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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

What Is Social Intelligence (And How to Increase Yours)

What Is Social Intelligence (And How to Increase Yours)

Have you been wondering how many past scenarios in your life could have turned out differently if you only knew the right way to react to them? Do you find yourself vowing to respond in a better way to similar situations if given a chance? You are not alone — not everyone is born with top-notch social intelligence.

Many people allowed opportunities to pass them by just because they were not attuned to the nuances of their social interactions. In truth, they could have avoided a lot of personal and professional disasters if the conflicts had been analyzed and dealt with correctly.[1]

However, to anticipate and handle critical social interactions with grace, you have to build up and tap into your social intelligence. In this complex world that we live in, you’ll be glad to have social intelligence backing you up as you navigate increasingly tumultuous waters.

What Does It Mean to Be Socially Intelligent?

To start with, most people associate intelligence with just the general type as it relates to analysis and reasoning. That’s all well and good, but there are also other forms of intelligence, which factor significantly in human interactions.

For one, there’s emotional intelligence, which refers to skills in understanding and managing your emotions. Emotionally intelligent folks can identify and evaluate these emotions and ultimately control them.[2]

  • If you were able to confirm that a misunderstanding or miscommunication occurred, take implicit or explicit blame for it. Apologize for what happened, regardless of whether it’s your fault or not. Instead of being misleading, you are using a diplomatic way of bringing up the issue so that the other person can still save face. The latter will be grateful to you for doing so, especially if they are the ones who misunderstood or misread the situation. Then, be explicit in explaining what you’d like to see and draw clear boundaries that you don’t want to see crossed.
  • If there aren’t misunderstandings, and there is a conflict between your desires and the other person’s, you may have the meta-conversation first. Take a step back with the person you are in conflict with and talk about the discussion that you are about to have. Instead of simply diving into the battle, convey something like, “Hey, it looks like we disagree here,” and figure out the nature of the disagreement.
  • If you realize that you are at fault, take responsibility and apologize to the other person. After that, discuss what you will do to prevent this kind of problem in the future.
  • In case someone else is at fault, though, don’t expect them to apologize or take responsibility, no matter how nice that would be. Many people are emotionally afraid of losing face and social status and will refuse to apologize or be responsible for their actions. Regardless, don’t let this get in the way of resolving the problem. Steer the conversation into what can be done to resolve the situation now and what can be done to prevent the same thing from occurring later.
  • If the disagreement is about what should be done about an issue, explore the reasons behind the conflict and be emotionally sensitive when doing so. Minimize blaming the other person and take blame quickly yourself when it’s appropriate. Differentiate what is definitively known versus what is assumed and then gather a reasonable amount of evidence to test assumptions. Finally, look for ways to resolve the disagreement in a win-win manner.
  • Each of these methods can be applied to a wide range of personal and professional situations.

    Being a human being can be hard, and we all want positive, productive, and genuine relationships.[3] When you use these social intelligence skills correctly, you will be able to get the best out of each interaction, and those you interact with will also place more confidence in you due to your consistent and transparent display. No one becomes a loser then even after the toughest of conflicts.

    Bottom Line

    There’s no doubt that social intelligence plays a crucial role in forming and fortifying human interactions. Learning and harnessing social intelligence skills will not only keep you highly relevant but also turn you into a trusted influencer in your personal and professional circles.

    More Social Skills for Success

    Featured photo credit: Phil Coffman via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Disaster Avoidance Experts: Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters
    [2] Know more about them in this guide: What Is Emotional Intelligence (And How to Develop It))

    As mentioned above, social intelligence exists, too. It is especially crucial during this pandemic when our routines and relationships have been rattled, if not upended. The uncertainty in the air calls for more careful handling of social interactions, specifically when dealing with new life scenarios, physical distance from our colleagues, and social changes in our close personal relationships.

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    Most people tend to simplify being socially intelligent into merely being friendly or approachable. But the truth is, learning to develop and harness your social intelligence can spell the difference between seeming approachable and having the capacity to build secure connections, diffuse conflicts, and communicate long-term solutions.

