Good thoughts people.
It still seems to me though that any trying with social skills is diametrically opposed to showing your true personality. In other words if you use social skills you are being a fake to that extent. I still don’t see how it’s not that way.
Even if it is about being nice. That means you are actually an asshole on the inside but you don’t show it. You force yourself to do things which aren’t truly what you are on the inside. You try to make it work. I’m not saying people can’t change to be nicer, but to try to force it for social acceptance is going to go against what you are.
Social skills help to get over ego and anxiety. The person stops obsessing and start getting interested in OTHER people, and stops freaking out. None of that has to do with personality.
Do you see how it’s all about them? The external people?
So the goal is “So someone wants you more”? It’s revealing to use social skills in order to get something, maybe to get attention, maybe to get people to like you, or to get sex. Is someone using social skills to mask a true monster self? That no one will like if they knew the real person?
Get help with that, and when the self-perception of monsterhood has been vanquished, social skills will help people like the real soul just like they’re intended.
It’s an interesting point. My ex wife trained counselors and a skill they all thought was valuable was active listening. She hated the fact that people thought that using active listening, by the numbers; nod head, adopt appropriate facial expression, summarize speakers points etc, often acted as a substitute for actually listening. She felt that grieving people particularly often felt pissed off by the rote techniques of skilled active listeners. She expected people to be genuinely involved and not resorting to technique.
“Wearing a mask” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You may be willing to walk around naked in front of your spouse, but putting on clothes to go to work doesn’t mean that you’re being fake with your co-workers. Constantly trying to show your “real self” to others can be a way of insisting that they pay more attention to you than you do to them.
Think about the goal of social interaction - it’s not all about you, it’s about communicating and sharing experiences with others. This means that each person in a social encounter has to be able to expand his interest to the lives of others. As don’t ask says, “active listening” techniques aren’t meant to substitute for actually being a good listener. The techniques are a way to help you to learn to really listen and to communicate to others that that’s what you’re trying to do. Good social skills help you develop relationships with other people. Relationships are built through the give-and-take of conversation and experience, and you can’t develop that by simply plopping everything you’ve got out on the table and expecting other people to take it or leave it.
It’s like I always say: “Just be yourself. Or, better yet, pretend to be someone who isn’t such a fucking asshole.”
“Being fake” is only really a problem when what you say or how you act is inconsistent with what you actually do. For example, I have a friend I’ve known since college. He’s basically a nice guy, but he’s also a bit of a “people pleaser”. Which is to say, he will say whatever he thinks people want to hear, regardless of whether he actually plans to follow through or not. And usually he ends up not following through at the last minute once it no longer becomes avoidable. He also only seems to call once every 2 years when he wants something (like a job or a client connection). Maybe “fake” isn’t the right word. But the fact that he is superficially pleasant and polite doesn’t make up for the fact that through his actions or inactions he’s a bit of a self-serving jerk.