10 things socially intelligent people always do

If you’re looking to level up your social game and make deeper connections, you’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll dive straight into 10 habits of socially intelligent people.

By adopting these habits, you’ll be well on your way to enhancing your relationships and personal growth.

So, let’s jump in and explore these game-changing skills together!

1. Active Listening: A Game-Changer in Conversations

The first thing that socially intelligent people nail is active listening. It’s the key to building rapport and making others feel truly heard.

They don’t just nod along or wait for their turn to speak; instead, they genuinely engage with what the other person is saying.

How do they do this?

They ask relevant questions, provide thoughtful feedback, and give verbal and non-verbal cues to show their interest.

By doing so, they create a space where the other person feels comfortable opening up, leading to more meaningful conversations.

So, the next time you’re in a conversation, try this:

Focus on the other person’s words, resist the urge to interrupt, and ask thoughtful questions. You’ll be amazed at the difference active listening can make!

2. Emotionally In Tune: The Secret to Understanding Others

Another crucial aspect of social intelligence is emotional intelligence. It’s all about being in tune with not only your own emotions but also those of others around you.

Socially intelligent people have a knack for picking up on subtle emotional cues, helping them better connect with others.

They’re able to empathize, offer support, or even share a laugh at just the right moment.

This heightened awareness of emotions allows them to navigate social situations with more ease and grace.

If you want to build your emotional intelligence, start by becoming more aware of your own feelings and reactions.

Then, observe others closely, looking for facial expressions, tone of voice, or body language that may hint at their emotional state.

Practice makes perfect, and soon you’ll find yourself connecting with others on a deeper level.

3. Empathy: Stepping into Someone Else’s Shoes

Empathy is at the heart of social intelligence. It’s the ability to truly understand and share the feelings of others, and it can make all the difference in your interactions.

Socially intelligent people have this skill down to a T; they’re genuinely curious about others’ perspectives and experiences.

By putting themselves in someone else’s shoes, they’re able to connect with people on a deeper level.

This sense of understanding helps build trust and fosters lasting relationships.

Next time you’re engaging with someone, try to see the situation from their point of view. Imagine their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and let that guide your responses.

It’s amazing what a difference this can make. Most people focus on themselves and their own needs, even in a conversation. 

But if you shift your attention to truly understanding what they’re going through, you’ll not only make them feel understood and heard, but you’ll make them feel respected and valued as well. 

4. The Power of Nonverbal Communication: Reading Between the Lines

Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to “get” what others are feeling, even without exchanging a single word?

That’s because socially intelligent people understand the power of nonverbal communication.

2They know that body language, facial expressions, and even the way someone stands can speak volumes about their emotions and intentions.

These social experts pick up on these nonverbal cues and adjust their own behavior accordingly.

This skill allows them to forge deeper connections and respond more appropriately to the people around them.

Want to develop this skill yourself?

Start by observing people’s body language and facial expressions in different situations.

As you become more attuned to these nonverbal cues, you’ll be able to “read” people better and enhance your social interactions.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your own nonverbal communication, too – it’s just as important in making a positive impression!

5. Adaptability: A Social Chameleon’s Secret Weapon

Imagine this: you’re at a formal business event, sipping your drink and making polite conversation.

Later that evening, you find yourself at a casual gathering with friends, laughing and sharing stories.

Do you notice a difference in your behavior between these two situations? If so, you’re tapping into adaptability, which is a key trait of socially intelligent people.

These individuals have the incredible ability to adjust their communication style depending on the context.

They can easily switch between being professional and approachable, or serious and light-hearted.

This adaptability allows them to connect with a wide range of people and excel in various social settings.

To enhance your adaptability, pay attention to the social cues around you and adjust your behavior accordingly.

Again, it doesn’t take a conversational master to pull this off.

All you need to do is deliberately shift your attention to what’s going on around you, and then think about what the most appropriate way to act is. 

6. Respecting Boundaries: The Art of Making Others Feel Comfortable

I remember attending a crowded event a few years back, where I witnessed a perfect example of social intelligence in action.