    Social intelligence is the capacity to evaluate and influence other people’s emotions and relationships by knowing one’s self and others. It develops through time and experience with people concerning success and failure in social settings.

    Even more significantly, some social intelligence-based skills and methods will allow you to break the ice and strengthen trust in valuable relationships. (Check out What Socially Intelligent People Would Never Do)

    6 Essential Social Intelligence Skills

    Socially intelligent individuals tend to have an extensive, efficient network of social connections that they can rely on personally and professionally. This is because social intelligence comes with a set of powerful skills that you can use to build, maintain, and improve relationships.

    The following skills can help you identify key people, understand and pay attention to them, and smoothly resolve any conflict that comes up during different scenarios:

    1. Assessing Life Influencers

    As you go through life, you will meet and regularly interact with people who have a significant impact on your journey. They are your life influencers.

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    To determine who they are, look for these three attributes:

    • Life influencer has a significant impact on your personal or professional growth. Your long-term success hinges heavily on a continued relationship with this individual.
    • The influencer cannot easily be replaced. Your time-tested relationship with this person has already yielded continuous positive effects on your life. You can identify who this influencer is by assessing the impact of past advice or interactions.
    • The relationship is mutual: you can identify what you need from the influencer and vice versa. Your goals and desired results are aligned with this person.

    2. Empathetic Listening

    Go beyond the surface level and try to understand the people you interact with, whether you’ve just met them or they are one of your life influencers. In other words, when they are communicating with you, you need to listen to what they mean and not just what they are saying.

    Your goal is empathy — the skill of understanding what other people feel. Focus not only on their message’s content but also on their tone and body language. By doing so, you will be able to figure out the meaning behind their words and what explains their feelings.

    One of the best ways to demonstrate empathy while engaging with others is by showing them that you are paying full attention to them via:

    1. Nonverbal signs include:

    • Constant eye contact (casual, not intense)
    • Keeping your feet and shoulders pointed to them
    • Keeping your arms open (if you are sitting)
    • Standing straight and not slouching (if you are standing)
    • Smiling, nodding, and using hand gestures at appropriate times
    • Duchenne smile, not fake smile (includes eyes in smiling)

    2. Non-interruptive verbal signs such as saying “uh-huh,” “ok,” “go on,” etc. at appropriate times

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    3. Echoing and Mirroring

    Another way to show your undivided attention is by echoing and mirroring, which uses one or a combination of the following methods:

    • Rephrasing the essence of what your life influencer is saying with your own words every one to three minutes – If you do it right, the person you are talking to will be grateful for your attention. If you don’t, they will be thankful that you checked and will correct it.
    • Using their jargon – Notice specific words that the other person is using relevant to the issue and integrate them into your echoing.
    • Mirroring their tone and posture in broad terms – For example, if someone is speaking formally, do the same thing. If they’re leaning towards you, do so as well. Just pay attention to their body language and tone and try to match it, but don’t try to mirror everything quickly. When done correctly, it will help people feel connected to you and trust you.

    4. Building Rapport

    You can also convey how you understand the person you are interacting with by building rapport. You need to help them feel that you are on their side and that you are a part of their tribe. Without explicitly stating it, signal that you grasp their emotions, goals, incentives, values, and obstacles by doing any of the following:

    • Express compassion (sense of caring) towards their feelings.
    • Find points of commonality between your goals and values and theirs.
    • Convey implicitly that you get what their obstacles and incentives are.
    • Use humor to help bring down defenses while avoiding making fun of them or what they value or using sarcasm as it’s too often misunderstood. Instead, you can lightly make fun of yourself since you’re the safest target.
    • Remember that the most impactful humor feels spontaneous. However, you can build it in, and people will still appreciate it.

    5. Curious Questioning

    Injecting some genuine curiosity in your conversations will go a long way in expressing your sincere interest in your influencers’ needs and concerns. It will help facilitate effective knowledge-sharing and further refine your understanding.

