Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Social Skills 101

Elky Pascal

She’s nice, she’s sweet, and she’s friendly… but she’s also socially off. How can I relate to her and what can I do to help her? (And what if “she” is me?!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

 Mishpacha image

Photo: Shutterstock

C

hani* is a teen who has everything going for her. She comes from a great family. She’s also smart, talented, and kind. Yet her social skills are lacking — and unfortunately so are her friendships.

Likewise, a successful employment advisor recently told me about a talented and capable job seeker who was having a very difficult time finding a job. Despite her greatest efforts, this job seeker’s poor social skills were hindering her chance at employment. 


What are social skills? And just why are they so important?

“Social skills are the positive tools we have, to interact with the people around us,” explains Rifka Schonfeld, an acclaimed educator and social skills specialist. “They’re so important because they help us navigate the world and create positive relationships.

“Some kids do pick up on them naturally, but not everyone does,” continues Mrs. Schonfeld. Unfortunately, the elementary school years can pass and a teen can suddenly find herself floundering to fit in, as she lacks the social nuances and skills to properly interact and blend in with her peers.

One should never lose hope — it’s never too late to acquire social skills. As Mrs. Schonfeld states, “Social skills can be learned! There are social skills groups and books available. Direct instruction is often the best way to learn social skills. I see it in my office all the time. For people who don’t pick up on social skills intuitively, we can explicitly teach them through social skills training. It’s also possible to do shidduch coaching as teens get older and closer to dating. The sooner you work on your social skills, though, the more ingrained and natural they become. That’s the same for any intervention — the earlier the better!”

 

Mrs. Schonfeld shares the example of Malki,* a young lady entering shidduchim. “Malki had severe social anxiety and struggled on first dates, but was extremely personable once she felt comfortable. Through shidduch coaching and social skills training, I was zocheh to attend her wedding.”

A teen having a difficult time acclimating to her classmates should never be ashamed to take action. Reaching out for help is half the battle!

Related Stories

Super Avi: Episode 1

Ruchama Schnaidman

A few weeks ago, Jr. Editor Libby Tescher called. “Have you ever heard of Super Avi?” she asked. Tha...

Snap the Alphabet

B. Deer

Can you find the ABCs in nature? Welcome to the world of Alphabet Photography, or Letter Art

ABCs of School

Bracha Rosman

Going back to school? It’s as easy as ABC!

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"