Categories
Wellness

How To Increase Your Social Skills Without Changing Your Language

Social skills are a powerful force of communication. They help us to build healthy relationships, to build and maintain trust between people, to cultivate positive peer relationships, and to deal with stress and anxiety.

If you look back at the last 100 years of human civilization (and what you’ll find are pretty fascinating numbers about how society and culture has changed), you’ll see the same pattern over time. A little thing, little by little, grows to become big and influential. We’ve been speaking English as an acquired tongue for a long time now, and we’ve been training people to use it. The social skills we develop when we speak English are not exactly the same ones you’re going to get when you switch to another language, but there’s a strong correspondence. But why does that correlation go so strong? Why is language such a large part of our social skills? The answer is that it’s our innate social language. People are wired for communication, and they’re wired for language. They’ve developed language in ways that are designed specifically to facilitate social interactions. In our recent book, The Language Instinct , we show that social skills (social language) are a powerful force of communication with everyone — not just a select few, but anyone who’s interested in developing his or her social skills.

The language instinct is a powerful force of communication between people. In language, there are two types of language, “hard” and “soft.” Hard and soft languages are basically the same thing. They take words from one language and rearrange them or change sounds to make a new meaning, with a little bit of adaptation. The hard-language skills aren’t particularly hard to acquire, and it’s easy to learn them. Soft-language skills are harder to acquire but involve an emotional investment. They take a little bit of hard effort to learn and use but are more important in forming healthy relationships. Soft languages aren’t just for language. They also influence everything else. They influence how we solve problems, whether or not we’re interested in things like cars or computers, how we think, and how we interact with others.

Let’s look at each type of language in turn.

The Hard Language

If you start off your language exploration with “hello,” you’ve just started with the hard-language skills. You’ve got to be a little bit of a linguist if you’re looking at French to English translations, but it’s pretty easy to pick up and get things going. French sounds simple enough, but it’s not, unfortunately. It’s been used a lot as a medium of exchange, but also as a way to express love, hatred, contempt, disgust, etc.

The Language In Which They Were Born. This kind of language is typically acquired through the process of exposure to different kinds of people by being born to a family or family lineage that uses hard-language skills.

That said, you can also learn English by actually talking to native English speakers and ask questions of them, and learn the soft-language skills (such as listening and understanding) pretty easily either by watching (the same way you are looking at English language videos) or even by listening to a friend who is learning. These processes are both hard-language and soft-language skills. It’s easy to acquire each of these kinds of language because we’re wired by nature to respond to language in a certain way. If language is part of our social language, then these types of language are all about language.

The Soft Language

By contrast, soft languages are the languages that people naturally speak. These are the languages that are learned and passed on, naturally. When you listen to a French speaker speak, you’ll hear the same kind of language you’d hear if you watched a French-speaking film or TV show. It’s very subtle, but it’s there.

It takes hard work to pick this language up. You’ll have to take a little time to recognize which kinds of things you’re allowed to say and when they’re OK to say them, or you’ll sound like a jerk. You’ll have to work on your listening skills as well, because different kinds of people speak at different times of day and on different types of stages. And you’ll have to develop a thick skin. People will ask you questions that you’re not used to hearing, and if you don’t find them interesting, they will continue talking anyway.