    To do it correctly, try to envision what someone wants you to ask them. Express curiosity in your questions without coming off as probing or provocative. Keep in mind that many people may not want to reveal their emotions directly, so a practical approach is to throw an indirect question at them. For example, you can say, “If I were in this situation, I would feel _______. How about you?”

    You can also share a story about someone who felt an emotion that you think the other person is feeling in a similar situation and see how they respond.

    6. Conflict Mediation and Resolution

    Manage your feelings and then try to resolve the conflict through social intelligence. As a proactive measure, try to scan your relationships for signs of conflict. Don’t give in to the temptation of ignoring potential disputes in hopes of seeing them disappear because that’s when minor molehills turn into major mountains.

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    Then, you may employ the following ideas during interactions:

    1. Remember that a great deal of conflict comes from misunderstanding other people’s emotions and focusing solely on the content of their message. When you start noticing growing tensions, check for misconceptions around both.
    2. Be diplomatic when checking for misunderstandings and treat the situation as a miscommunication on your part.((Business Insider: How to disagree with someone successfully and still effectively communicate
    [3] New Harbinger: The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships

    More by this author

    Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

    Cognitive neuroscientist and behavioral economist; CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts; multiple best-selling author

    8 Daily Habits To Develop Emotional Intelligence How to Cope with COVID Anxiety And Stress How to Handle Pandemic Depression and Take Care of Yourself How Cognitive Bias Influences Our Decision Making How Not to Let Cognitive Bias Control Us When Dealing with COVID-19

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    Last Updated on February 23, 2021

    5 Best Fish Oil Supplements to Buy For A Healthier Brain

    5 Best Fish Oil Supplements to Buy For A Healthier Brain

    There are many ways that we can make our brains healthier. We use our brains constantly, but we train them through studying, learning, and recalling, among other things. But the issue with these methods is that they only help support particular parts of the brain. They are specialized activities that require certain parts of the rain to work, but they do not support the brain as a whole. So, if you’re looking for ways to help every part of your brain, the best thing you can consider is getting the best fish oil supplements.

    Like with all kinds of supplements, fish oil supplements provide a high dosage of vitamins that help support and improve particular parts of your body.

    The Benefits of Fish Oil

    Fish oil is one of the most common dietary supplements used by people. Broadly speaking, these supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your health in many ways. Below are just some of their most important, proven benefits:

    • Studies show that those who eat fish are at a lower risk of experiencing heart problems.[1] Supplements like these are common and provide the same health benefits as eating fish
    • Omega-3 also boosts brain function, reducing various mental conditions like bipolar and schizophrenia.[2]
    • Fish oil supplements can also reduce weight and prevent type-2 diabetes and even some cancers.[3]
    • They can also help improve eyesight as our eyes greatly rely on omega-3 fats.[4]

    Why Fish Oil Supplements Help Boost Your Energy

    As you can tell from the benefits already, having high omega-3 levels greatly and positively impacts our brains. Not only can it prevent mental disorders, but it also has ways of alleviating mood swings, depression, and fatigue. Research shows that consuming lower amounts of omega-3s can result in more mood swings, fatigue, and depression.[5]

    Therefore, having a daily dose of fish oil supplements is a way of keeping yourself energized, especially since fatigue primarily stems from our brain. If your brain is filled with energy and isn’t feeling sluggish, your body will also feel the same way.

    How To Pick the Best Fish Oil Supplements

    When selecting some of the best fish oil supplements available on the market, we based our decision on the following criteria:

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    • High in Omega-3 – Every fish oil supplement will have Omega-3 and it’s a vital ingredient, but many brands vary on how much their products contain this fatty acid. We selected the ones that have a high amount.
    • Has multiple vitamins – Even though supplements are designed to have many vitamins, the benefits can be self-contained in certain areas and don’t synergize. The ones we selected provide benefits that help your body in multiple ways.
    • Purity – Supplements can often be grounds to include all kinds of unnecessary ingredients. The ones we picked are packed with only the essential vitamins you need.

