Buddhism has the concept of skilful behaviour: that is, to commit ourselves to good deeds, undertake actions that are helpful to others and at the same time, manage ourselves, manage our minds, our mouths, and our manners. Skilful behaviour indeed, that reflects maturity. We can be emotionally skilled and socially skilled at the same time. So what are the components of this skilful behaviour? What is Street Smarts?
Socially Skilful Behaviour:
In looking at what makes a socially skilled person, we might conclude that in different situations, they have acceptable behaviour, they possess proper and fitting relations with elders, superiors, parents, and are alert to social nuances across a wide range of social situations. Some of these are learned behaviours, and some are picked up as cues in the current social surroundings. A socially skilled person might be able to use social behaviour to protect the dignity of others, jumping in when they are being improperly treated, abused, or at risk of having their dignity stripped from them.
Socially skilled people might be alert to social beliefs and attitudes in demanding situations. They learn from success or failures in social settings and have what is called transfer gain: they are able to transfer learning and skill gained from one situation to other compartments in their lives. Socially skilful behaviour is sometimes called ‘tact’ or ‘common sense’. Further down the page, we will look to another aspect of social skill, called street smarts.
What activity, what actions, reveal a socially skilled person? We could say that they have a healthy self-confidence and positive attitude. They exhibit a basic courtesy in social situations. They have positive interpersonal relationships that include sensitivity to the feelings of others which draws on listening, understanding, empathy, and compassion. They have the ability to reflect back to the other what is being communicated or felt, indicating compassion and understanding. Socially skilled persons have the ability to communicate effectively. They work well with others. The have the capacity to solve conflicts reasonably and with justice to all concerned.
So we might summarise that socially skilled people have the ability to attend to others, attend to their circumstances and, with self-awareness and self-understanding, attend to the situations they find themselves in and manage that appropriately.
Emotionally Skilful Behaviour:
When we look to emotionally skilful behaviour, we are looking to action, presence, energy – frequency – vibration that expresses an acceptance, an intuition, an understanding of what the other is saying, doing and expressing as feeling, emotion. What is being put into motion, what is being felt and given out, we call e-motion. It is human energy put into motion, hence e-motion.
An emotionally skilled person might be able to manage expression of their own emotion and feeling in challenging situations. They would be able to process their own emotion elsewhere, when situations demand they be put on hold, and attention must be given to the demand, emotion, feeling of another. When we say someone is emotionally mature, we are saying that they are able to take responsibility for their own feelings, and acknowledge the feelings of others.
So we take this up and perhaps, bring an element of courage into being emotionally skilful: able to validate one’s own feelings and the feelings of others. Emotionally skilful behaviour may have the capacity to recognise when and where you have emotionally impacted others, and respond appropriately and assuage feelings of others. This includes conflict resolution skills (taking perspective, reflective listening, finding ways to meet each other’s needs).
Emotionally skilful behaviour is not innate (we are not born with this, as babies we emote very loudly in order to get mothers milk and a change of nappy!) it is learned behaviour. It is learned in the family, as part of respect for our parents, our siblings and our extended family. We learn how to present ourselves in a manner that does not denigrate our parents nor bring shame upon them. In the classroom, on the sports field, being with our friends, going on outings with our peers, we pick up social and emotional skills, formally, informally and non-formally. Through these cues, experiences, trial-and-error in our relationships, we become emotionally stable, build our motivations, and develop purposeful and self-confident personalities.
There is another form of social skill – possibly more of a survival skill, or it might be an acquired defensiveness, called street smarts.
Street smarts is all about getting along with others, particularly in potentially hostile situations. A person knows which questions to ask, and by not asking too many questions, emerges with skin intact, but is also able to be assertive, seeming polite and friendly at the same time.
Can we look to Shakespeare here? Think of Romeo and Juliet and the eternal street warfare between the Montagues and the Capulets. A grudge makes some streets unsafe to hang about. Street smarts definitely needed here, who to talk to, who to ignore, which areas in town are bad, which areas are good. Who has a knife, who is an enemy. All these are part of street smarts, and common sense.
At some time in our lives, we are going to have to learn how to defend ourselves, particularly if fists (and other body parts!) are needed. Self defence is knowing how to fight and fend off an attacker, roll and bounce without sustaining injury, and to take advantage of your opponent’s openings and weak points – especially if you are small.
There are many in this day and age who are ready to dupe us, and fleece us of our hard earned green-stuff, our wealth. They will clean out bank accounts, cite your credit card number and scam you – and many, many others without any hint of guile. We need an inbuilt BS-detector, so that we know when we are being done over, or being taken advantage of. We need to know that some promote themselves at the expense of others; they will go as far as self-promotion at the expense of the welfare of others and the community as a whole. We need to have street smarts that act as sharpness, alertness to untruths.
We also need to know that much of corporate advertising is untruthful, adds glamour goods and services and creates demand for products that did not exist before. An example is the early advertising for mobile phones in places where there were frequent traffic jams: “Don’t just sit there, call someone!“. Pedestrians, cycle riders and people in other cars were killed by those driving cars and using phones at the same time; that now, 40 years later, it is unlawful to use hand-helds in motor vehicles. Should we let advertising media guide us? It would be better to apply your street-smarts and tell you what is truthful and what is quick and fancy with the truth; what is really needed, and what is not really necessary in your life. A good BS detector can not only help save lives but also keep your wealth where it belongs: in the wallet.
We began with the heading, Aspect of Ascension: Emotionally Skilled, Socially Skilled, Street Smarts. Ascension as portrayed on this website – and in citations from similar websites – is about building the inner landscape of our lives, contact with our higher consciousness, and discovering your infinite nature and the infinite possibilities that exist within you. YOU are a work of art, you life is a work in progress, and you deserve the best foundation that you can possibly get.
If you did not get the human formation of social and emotional skills that this page portrays – or the ‘street smarts’ and cunning told of, then this is not the end and no-one is a failure. In these days of the higher vibration, the higher energy-frequency-vibration that so many speak of, it is now possible to build a positive attitude and use positive words from scratch. You can begin today, you can begin with positive words, a positive attitude, a positive expectation every day, morning, noon and night.
There is one promise, one gilded, gold-plated, irrevocable promise in all the worlds, in all Universes, from all who live and have their being on the higher dimensions, the higher worlds of consciousness:
Whenever a call for help is put out by anyone, it is ALWAYS RESPONDED TO. Help is given, whenever and wherever it is asked for.
© Spiritual Ascension, 2020. This page does not attempt to address emotional intelligence, and advises that people who are overwhelmed by responses to any of this material should seek appropriate professional assistance and aid.
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