My friend, who is known for her social skills, was talking to someone who seemed a bit uneasy due to the close proximity of other attendees.

My friend, like many other socially intelligent people, was able to sense the other person’s discomfort.

She instinctively created some distance, allowing the person to feel more at ease in their conversation.

This incident highlighted the importance of being aware of and respecting others’ boundaries, whether it’s due to physical proximity or the nature of the conversation.

It’s a skill that socially intelligent people excel at, making them more approachable and relatable to others.

Even when they approach others, they won’t approach them face on and look intimidating. They’ll be more subtle so they don’t invade someone’s personal space. 

To become more skilled at respecting boundaries, be aware of the subtle signs that someone may be uncomfortable – like crossed arms, avoidance of eye contact, or a shift in body language.

7. Cultivating Genuine Connections: Building a Network That Matters

A friend of mine once shared an experience that stuck with me: she attended a networking event and noticed two distinct types of people.

Some were aggressively collecting business cards and making shallow small talk, while others engaged in deep, meaningful conversations.

Can you guess who left a more lasting impression?

Socially intelligent people focus on cultivating genuine connections rather than racking up an extensive list of acquaintances.

They prioritize quality over quantity and invest time in building relationships that matter.

Socially intelligent people approach social interactions with the goal of actually understanding and connecting with others on a deeper level.

They ask open-ended questions, share personal stories, and genuinely listen.

Socially intelligent people understand that you can’t fake interest. You need to be genuinely curious about learning about others. 

8. The Art of Giving Compliments: Making Others Feel Valued

Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

Socially intelligent people understand the power of a genuine compliment and use it to make others feel seen and appreciated.

These individuals know how to highlight the positive qualities and achievements of others in a sincere and meaningful way.

They recognize that when they lift others up, they create a positive atmosphere that strengthens relationships.

To master the art of giving compliments, look for specific qualities or actions in others that genuinely impress you.

Be honest and specific in your praise, and express it with warmth and enthusiasm.

You’ll be amazed at the impact a heartfelt compliment can have on both the receiver and your relationship with them.

9. Conflict Resolution: Turning Tension into Growth

I remember a time when two of my close friends had a disagreement, and tensions were running high.

Instead of taking sides or avoiding the issue, one of them approached the other with openness and understanding.

They listened, empathized, and worked together to find a resolution. That’s a prime example of how socially intelligent people handle conflicts.

Rather than escalating the situation or sweeping it under the rug, these individuals tackle conflicts head-on, aiming for a constructive outcome.

They know that conflicts can be opportunities for growth and understanding if approached with empathy and a willingness to find common ground.

To improve your conflict resolution skills, practice active listening, and seek to understand the other person’s perspective.

Remain open to compromise and focus on finding a solution that benefits all parties involved.

By doing so, you’ll turn potential sources of tension into opportunities for growth and deeper connections.

10. The Power of Humor: Lightening the Mood and Building Bonds

Did you know that laughter releases feel-good hormones called endorphins, which help reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness?

Socially intelligent people harness the power of humor to connect with others and create a positive atmosphere.

These individuals have a knack for knowing when to crack a joke or share a funny story, effectively lightening the mood and putting others at ease.

This skill not only makes social interactions more enjoyable but also helps forge stronger bonds between people.

To add more humor to your social repertoire, start by observing what makes people laugh and identifying the types of jokes that resonate with different audiences.

While it’s important to be mindful of boundaries and avoid humor that may offend, don’t be afraid to share a funny anecdote or engage in some light-hearted banter.

You’ll find that a well-timed joke can work wonders in strengthening your relationships and making social situations more enjoyable for everyone involved.


And there you have it – the 10 things that socially intelligent people always do!

As we’ve explored these traits together, it’s clear that social intelligence is a powerful tool for forging deeper connections, navigating diverse situations, and growing personally.

Remember, social intelligence isn’t a magical gift that only a few possess. It’s a skill set that you can develop and refine with practice and intention.

By incorporating these habits into your own life – from active listening and empathy to humor and conflict resolution – you’ll find yourself becoming more adept at handling social situations and building meaningful relationships.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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