    5 Best Fish Oil Supplements

    Here are the 5 best fish oil supplements we picked that you should definitely try:

    1. Infuel Omega 3 Fish Oil

      Our first pick of the best fish oil supplement available is the Infuel brand of Omega 3 fish oil. We have this available in our own stores because of the numerous benefits that it provides. Not only does it contain the Omega 3 healthy fats but also high EPA and DHA content that helps with the growth and development of the eyes, nervous system, and heart.[6]

      As such, you’ll find regular doses of these promoting brain and heart health. It also helps with maintaining healthy bones and joints and can help improve your skin and sleep cycle.

      Buy the Infuel Omega 3 Fish Oil Here.

      2. California Gold Nutrition Omega 3 Premium Fish Oil

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        Our second pick for the best fish oil supplements is the supplement provided by California Gold Nutrition. Their premium fish oil supplement has gone through a process where the supplement provides a respectable amount of EPA and DHA (360mg and 240mg respectively) as well as fish oil. It’s to the point where it’s recommended that you take two of these capsules per day.

        Their process also ensures that the softgels the supplement comes in are porcine, bovine-free, and don’t contain gluten, GMOs, and soy. Overall, if you’re looking for an option to having plenty of fish oil, this is a great option.

        Pick up California Gold Nutrition’s Fish Oil Supplement here.

        3. Sports Research Omega 3 Fish Oil Triple Strength

          For those looking for a higher dosage of fish oil, EPA, and DHA, one option is the fish oil supplement from Sports Research. Unlike the other options on this list, this fish oil supplement is marketed as a dietary supplement. The reason for that is because a single Omega 3 softgel already contains over 80% of your daily dose of fish oil as well as 950mg of EPA and DHA.[7] The dosage amount easily exceeds the Global Organization’s minimum contents of EPA and DHA.

          Beyond that, it’s also made from non-GMO ingredients, and it’s gluten-free. This fish oil supplement is also made from sustainable seafood.

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          Purchase Sports Research Fish Oil Supplement here.

          4. Natrol Omega 3 Fish Oil Natural Lemon Flavor

            One factor that people might have that we didn’t mention on the list is flavor. While what we offer is quality, sometimes, people can’t handle the flavor of some quality products. So, for those who have a particular taste for vitamins, one option to consider is Natrol’s fish oil supplement. This supplement offers a natural lemon flavor thanks to its natural lemon oil ingredient.

            Beyond that, you can expect a middle-of-the-road amount of EPA, DHA, and fish oil with the company suggesting to take one softgel two times a day with a meal. The only real downside to this particular supplement is that you’re giving up a few details and benefits for better flavor. Unlike the other supplements mentioned, this does contain gelatine from bovine, though it’s kept at a minimum.

            Buy Natrol’s Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement here.

            5. Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil

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              The final fish oil supplement on this list is the one from Nature’s Bounty. Nature’s Bounty has been committed to people’s health for almost 50 years at this point, and this company is known for making trusted products that are well-researched, backed by science, and made from pure ingredients. Their odorless fish oil supplement is no different.

              Nature’s Bounty product is marketed as a dietary supplement so you can expect a higher amount of EPA, DHA, and Omega-3 in them than usual. Even so, it’s recommended to take two softgels two times a day. These supplements are non-GMO and gluten-free, too.

              Purchase Nature’s Bounty’s Fish Oil here.

              Bottom Line

              While training your brain via certain brain activities and eating plenty of healthy fatty foods will help, we understand that not everyone can meet their Omega-3 requirements. Some people may also have medical conditions that force them to take extra steps in maintaining a healthy brain. This is where supplements shine as they offer plenty of high dosages for the nutrients that your body needs and provide several other benefits as well.

              If you decide to choose any of the listed fish oil supplements, I assure you that you will get a good quality product to help boost your brainpower.

              More Articles About the Benefits of Fish Oil

              Featured photo credit: Anshu A via unsplash.com

              Reference

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