Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
I consider social skills a bit like learning a language. I’ve been practicing it for so long over so many years I’ve almost lost my accent. Daniel Tammet
Yesterday was the perfect day for a birthday barbeque for my mother-in-law. It’s sometimes hard to keep in touch with extended family so celebrating birthdays is a good way to do it.
Everyone pitches in and it turns out to be a great afternoon and evening of fun and frivolity. My mother-in-law has always wanted to introduce my daughter to one of her friend’s granddaughters but because the granddaughter lives in Texas it has never happened. By serendipity and chance, the daughter and her mother are visiting from San Antonio, Texas and had a free afternoon to come by. I think my mother-in-law is right her friend’s granddaughter fits right in.
We don’t click with everyone. Some people are more social and flit from one person to the next person. My husband says I take set on people. I find one person I’m comfortable with and talk and laugh the evening away. Flitting from group to group especially groups I haven’t met puts me out of my comfort zone.
I watched a friend do it at a birthday party we attended last year. She went to every table and introduced herself and made conversation, then onto the next table. Everywhere she goes everyone knows who she is.
She’s an only child. Her social skills are amazing. At social functions, we can feel like we are on the outside looking in. We click with certain people, it is easier to talk and laugh with them than to work a little harder to make conversation with those we don’t know yet.
I take the easy way out and talk with who is by themselves and I mostly leave the groups alone. It’s easy to see the people who are not part of a group and talk to them.
If there’s one secret of success it lies in the ability to get the other’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own. Dale Carnegie
Being a social butterfly is flitting around every circle and finding commonalities with everyone. If we don’t flit from group to group we aren’t social butterflies we are social caterpillars.
Caterpillars turn into butterflies. Getting out of our comfort zone is part of growth. Are we social butterflies, or social caterpillars?
There are pros and cons to being a social butterfly.
Social butterflies are not afraid to go out of their way to approach new people.
They have the capability of starting and keeping a conversation going.
They don’t enjoy a lot of solitude.
Friends may feel they aren’t valued because we are so busy being social and trying to make other friends.
Can we be comfortable and accepting of ourselves? If we try to make other people feel comfortable and included, initiate conversation, offer to help out and be a good sport to make parties, barbeques, and karaoke evenings a success can we appreciate ourselves and our contribution to the event? Maybe we need to develop our innate social skills and appreciate other people’s social skills without thinking we have to be like them. If we can be the best we can be, extending ourselves, getting out of our comfort zone can we quit berating ourselves because we don’t act like someone else?
It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and come up lacking. Don’t we need to accept ourselves warts and all, make small steps toward areas we want to improve and not judge ourselves too harshly?
There are more social skills required to talk one-on-one than to an audience. You don’t have to be socially fluid to talk to two thousand people. Jerry Seinfeld
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How to Win Friends and Influence People Paperback – Oct 1 1998
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