Social skills activities address a number of common interpersonal concerns and help people feel confident in themselves and in their abilities to handle all types of social situations.
Activities range from basic social skill development, such as learning manners, to more complex skill sets, such as negotiation. The barriers to positive social interaction can vary from one person to the next, but the benefits and core concepts of healthy social skills apply to all.Additional activities
We develop both positive and negative social skills during childhood and as a result of various experiences throughout our lives.
And because we are each driven by both internal and external influences, a person’s social conduct is a mixture of personal development and learned behaviors.
For example, Samantha has low self-esteem (internal), so she avoids eye contact and speaks in hushed tones, but she always says “please” and “thank you” (learned behavior) when dealing with others. An activity for Samantha would focus on improving self-esteem (personal development) and practicing direct eye contact (positive social skill), as it should address both internal and external factors.
Improvement of interpersonal skills begins with self improvement, as it is self awareness and self acceptance that helps us understand and relate well to others. Areas to address in personal development include:
When you feel good about yourself and have confidence in your ability to handle social situations, you can play a positive role in a variety of scenarios, such as:
Role playing is one of the most helpful activities for improving social skills, as it creates a mock scenario and allows you to practice skills for any area of your life.
Ask a friend, therapist or trusted colleague to play the part of someone you need to communicate with, and then practice your verbal and non-verbal behaviors with them until you feel comfortable enough to approach the real-life situation.
The role-play partner can provide you with feedback along the way so that you have a better idea of how others may perceive you.
Use employment role play to practice job interviews, ask for a raise, or to communicate with a difficult co-worker.
Use relationship role play to practice conflict resolution, effective communication, or to share uncomfortable information.
Role play allows you to practice skills for any imaginable scenario, so use it to your advantage when feeling anxious about a situation.
Other social skills activities also include games and worksheets, some of which can be practiced alone or in groups, so you have multiple avenues for improving these skills.
What’s important is that you focus on both the internal and external aspects of interpersonal skills, since a positive self concept is the foundation for effective communication and genuinely healthy relationships.