Interacting with people can get a bit exhausting at times. Because let’s not deny it, people can be trying more often than not. The skills that all of us use while interacting with our peers is called social intelligence.
Humans are social animals. It’s undeniably important for humans to interact with each other not only to survive but to thrive. Because our lives are made up of nothing but relationships, family, friends, colleagues, it’s all about building great relationships. Unyielding relationships are a major source of stress and at times might even cause physical ailments.
Social intelligence includes two things:
Your understanding of how you interact with people you connect with on day-to-day basis and also in new social settings.
This is about developing the synchrony between yourself and your social environment. It’s about showing concern about other’s needs and shaping your response accordingly.
It’s very important that we train ourselves and develop our social intelligence, some might even argue that it is by far that it is more important to have good SI than IQ.
Here are 5 questions that you must ask yourself to develop social intelligence:
- What kinds of social interactions do you dread?
- Who do you feel anxious hanging out with?
- When do you feel you can’t be yourself?
- Do I tend to focus on the positive or negative traits of others? Why?
- What have you learnt from this interaction and what could you have done differently?
Asking these questions will help you to understand that social intelligence is not only about interacting with others, but also about building meaningful relationships and manoeuvring through various social environments. It will help you develop empathy and love for your peers and yourself.
What role does meditation and mindfulness play in developing social intelligence?
Just as mindfulness helps you develop awareness about your own being, it also makes you extra sensitive towards others. It helps you develop the pulse to feel and understand others. This ensures that skills such as empathy, perspective, willingness to accept, conflict resolution and cooperation become an integrated part of your lifestyle. If we, as a society want to become less susceptible to social stress and social burnouts, it’s important that we learn and do our best to develop empathy and compassion through mindfulness.
Investing in your relationship, with yourself and others, is worth the effort.