Don't Be A Grinch - Social Tips From TestYourself To Make The Holidays More Jolly
TestYourself releases results from its Social Skills Test and offers advice for smoother social interactions with loved ones on the holidays.
MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- December 17, 2010
TestYourself.psychtests.com, one of the web's foremost sources of personality, career, and IQ assessments, unveils some interesting results of their popular Social Skills Test. They also provide helpful suggestions on how to deal with some of the less jolly people during Christmas.
Your house looks great. The meal is nearly done, you look snazzy, and as the doorbell rings, you head to the door with an optimistic bounce in your step. As the first family members start to pour in, you get that warm, fuzzy feeling that this year, things will go well. Just as that thought crosses your mind, the Grinch in you giggles evilly, and says, "Just you wait." And with that comes your mother, who sweeps her critical gaze across your living room, grimacing at your décor. Within the first five minutes of her arrival, she comments on that "strange, awful" smell coming from your kitchen, your outfit, and suggests that you skip her dessert this year because, judging from that pudgy belly, you've already had your share. "Zing!", the Grinch in you says, and as the night progresses you find yourself caught up in passive aggressive pokes to your pride, all-out arguments on trivialities, and plenty of "Why aren't you married yet?", "When are you leaving that dead-end job?", "Do you know how much money so-and-so's kids are making now?"
The holidays can be a social minefield where one misstep can result in an explosive argument - or at least really, really ruin your Christmas spirit. And while TestYourself's data shows that we can all do with a little "social refining," we can generally deal with social situations with relative ease. Statistics from TestYourself's Social Skills Test reveal that on average, our social skills are quite decent (mean score of 65 on a scale from 0-100) although women seem to fare better than men in social situations. They are better communicators (score of 66 for women, 62 for men), understand the subtleties of body language better (score of 74 for women, 68 for men), possess better relationship skills (score of 76 for women, 70 for men), are more comfortable socializing (score of 56 for women, 51 for men), and tend to possess better social skills overall (score of 67 for women, 63 for men).
"Although the holidays can bring out the best and worst in everyone, our data show that as we age, our social skills do improve," explains Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. "Of course, going a little heavy on the eggnog can make us all say things we wish we hadn't. But while our family can get on our nerves during the holidays, we need to keep in mind that it usually comes from good intentions." So what can we do to not get swept up in the little tiffs and verbal pokes that our loving families dish out so well?
Other social tips from TestYourself to keep the holidays cheery:
- Think before you speak. Is what you are about to say worth communicating? Does it need to be said at this exact time? Will it be productive? What is the best way to put it? Blurting out the first thing that jumps into your head might result in saying something that, upon reflection, may not have been the right thing to say, and was based on a knee-jerk reaction.
- Don't jump to conclusions or make assumptions. Make sure to hear others out before drawing conclusions about what they are relaying to you. A jab about your outfit doesn't necessarily translate to "You are a total failure as a person." Focus on understanding what the speaker is trying to communicate and shut off your internal judge.
- Remember that communication involves more than what is said. Your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice send just as strong a message (or even stronger) than the words you choose. So when grandma hands you over that hideous sweater she knit and not the new iPhone you were asking for, saying "Thank you" will be worthless if you angrily shove it back in the box and sit in the corner with a pout on your face.
How to come out of arguments with as little damage as possible:
- Don't focus on being right. If your goal is to win at all costs, you are not truly communicating.
- Avoid sarcasm. That silver tongue of yours will only lead to defensiveness in others.
- Be open to apologies. Forgiving someone for a mistake is good for you and good for the other person. By letting things go instead of dwelling on them, you will be healthier and happier. Forgiveness is a gift for you and the person who transgressed against you.
- Stick to the issue at hand. Many people are tempted to bring up old issues when having an argument. STOP! No one wants to lay out their dirty laundry on Christmas, in front of everyone. It takes attention away from the issue at hand, and only makes you and the other person angrier and more defensive. And talk about making things AWKWARD!
- Criticize constructively. First, don't neglect the positive. For every critical comment, try to provide at least one positive one. Be specific about what is bothering you. As much as possible, present issues as an opportunity to learn.
- Don't let conflict cause you to hurt the people you care about. In the heat of the moment, regretful things are often said. If you have a tendency to say things you later wish you hadn't, start dealing with conflicts before they get to the point where you lose control and let loose your emotions.
- And above all, keep your sense of humor!
Those who wish to take the Social Skills Test can go to http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3130
TestYourself.psychtests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. TestYourself.psychtests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.
About Psychtests AIM Inc.
Psychtests originally appeared on the internet scene in 1997. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. Psychtests staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. Psychtests was founded and is led by Dr. Ilona Jerabek, a specialist in the field of psychometric assessments and Vrat Jerabek Ph. D., a researcher and authority in the field of artificial intelligence.
Psychtests AIM Inc.
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., President