bad social skills

Unsure If You Have Bad Social Skills? Look for These Nine Behaviors

Bad social skills are not uncommon. They are not a problem solely for people who are shy or who have a particular personality type. Anyone can suffer from this problem, and sometimes they don’t even realize it. If you are wondering whether you have bad social skills, here are nine signs to look out for.

1.      Oversharing

Oversharing occurs when you provide more personal information about yourself than is appropriate for the situation or when you share information that makes others uncomfortable. People overshare for a variety of reasons, such as wanting to gain attention, having poor boundaries, desiring a connection, or having to anxiety, among others.

One step you can take to avoid oversharing is to pause before stating any personal information and consider if it is appropriate for the current conversation. Also, decide on some personal boundaries for what information you provide about yourself and stick to them. Additionally, make sure you are listening to other people and asking questions about what they say.

2.      Poor Eye Contact

Maintaining proper eye contact in a conversation is important to show interest and respect for the person speaking. It also makes you look more confident. It isn’t always easy if you are shy or suffer from social anxiety, but it is important to try.

If you have difficulty making eye contact, try concentrating on what the other speaker is saying. You might find it easier to make eye contact if you are interested in the conversation. You could also try maintaining eye contact for 4-5 seconds before slowly looking away. Then, make eye contact again. Like with anything, practice can make you more comfortable.

3.      Interrupting Others

Interrupting other speakers can make conversations difficult as people are unable to complete their thoughts, and it may be considered disrespectful. Additionally, it can cause you to miss important information. If you find yourself frequently interrupting other speakers, here are some tips for stopping yourself. Pause before you speak; you may decide to let the other person finish speaking first. It can also help to actively listen to the person talking so you aren’t thinking about what you want to say.

4.      Not Recognizing Nonverbal Cues

It is important to listen to other people without interrupting, but people with good social skills are also aware of nonverbal cues. This means paying attention to things like eye contact and body language, which help communicate information beyond what is said. For instance, someone smiling and nodding while you are speaking may indicate agreement. In contrast, frowning could indicate that they disagree with you. Adapting your interactions based on your understanding of nonverbal cues could help you improve your social skills.

5.      Dominating Conversations

Frequently taking over conversations and giving others little opportunity to express their thoughts is also a sign of poor social skills. Dominating conversations can cause people to think you don’t care about their views. It is important to ensure that you give others sufficient opportunity to express themselves during any conversation. So, try to be aware of whether you are giving others time to speak.

6.      Failing to Listen Actively

Active listening is a valuable social skill. Not only does it help you to learn more, it also lets the speaker know you respect them and care about what they have to say. However, people with poor social skills often have difficulty with this. They may be thinking about what they want to say or just not paying attention. In either case, it can appear rude. Learning to listen to others is important if you want to improve your social skills, so try to be aware of whether you are paying attention and make an effort to keep your attention on the speaker.

7.      Lack of Empathy

Empathy is what allows someone to understand what other people are feeling. This is important for relating to others and forming close relationships with people. Yet, people with poor social skills often have difficulty with empathy. If you struggle with empathy, don’t give up. You can learn. Try to picture yourself in another person’s situation, and think about how you would feel. In time, you will become better at understanding other people’s feelings.

8.      Monopolizing Compliments

People with poor social skills may be insecure and look to others to validate or praise their actions. If you find yourself doing this, there are some things you can do to help yourself rely less on validation from others. Try to have friends who encourage you, and don’t compare yourself to others. You are different, and that’s okay. Additionally, when you make mistakes, learn from them to help you improve yourself.

9.      Negative Body Language

Body language is an important part of communication that tells others a lot about how you feel before you speak. Unfortunately, people with poor social skills often have body language that makes people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. They may frown or cross their arms because they are anxious or uncomfortable themselves, and this can make others feel unwelcome. Try to keep your posture open and welcoming when speaking with others.


If you find that you have several of the behaviors listed in this article, you may have poor social skills—but you can improve them. Beyond trying some of these tips for improvement, you could take a social skills class taught by a professional who has helped many other people improve their social skills to enjoy a more fulfilling life. As another plus, you would be taking these classes with other people who are also trying to improve their social skills, and these fellow classmates will be ready to support you as you work to improve.

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