Welcome to Day 9 of 30 Days of Dating Advice for Intellectual Badasses! We’ve covered Mindset, and we’ve covered some Dating Fundamentals… now it’s time to move on to a crucial dating topic, one that can make or break your dating success. What is that topic?
What are social skills?
According to Wikipedia, a social skill is “any skill facilitating interaction and communication with others.” Social skills are people skills. They include the ability to relate to others, to understand where they’re coming from, to see things from their point of view. People with good social skills get along better with others.
Clearly, dating involves interacting and communicating with others. So, really, most dating skills are really just social skills. And, like any skill, social skills can be learned, honed, and perfected.
So What Does This Have to Do with Being an Intellectual Badass?
Many IBs struggle with some aspect of social skill. This isn’t just my opinion; many have admitted it to me. Here are some examples:
- Some IBs are shy and thus unsure about how to approach the other sex, or what to say when they do.
- Some IBs are introverted and may not realize how hard they are to “reach,” thus coming off unfriendly or arrogant when they’re neither. This can make it harder for introverts to get dates.
- Other IBs have difficulty reading people; they miss social cues and wind up inadvertently turning people off by talking too much, saying the wrong thing, or annoying others. This often explains why some IBs can’t get a date, can’t get a second date, or come off “creepy.”
- Still others just seem to lack the ability or desire to take part in such social niceties like saying hello, asking someone how they are, or showing basic manners. As my old friend Duke says, nobody wants to date a “rude-ass.”
- And, of course, some IBs have a streak of Sheldon Cooper – they think their intellect/knowledge makes them “special.” Nobody wants to date an arrogant asshole either. Even if they do, the novelty wears off eventually.
Why Do IBs struggle with Social Skills?
Not all of them do, of course, and the rest struggle in different ways and to varying degrees… but there are many reasons. Often, there’s only so much time in the day, so we choose to develop those skills that we show aptitude for or that we are rewarded for. For many IBs, this means developing one’s intellect, something IBs enjoy and something that parents, schools, and jobs reward. This means that, sometimes, social skills are overlooked or rewarded less often. Besides, social skills aren’t taught in school. We have to learn them the hard way, through experience.
But it’s clear that some are born with more of these skills than others. We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the bright but socially inept scientist, techie, or engineer. This stereotype, while an overgeneralization, has some truth to it. However, delving into the origins of this phenomenon could be a book in itself. For the sake of brevity, I will focus not on origins, but on what the IB can do to develop social skills.
So I’m Socially Awkward at Times…. Who Cares?
Everyone. Especially those you date and involve yourself with romantically.
Here’s the thing: your bright mind, your appointment at an Ivy League university, your having developed the technology that means I’ll get to see Saturn’s rings close-up before I die… those are great things. But without a decent SSQ (Social Skills Quotient), you will not succeed in dating or relationships. Yes, my fellow IBs, your SSQ is a FAR better predictor of your dating success than your IQ.
Why is this? Because while people care about your attributes – your IQ, your looks, your status – what they care about MOST about is how they feel when they’re with you. Yes – if people like how they feel around you, you will have LOTS of dating options.
And that’s what the next several blogs will discuss.
If you have a question about social skills in dating, or a challenge you’re facing, feel free to post it in the comments, or email me @email@example.com. If pertinent, I’m happy to address it on this blog (and I will protect your identity). None of the blogs for the 3o-Day IB campaign are ground in stone, so if you have a hot topic you want addressed, let me know.
Also, comments are always welcome here, but sometimes the discussions can be more involved on Facebook or Twitter. So feel free to friend me on Facebook or message me on Twitter (@DenverDateDr) – let me know you read the blog and I will add you to my “friends’ list…