What is Social Intelligence?

What is Social Intelligence?


In a world that is completely drowned in social media – memes, reels, trends, likes, shares, and comments; the real human connection is the essence of each of our lives. Imagine getting into a room full of people, each of them engaged in their conversations and you dwell effortlessly through that landscape understanding their combos, and nonverbal cues and creating an impact. This ability to connect, communicate, and understand social situations is the core of Social Intelligence. Every individual develops in a specific social situation or setting. The nature that the individual lives in has a greater influence on their future growth, learning, and development. The culture, values, and experiences that the environment the individual belongs to have a greater value imbibing in the individual’s learning process.

Read More: The Psychology of Learning


‘The ability to understand and manage men, women, boys, and girls, to act wisely in human relation is defined as Social Intelligence’ describes Thorndike (1920). According to Drever (1964), It can be defined as a term that means the effective dealing of an individual with novel situations involving mutual relations of members of a group.

Why it is important?

It is crucial for so many reasons:

  1. Effective communication: Communication is the mechanism through which we transfer messages to each other. It is vital for sharing our thoughts, sharing information, understanding each other’s views, and adapting effectively to the changing social situations in our everyday lives. Understanding the nuances of verbal and non-verbal cues effortlessly would build rapport. This would create a foundation for stronger social relationships.
  2. Building strong relationships: Understanding is the key factor for any relationship. This comes when an individual has greater social skills like empathy, and understanding each other’s emotions, with which people connect.
  3. Conflict resolution: Conflict is the arousal of two or more strong motives that cannot be solved together. It equips an individual in terms of disagreements or terms of drifting situations by understanding others’ points of view. This would help individuals in both personal and professional areas. The individuals can foster emotional bonds and strengthen the bond in any relationship even in times of disagreements.
  4. Career Advancements: With greater social intelligence, an individual gains skills in various aspects like communication, understanding subordinates, being empathetic, and also in terms of networking.
  5. Adaptability: individuals with this intelligence can adapt and adjust to varying social situations. They can quickly assess and respond to differing situations.

Read More: 10 Signs of Intelligent People, According to Psychology

How to improve it?

Now that we have understood the importance of this intelligence, it’s indeed essential to know how to enhance it. Certain strategies can improve the social skills of a person, which in turn may improve them. This includes:

  • Have good listening skills- be an active listener
  • Pay attention to details
  • Control and try to understand one’s own and other’s emotions
  • Respect each other
  • Appreciate the efforts
  • Think and converse- be clear and precise with your words
  • On firsthand, understand yourself

Social Intelligence – A Character Strength

Good character is something that people look for in any individual- family, friends, peers, co-workers, or anyone. There are about 24 character strengths that have been identified in all people in varying proportions. One of those important character strengths is Social Intelligence. Being aware of and understanding one’s own and other’s feelings and understanding is what we call Social Intelligence. There are two significant components are given below:

  1. Social Awareness- being aware of the people around them and their surroundings.
  2. Social facility- the tendency of an individual to utilize the awareness one has gained as a part of Social Intelligence.

Social Quotient (SQ)

We call the ability to interact and communicate with empathy and assertiveness a Social Quotient. The ability to build a network of friends and maintain it over a while is a part of Social Quotient.

Cultivating Social intelligence

It is a gradual and progressive journey of “self-discovery”. Being aware of emotions, listening actively, and nurturing empathy are all involved in the journey of self-discovery. The commitment of an individual towards continuous learning and accepting every interaction with people around would augment the development of this Intelligence in an individual.

Read More: The Real Meaning of Self-Love

Measuring Social Intelligence

Many inventories have been developed to assess this Intelligence. A few of them include:

  • Washington Social Intelligence test
  • Dymond rating test
  • Six-factor test of Social Intelligence
  • Social Intelligence Scale

Intelligence encompasses all aspects of an individual. One of the dimensions is the Social Intelligence. Enhancing social skills has the vitality of transforming ordinary conversations between people into meaningful exchanges. This would aid individuals in creating a strong web of relationships. Social Intelligence is a key proponent in terms of how we connect, collaborate, and thrive.

Read More Articles from Psychologs

  • https://cambrilearn.com/blog/understanding-types-intelligence-iq-eq-sq-aq
  • https://survey.viacharacter.org/character-strengths/social-intelligence
  • https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-social-intelligence-4163839

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