Social Awareness A Key To Healthy Relationships & Emotional Intelligence
Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.
Raise your social awareness, and you give yourself a giftof tremendous value. It's an essential step toward the happiness and contentment you're looking for.
Our focus here is on being socially aware of other people, but the only way to be truly successful with this step is to first develop self awareness and self management, the first two components of Emotional Intelligence.
Here are some of the highlights of this important area, which will get you started toward increasing this important aspect of your Emotional Intelligence.
Eye contact -- Never underestimate the power of this simple part of the social signals you are sending and receiving all of the time. Basically, just do it. Avoiding eye contact is a powerful rejection signal that never communicates anything positive.
Facial expression -- The research is clear that the expression on your face carries a huge amount of information. The best idea is to smile. It benefits you personally, and it makes others much more likely to trust you.
Posture and position -- Side by side says,
"We're going in the same direction. We're in this together," whereas face to face is sometimes perceived as confrontational. Knowing this is a
good way to avoid conflict. An erect posture is good for you and all of
your interactions, not to mention your overall health and well being.
Touch -- Be
aware, be sensitive, and be careful...but don't let that stop you from
touching other people appropriately. Handshakes and hugs are generally
safe, depending on the relationship. We need touch, and when you're
using this powerful nonverbal signal, you're meeting a very basic need.
All of these areas are huge subjects in their own right. I encourage you to do further research on your own to learn how to master each one.
The Importance Of A Positive Social Perspective
A positive social awareness will lower your stress level, and greatly increase your ability to form healthy connections with other people.
Humanity -- As human beings, we are getting better, as this excellent video demonstrates. Contrary to what mainstream media presents, there are far more kind, wise good souls on this planet than most realize. An optimistic view of humanity will serve you well in every aspect of your life.
Assume the best -- When you hold others in the highest possible regard, you are rising to a higher level of consciousness within yourself. And, you're more likely to see the best coming from others, when you're focusing on it and looking for it as a proficient Goodfinder.
Recognize value -- If you are looking for value, you will find it. And the more you practice this, the more skilled you will become. Appreciation is all about increasing value, so the best way to add value in your social awareness is through the art of appreciation.
Seek connection -- As human beings, we are all about making connections. We have far more in common than you might think when looking at our differences. Look for common ground, and you'll find it. The more connected you are to other people, the smarter and healthier you will be.
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Goodfinding Gratitude, Appreciation and Optimism
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Building Social Awareness Of Basic Needs
When you understand basic human needs, you will be much better equipped to develop strong social skills and build strong relationships.
To love and be loved -- This is the core of our humanity, and the strongest of all of our basic needs. Be aware of this need in yourself, and that gives you an excellent starting point in approaching others. Set your intention to communicate love in all you do.
To be affirmed -- Although it is more obvious in some than others, we are all seeking affirmation and validation on some level, all of the time. When you master the skill of affirming yourself and others with integrity and authenticity, you will be successful at many different levels.
To be recognized -- Acknowledgment and
recognition are some of the most basic needs we have as human beings.
Smiles, greetings and touch, followed by verbal acknowledgment and
recognition can do wonders to strengthen connections with others, and
enhance your relationships.
To be entertained --
Develop your sense of humor and your storytelling skills. When you can
provide entertainment along with serious communication, others will hear
and remember much more of what you have to say.
Learn as much as you can about social behavior, with an emphasis on these basic needs. Always keep a positive perspective, which will help you keep going, while the cynics and pessimists are watching from the sidelines.
Keep in mind that we need connection with each other. Develop a clear vision of yourself as you would like to be socially and in all of your relationships, and step eagerly into that bright future.
Social Games And Integrity
Playing games and acting with integrity are basically opposite ends of the social spectrum. Games are based in deceit and hidden agendas, while integrity brings authenticity, transparency and reliability.
V-P-R triangle -- This is in many ways the most common game around, sometimes referred to as the Karpman Drama Triangle. Nobody wins, and everybody plays all of the positions, as you can see in the diagram below. Learn more about this vicious cycle and how to break it on this page.
Hidden agendas -- Everybody has them.
This is natural, and when you look closely at the basic needs described
above, you'll understand what I mean. We all want love and recognition,
but of course we're not going to tell anyone about that. Your focus
needs to be on your own integrity, and let others do their own thing.
Trust your gut feeling
-- You just can't know everything. Learn all you can, and develop the
highest possible social awareness. Then leave the rest up to your
intuition...your gut feeling about who to connect with, where to set
boundaries, and when to let go and have a good time.
Look for integrity
-- Integrity means that words, actions and feelings are in sync. Start
with your own, and work toward personal integration. Then seek out
relationships with people where you sense a high level of honesty and
authenticity, where you get a sense of a solid individual. This is the
basis for all healthy relationships.
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