Are Social Skills Becoming a Lost Art?

I’ve taught social skills classes for years serving students on the high end of the spectrum (Asperger’s). Typical characteristics include:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Unable to read facial expressions
  • Emotionally inaccessible
  • Appearing self-absorbed

I’ve noticed that social media (Smartphone, I Pad, etc.) aid in elevating these characteristics in those diagnosed with Asperger’s. Also those Not on the Spectrum! To me it’s disheartening to see families at a restaurant sitting across the table from one another with their eyes glued to their smartphones uttering hardly a word to one another.  Or the person walking down the street with their eyes fixated on their phone and bumping in to others unaware of their surroundings.  My particular pet-peeve is the person talking on their cell phone while attempting to complete a transaction paying no mind to the salesperson.

Let’s all agree that while some individuals struggle with connecting with others socially others are simply being rude.  Put your devices down and greet people by looking them in the eye and providing them with your undivided attention and if you see someone struggling to make a social connection provide a smile and words of encouragement.

Let’s All Connect With One Another More In 2018!

 

 

Blended Families and the Holidays

The holidays come with a lot of stress- especially if you’re hosting your extended family at your home.  Family holiday traditions can run deep, and feelings can easily be hurt.  Learn to get over the fact that your traditions may not necessarily matter to others.  As a blended family try making new traditions as you go along… one’s that everyone has a say in creating.  Also, if your children are scheduled to spend the holidays at the other household, give them permission to enjoy themselves without making them feel guilty because they’re not with you.

The holidays are not about gaining someone’s approval or stressing out over purchasing the perfect gift.  They’re about being together with those you care about.  If that means staying clear of your annoying uncle who consistently tells stupid jokes or the hypercritical grandma that can make you feel three inches tall just by a disapproving glare so be it.  Most likely the only time you will all be together is when you’re eating dinner.  Think of it as a 30 minute or less finite amount of time that you can get through.  Gravitate toward those who bring you joy and happiness and have yourself a Happy Holiday Season!