Improving My Social Skills

Whenever I see a way to become a better person or to live a more flourishing human life, I take it upon myself to try to overcome whatever fear, prejudice or ignorance I have that is holding me back. This year, 2013, I have given myself the New Year's resolution to improve my social skills, which is something that I should have improved many years ago. The reason why I have only recently decided to pursue this endeavor is because conformity was never high on my priority list. Considering my somewhat rebelliousness nature, it only made sense that I rejected many social norms. However, the mistake that I made was ignoring how my actions made others feel. It was because of my discontent with conformity that I lacked the initiative to develop the ability to read people's emotions and the tact required to know what to say to whom. As a result of my low EQ, I have unintentionally insulted, offended, disrespected, and belittled those around me. It shames me think of all the people I have hurt throughout the years.

Through the conversations that I have had with my close friends, I have concluded that there are two reasons why social skills are important. The first reason is that knowing how to interact well with people is usually necessary to avoid making others feel uncomfortable. The second reason, which follows directly from the first, is that those with good social skills usually have more avenues open to them in their lives. Of the two related reasons, it is because of the former that I have decided to make an effort to improve myself. To be clear, my priorities in life have not changed. I still heavily value individuality and I still dislike conformity for its own sake. Anyone who has beliefs regarding how the world should be must accept the fact that to live according to one's principles will sometimes attract the disapproval of others and thereby limit the opportunities one will have. It is part of the deal so to speak. That said, to be an activist does not require one to be inappropriate or impolite or inconsiderate of others' feelings. In fact, if one believes in the importance of treating others well, which I do, it is imperative to prevent one's indignation from becoming incivility. This was my mistake.

For those that I have hurt in the past and for those I will hurt in the future, I sincerely apologize. I recognize that I have a problem and I am doing all I can to fix it. This is a battle I will continuously fight for the rest of my life.