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What Socially Intelligent People Would Never Do

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What Socially Intelligent People Would Never Do

We’ve all heard the sayings about what it means to know your power, what it means to feel truly confident, and to know yourself well. But do we understand them as deeply as we think we do?

True social intelligence comes from self-confidence, and understanding your self to a point where you are comfortably interacting in society at a mature level. There are certain things socially intelligent people do well that stand a mile apart from annoying habits of those who do not have such social savvy. Read ahead and see if you recognise any of these traits of socially intelligent people.

They never interrupt

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    People who are secure within themselves are good listeners. They do not feel the need to talk over another person, purely because they feel comfortable and calm waiting for their turn. There is no anxiety to forcibly get the point across – they are confident in what they are about to say, and know that it doesn’t need to be said straight away in order to have worth.

    They don’t presuppose what others are trying to say

    Socially intelligent people will ask questions if they need a greater understanding of a topic. They don’t cut straight in with what they think others are talking about, they will give other speakers time to say what they mean, without thinking their supposed ideas are instantly correct. 

    They won’t put the focus on themselves all the time

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      They understand that all people have equal rights to attention and focus, and they don’t feel the need to be at the centre of things at all times. They have high enough self esteem that they do not need to be placated continuously, rather they are comfortable with equal opportunity.

      They won’t judge others in order to prove themselves right

      A good sign of emotional maturity is to understand our differences. Judging another person in order to further your own personal ideas about something is not socially intelligent. But having an attitude of acceptance and openness is. 

      They won’t try hard to convince others, they just say what they think politely

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        This is a very good indicator that a person is socially savvy and has trust and faith in themselves. They will not feel the need to convince people of their opinions or status, or just of their general person. They will be confident enough in themselves to know that their truth is their truth – and that what others think is, politely, none of their business.

        They won’t invalidate people’s feelings, instead they show understanding

        Social intelligence involves understanding, patience and respect. A person’s feelings are a person’s feelings. They stem from somewhere and they arise, and are what they are. How a person reacts to those feelings is another thing entirely, but a savvy person will not disregard someone’s feelings just because it might suit them to do so.

        They know that understanding is a mature and healthy way to approach a situation in order to have a productive and peaceful outcome. They don’t need to make others feel less about themselves in order to feel more important than they are – they already know they are important.  

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        They aren’t insecure about having a voice, they’re calm and would listen patiently

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          They know that assertiveness is actually the best way to deal with things, not anger, or passive aggression disguised as assertiveness. Socially intelligent people are secure and confident about what they want to say, but also knowledgeable about how to use their voice. They know how to listen and engage and have a conversation confidently and with purpose, rather than acting childishly, and only with emotion.

          Featured photo credit: Luke Porter via unsplash.com

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          Last Updated on November 18, 2021

          10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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          10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

          We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

          A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

          So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

          • honest
          • reliable
          • competent
          • kind and compassionate
          • capable of taking the blame
          • able to persevere
          • modest and humble
          • pacific and can control anger.

          The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

          1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

          All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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          But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

          2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

          How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

          I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

          “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

          Abigail Van Buren

          3. How does this person take the blame?

          Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

          4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

          You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

          5. Read their emails.

          Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

          • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
          • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
          • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
          • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
          • Too many question marks can show anger
          • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

          6. Watch out for the show offs.

          Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

          7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

          A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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          Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

          8. Their empathy score is high.

          Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

          People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

          9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

          We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

          “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

          Stendhal

           10. Avoid toxic people.

          These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

          • Envy or jealousy
          • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
          • Complaining about their own lack of success
          • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
          • Obsession with themselves and their problems

          Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

          Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

          Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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