The importance of social skills to achieve happiness

Philosopher Auguste Comte thought that living in harmony with others was the “law of happiness”. Over time, science proved him right. Without social skills, we cheat on ourselves. We betray our thoughts, feelings, opinions and rights.

The relationships we maintain with others are a source of satisfaction and happiness, but when we are unable to express what we feel, communicate our ideas or defend our rights assertively, they become a source of conflict, anguish and tension. Therefore, social skills are the foundation upon which we must build our happiness.

If we want to be happy, we have to cultivate our relationships and social skills

In 2018, psychologists at the University of Leipzig asked more than 1,500 people a seemingly simple question: what is your strategy for being happier? They have thus discovered that not all roads lead to happiness.

Basically, people try to be happier by following two different paths: individual or social development. Some believed they would be happier if they got a better job or lived a healthier lifestyle. Others emphasized their social goals, such as spending more quality time with friends and family, being more understanding with others, or meeting new people.

After one year, the researchers reassessed their level of happiness and satisfaction. They found that those who set at least one social goal and achieved it felt happier and more satisfied.

This isn’t the first study to reveal the connection between our social skills and happiness. In 1990, psychologists at National Taiwan University found that assertiveness was a better predictor of happiness than level of self-awareness. Researchers at the Islamic University of Azad have found that training in social skills also “has a positive effect: it increases happiness, self-efficacy and resilience”.

One of the most important studies to date, which began in 1938 following more than 700 people for 75 years, found that good relationships are the key to lasting happiness. Researchers at Harvard University concluded that “close relationships, more than money or fame, are what make people happy throughout their lives.”

Of course, this does not mean that personal goals are not important and that achieving them does not make us feel happy and satisfied with ourselves, but it is essential to base them on adequate social skills. In all cultures, social ties and our ability to relate are essential to achieving that good and balanced life that leads to stable and lasting happiness.

The importance of social skills to achieve happiness

Social skills are acquired through learning, mainly by imitating the behaviors of our parents or other important figures. Assertiveness, self-control, active listening, and emotional validation are examples of essential social skills we develop by imitating the adults around us.

However, we don’t all learn the same lessons in the same way. If we have not had good role models of social skills, it is difficult for us to learn how to resolve conflicts assertively or be able to assert our rights.

When we have not adequately developed our social skills, interpersonal relationships become a source of discomfort and dissatisfaction. Indeed, we cannot forget that relationships trigger some of our most intense emotions.

If we don’t talk about the problems, they will grow. If we don’t know how to lower the voltage, it will amplify. If we are unable to manage our emotions, they will take over and we will easily lose our temper.

Instead, social skills tip the balance. They allow us to strengthen interpersonal ties, but without them suffocating us. They help us to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, but also to express our needs. They allow us to resolve conflicts and defend our space.

The relationships we maintain define us. Not only do they allow us to find our place in the world and adapt better to different contexts, but they also strengthen our identity. To a small extent, we all see ourselves through each other’s eyes.

When we have the right social skills, we can maintain positive relationships that give us the support, trust and serenity we need to grow as people and be happier. Those bonds also protect us from adversity and even help delay mental and physical deterioration, being better predictors of long and happy lives than one’s social class, IQ, or even genes.

But to harness the positive power that comes from relationships, we must first cultivate our social skills. It’s not enough to let positive people into our lives, we need to be able to keep them and give them the same support, understanding and happiness that we expect from them. Because, as Wilhelm von Humboldt said: “After all, it is relationships with people that give meaning to life”.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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