Wednesday, August 01, 2007

People or Social Skills

One of the things that often comes up for lots of people is the issue of social skills. If we grew up in abusive homes, odds are we had no role models for healthy interaction with others. Our families could not teach us what they did not know!

In addition, abuse of any kind can make us cautious and unwilling to trust or too trusting. We may find ourselves choosing others who also lack social skills, telling ourselves that they won’t notice or care as much. Or we may think we can’t fit in with others who do know what to do.

Here again, we can choose to learn those skills our families couldn’t teach us. We can do so by observing how people, who do so successfully, interact with others.

We can be honest with ourselves about what makes us comfortable and uncomfortable.

We can choose to treat others as they wish to be treated and ask for what makes us happy as well.

We can choose to walk away from people who refuse to treat us with kindness and respect.

We can know what we like (and don’t like!) to do so that we are not always just going along with others but actively deciding what we do with the people we care about in our lives.

We can choose to risk losing people knowing that if we are not true to ourselves, then what’s the point of the relationship anyway?

We can choose not to use “honesty” as a bludgeon or power maneuver with others.

We can choose to take risks, to meet people and talk with them knowing that OF COURSE we’re sometimes going to make mistakes—and so are they!—and recognize that no one has to be perfect.

We can choose to focus on our own growth, rather than trying to get others to change and at the same time we can gently decline to let others try to change us. (Note: If we CHOOSE personal growth, that’s different. We need to do so for ourselves, however, rather than to please others.)

We can ACT AS IF we expect others to like and respond well to us. It’s amazing what a difference that can make and studies bear out the power of doing so.

We can recognize that everyone has their own layers of insecurity and use that not to manipulate others but rather to remind ourselves that it’s okay to sometimes be scared—everyone else is, too, at times. We can use that knowledge to recognize the truth of what’s happening when someone tries to bully us—rather than taking at face value what the other person says.

We can choose to keep learning and growing and creating the lives we want to have—with as much or as little social interaction as we CHOOSE. And that’s the key—to CHOOSE rather than to be driven to it by fear or what other people think we should do.

Wishing for all of you that which makes you happy, the courage to change what you want to change, and reasons to smile every day. Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),



keepers said...

wow again!!! your posts simply seem to be written at just the right times and at just the right level to reach us and many others we suspect! Thank you once again and let us return the faor of some hugs to you ((((April_Optimist))))

peace and blessings


Leah said...

I agree with "keepers" - an excellent post. We can and need to empower ourselves with the choices we have.

Earlier in my healing as I realized all the many things that were missing from my family, I chose families which I wanted to emulate for manners, habits, patterns of treatment. I found doing this very empowering and a special kind of self care.

I send you a *hug*.

April_optimist said...

Keepers and Leah,

I'm so glad you found the post useful. And yes, we can choose to find other role models. It is empowering and yup, I did the same thing. We CAN learn new ways of doing things no matter what our families of origin were like.