I teach interpersonal effectiveness skills for children, teens, and sometimes their families.

There are interpersonal skills that are effective and useful.

There are some interpersonal behaviors that cause conflict and push others away.

True Story Time  — including self-disclosure

My good friend, Jamie was reading aloud her paper in 2nd grade in 1986.

I started to interrupt her right at the start. I start saying something like “me, me, and me.”

I continued to interrupt asking the teacher to ask if I could take a turn to read my paper. I can’t even remember what the paper was about.

I do recall the teacher asking Jamie to be patient. The teacher called on me because I was talking out and waving my hand back and forth at her.

She said interrupting Jamie on her turn wasn’t nice.

She told me to put my nose in the corner in the back of the room.

She left me there while all of the other kids read aloud their papers.

(Disclaimer: I’m not recommending putting a kid’s nose in the corner).

 

I am disclosing that I felt bad for interrupting Jamie. I got it. I knew I wasn’t being polite. I knew it was rude and I realized it was pushing away from friends.

 

That was the last time I ever had my nose put in a corner.

 

I reached out to my friend Jamie on social media several years ago to apologize to her (as a grown adult). Jamie didn’t even remember this incident.

I also added my 2nd grade teacher as a friend on fb. I let her know that I thought she was a wonderful teacher. She was very kind.

This Epictetus Quote sum up this interpersonal skill best:

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

The skill is to pay attention to other people.

Listen with both ears. Use both eyes to read body language and gestures.

Be a great listener. Talk less.