We live in a world that is supposed to be more social than before, but why does it feel like we are being more unsocial than ever. This is because there are something called bad social skills which we tend to forget how to improve. These skills are so important that it can be used in almost every aspect in our lives. But what are bad social skills anyway?
Bad social skills are habits or mindsets that people often have to generally make conversations awkward. This makes people stay away from them, and thus makes it harder to maintain friendships. But since they are skills, you can improve them over time.
There are many reasons for bad social skills so we need to answer them all here such as the types of bad social skills and the examples within them. Furthermore, we need to discuss easy tips to help fix bad social skills and what causes someone to lack these skills. Let’s discuss them one by one.
What are Bad Social Skills
Generally, all bad social skills can be classified into 6 groups namely:
- People who can’t provide emotional support to others
- People who usually have a hard time sharing personal information even with trusted friends
- People who can’t know and accept request from friends
- People who may have a hard time introducing themselves
- People who will have a hard time understanding others
- People who are always very negative
1. People with bad social skills will have a hard time giving emotional support
One of the bad social skill or habit people have is the inability to give emotional support to others. This usually boils down to empathy.
Empathy is something where we try to understand the person we are talking to.
It is when you try to understand what the person is going through and feel what they are experiencing. This makes us understand them more.
If you do this correctly, you can feel a person’s sadness while talking to you and you can give them a good emotional support.
Example of things you can do to provide emotional support are: repeating what they are saying in a nice way, letting them say what they are feeling to feel better, or just being quiet and genuine.
Here are some examples of bad social skills that you can do that might fit in thus category:
- Giving advice when it’s not asked for
- Diving into deep philosophical topics instead of hearing them out
- Always talking about yourself
- Diverting the conversation into something else
- Looking at your phone even when in conversation
These are some of the examples that fit into this category.
2. It will be hard for them to share information even to close friends
One of the reason for a bad social skill is they have a hard time sharing information even to their close friends.
While it is the norm to be careful of what information you share, especially with the rise of technology and social media, there are things that are okay to share with your friends.
Things like your like, what happened in your day, and sharing how beautiful the weather is.
The reason for this is because sharing personal information deepens the bond between two people. This makes a relationship better because the person can feel important because you shared them things.
The problem is that when you can’t share information to your friends.
It will seem awkward that you don’t share anything with them. This is one of the most common reason why people doubt another.
Because it will feel like you are not trusting them.
Here are some of the example that might fit into this category:
- Diverting conversations when asked about yourself
- Everything you say is superficial
Remember this: Most people think their life is boring and that they can’t share anything. That is so untrue. This is because you might be doing something interesting to others.
What matters the most is you should be enthusiastic with what you are saying. Even boring things get interesting if the one telling them is very enthusiastic.
I have a cousin who is very enthusiastic about airplane engines and believe me that I am not interested in them. But when his eyes light up with excitement such as telling the speed of that plane, or the exact model of the plane in the sky, you can’t help but to also have fun and agree.
3. People who don’t want to know and accept request from friends
Most people don’t want to know requests from their friends which can be very annoying.
Socialization is basically a give and take relationship.
Most relationships with people will sometimes involve a little request such as opening the door for them if they are holding a lot of things.
Offering to cook if you are in their home.
Sometimes, friendship has some sacrifices which we are willing to take.
Do not pretend that you do not know that they have a request, they can easily notice that you are avoiding it..
But this does not mean that you need to accept every request from friends, that is not what I mean.
What I mean by this is accepting tiny favors from your friends won’t hurt. It is not the same as accepting their pyramid scheme invite.
4. People who may have a hard time introducing themselves
This might be what people who think they have bad social skills always say. They have a hard time introducing themselves because they have nothing to say.
This is not the case.
Some people are interested in other things that they do not know about. Also, if they disrespect you because of the things they think is wrong then you might be talking to the wrong person.
Because there will be times that you might blame yourself for having bad social skills but the truth is, it is the other side’s fault.
So if that is the case, better assess the situation.
The thing that most people lack in introducing themselves is their enthusiasm.
It maybe caused by previous rejection or they might think that they have a really boring life.
But think about it, some people appreciate what you have and they might really ask for what is happening in your life.
Sometimes, it is the enthusiasm that is key. The enthusiasm that you are happy with what you are doing. The enthusiasm that you are slowly going through life to reach your goals.
Not being successful doesn’t mean that your life is boring and not worth sharing. Sometimes, it is the journey that counts.
5. People who will have a hard time understanding others
There are people who will have a hard time understanding others.
The most common reason for this is that they always think about themselves.
To understand a person better, you need to stop thinking what you are going to say next. Rather, understand and listen to the person.
Not only you will understand what they are saying, listening makes you genuine and people like genuine people.
Because it is becoming rare especially because we are always fed up with people pretending in social media.
The bad side of social media teaches us that we need to pretend just to be liked by other people which is not the case. Being Genuine is far better to attract long-lasting friends.
That is why I did a social media detox before, it made me understand myself better and the productivity boost is also a good, here is the link if you are interested: “My 1 Week Social Media Detox“
6. People who are always very negative
If there is one thing that repels too many people, it is negativity.
Negativity changes the mood of the environment and can even break friendships.
This happens a lot and a good example is when a person is telling you their dreams in life.
A genuine person who have empathy will be excited and support the person especially if their goals will help them in the future.
A negative person will constantly tell all the bad things that will happen without thinking.
This makes conversation very awkward very fast.
While it is true that sometimes you have to be honest as a friend because you are genuine and concerned to the person, but there is a time for being completely honest.
You might want to be honest when you are talking in private or the person is seeking advice from you.
But straight out telling negative things at the start will not turn you into a friend in to their eyes, but someone who doesn’t support them.
How do I fix bad social skills?
While there are many bad social habits listed and it might be confusing. In all honesty, fixing bad social skills is very easy. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated.
You can fix bad social skills by building your empathy. You can build this by constantly asking yourself what the other person you are with is feeling. Answer that question and if you find out that they are feeling, ask yourself what would you want others to do if you are feeling the same.
This means that if the person you are talking with is angry, then quickly ask yourself what would you want the others to do to you if you are angry.
If they are happy, what would you want others to do to you if you are happy.
This is the easiest way to fix bad social skills.
What’s great is the more you do it, the faster you will be in knowing. Also, the more you do it, it will improve over time.
Another fix I have found to boost this is to befriend people who have good social skills.
The advantage of this approach is that you will learn how these people handle situations and how they apply their social skills.
By observing how they talk to you and their friends, you can get some notes on how they converse with people.
Take note of this such as when they become empathic, or when they know it is not the time to be philosophical.
This will make it easier for you to improve your social skills.
For more pointers in improving social skills, I recommend my book review for “How to Win Friends and Influence People Summary.“