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Problems with social skills? Here we tell you how you can improve

Grecia De Flores
4 min read

Do you feel that it is difficult for you to relate, but are you really interested in doing so? Don't worry, this problem is more common than you think, and it has a solution.

Interpersonal relationships are loaded with many factors that enhance and hinder communication and social action processes. Social norms, protocols, and expectations often work against those with socializing problems.

However, social skills can be learned, practiced and improved so that you can have more effective communications and healthier relationships.

You may have trouble socializing if you identify with some or all of the following statements:

  • I do not trust others, I have felt invalidated on previous occasions

  • I feel insecure when trying to establish a conversation

  • I cannot communicate effectively with others

  • Although I try, other people do not usually understand my needs and intentions

  • I don't feel free to develop new relationships

  • I feel inferior in social interactions

Problems with social skills? Here we tell you how you can improve
Trouble socializing

Social norms and how we should behave in front of others are patterns that are learned in childhood. The mixture between our personal characteristics and the environmental ones derive in how our adult behavior will be.

When introverted children are exposed to environments in which they are pressured to interact, they can generate aversive experiences that prevent them from developing good social skills.

And on the other hand, those extroverted children exposed to environments in which they frequently have to restrain and inhibit themselves will also develop difficulties in relating.

How we can identify, parenting and learning play a fundamental role in the development of social skills.

So it is likely that you're socializing problem stems from how those social patterns were taught to you in childhood in conjunction with your personal characteristics and difficulties.

Factors that affect these relationships

Personal factors

These are those that, as their name indicates, are given by the specific genetic characteristics of each person that can lead to complications in the social area:

  • Autism spectrum disorders.

  • Depression or anxiety

  • Addictions

  • Thyroid gland diseases.

  • Predisposition to stress

  • Antisocial personality disorder.

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

  • Social phobia.

  • Fear of open spaces or agoraphobia.

Environmental factors

Or social factors are all those that have to do with the environment that surrounds us and the way in which we learned and internalized social behaviors:

  • Dysfunctional family environment.

  • Child abuse.

  • Permissive parenting styles.

  • Authoritarian parenting styles.

  • Abandonment.

  • Parental divorce.

  • Trauma

  • Pathological grieving processes.

  • Reduced social environments.

  • Negative influence of social groups.

The aforementioned factors can increase the probability of having difficulties in social relationships, but they are not determinants of them.

How to improve social skills

Select a suitable social group

Not all people or groups are going to make you feel good and share your interests, if you are having too much trouble connecting with a group, this may not be the one for you.

Try to choose groups that share characteristics or interests with which you feel identified and do not make you feel that you have to change who you are to be included.

Set goals

Work on your progress and set goals that you are able to meet in a given time.

Be honest with yourself and don't set goals that are over the top for your current situation.

Be aware of your progress, document it, and reward yourself for moving towards a better way of communicating and building relationships.

Seek support

You can find groups of people who have difficulties similar to yours and together support each other to increase social skills.

Practice interactions with people in the group or trusted family members so that you become familiar with the dynamics and feel more secure in a spontaneous conversation.

Share your insecurities with your trusted family or friends, they can work as supportive in social situations together.

Go to therapy

If you want to delve into the origins of your difficulties to relate, your best option is to attend therapy, here you will also find activities specific to your difficulties and together with the therapist you can develop an action plan in this regard.

Social skills make up a very broad aspect of our human relationships, difficulties in these can generate a lot of insecurity and anxiety.

However, they are workable, do not give up and keep striving to generate healthy and effective relationships that make you feel comfortable and full of yourself and with your environment.