025

Source: E-mail March 28, 2008


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