Social intelligence is a different concept than the classical sense of the term intelligence. Someone with an extremely high intelligence quotient can have very low social intelligence. Often, you are not aware of your ability regarding this concept because it is a natural and innate knowledge. Through practice and determination, you can ameliorate your social intelligence competency. With practice, some people who are incapable of realising how the world works around them, can become a master in controlling the dynamic of a group.

There are principles everyone can develop while engaging in social interaction and social intelligence is the science of these principles that create human relationship. Social intelligence can be defined as knowledge, cognitive ability and affection like empathy, which enable you to successfully navigate in society.

Indeed, social intelligence enables you to live well in the social environment. First of all, strong relationships improve your immune system and help fight disease. Secondly, weak relationships and loneliness are a major source of stress, anxiety, health problems and depression. Last, your relationships affect every aspect of your life including partners, children, relatives, friends and colleagues. It is important that you enhance your social intelligence to flourish and to achieve important relationship goals.

Research argues that humans have specific structures in the brain built to optimise relationship[7]. A known fact is, a spindle cell is the fastest acting neuron in the brain and influences social decisions and your brain contains more of these spindle cells than any other species[8]. Furthermore, when an individual is attracted to another one, a chemical called dopamine is secreted in the brain which gives the feeling of pleasure. These facts prove that most brain activity require attention whether intellectually, physically or even romantically.

In social intelligence a significant skill to develop is attentiveness. Active listening or attentiveness is one of the most important aspect of verbal communication. This is not for you to just actively wait to speak. You should always make mental notes of key points when someone is speaking to you. In this way, once you are given a chance to speak, you can respond to the most vital issues in the discussion. When others are speaking, try to think about the exact words they use. With practice, you will be able to comprehend and retain more of the information you hear.

In addition to verbal communication, you have to learn how to interpret the cues received from people. To understand the flow of interpersonal dynamics and be in sync with others in a social setting, you need to learn and decipher facial expressions, language and relevant cultural factors. You will also be capable of reading attitudes and behaviours such as when anger, confusion or joy are present.

Moreover, you can monitor your own reaction in social situations. During a serious conversation at home or at work, you have to learn how to manage what you are thinking and then provide a measured response that will help to ease the interaction. It is not in every domain that you can be socially intelligent so you may need to cultivate one area more than another. Regarding social intelligence, whatever your individual strengths and weaknesses are, developing proficiency will help you to improve your interactions with others.

I have included a list of books that will help you to increase your knowledge in social intelligence.

Books about social skills and interaction with others
Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman
Social Intelligence Daniel Goleman
Improve Your Social Skills Daniel Wendler
Games People Play Eric Berne
People Skills Robert Bolton
Reaching Out: Interpersonal Effectiveness and Self-Actualization David W. Johnson
Learning to Listen: Positive Approaches and People with Difficult Behaviour Herbert Lovett
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