Candid Conversations: Vivien Mangalindan
Candid Conversations

Advice for the Socially Awkward

Mar 24, 2023, 3:33 AM
Vivien Mangalindan

Vivien Mangalindan


In this day and age when we often hear the words ‘social media’, why is it that an increasing number of people seem to lack social skills?

Definition of terms (Reference: Google)

Social skills are the skills we use everyday to interact and communicate with others. They include verbal and non-verbal communication, such as speech, gesture, facial expression and body language.


Let’s talk about my young friend Anna. She sounds like a robot: monotone. She looks like a robot: no facial expression. She moves like a robot: no gestures or body language.

When I ask her for an opinion, she gives me this blank look: “Duh!” But when I give her options, such as Yes or No, she’s quick on the draw! Wait a minute, am I with a human being, or a robot?

She often tells me that she is sad and lonely because she doesn’t have real friends, other than her “friends” online.


This is a scenario I frequently encounter when hanging around with millennial and Gen Z friends. Perhaps, that’s what happens when children grow up with gadgets, instead of going to the playground and interacting with other humans.

It’s not their fault. After all, it’s the parents who bought the gadgets to keep them entertained. Meaning: to get the children off their hands. Don’t they realize that kids won’t develop social skills if their best friend is the cellphone in their hands?


Attention: parents. Think about this. One day, your children will work. In this day and age of artificial intelligence, they will need to display some form of social skills. Why? Because… even if they are involved in technology, they will have to interact with other people. Then, what?


Do these sound familiar? What happened? Why are these such rare commodities nowadays? Here are my Top Five must have social skills.

Good manners and right conduct

Waiting and having patience

Greeting people

Listening to other opinions

Being a good sport


I started taking Anna to my social events. She learned how to behave in the real world, which we now call “in person”. Anna was able to find a new job, and was soon promoted to Team Leader because of her social skills.

Now that artificial intelligence could be a threat to your job, it is time you seriously consider learning social skills, so you can be a notch above the rest.

Imagine a day in your life like this.

  • Communicate more clearly and effectively.
  • Get career opportunities of your choice.
  • Enjoy new and better relationships.

Stop being socially awkward. Learn how to handle social situations. It could make you and other people feel happier.

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