The Importance of Scoring Social Skills

10/05/2016 15:01 | Updated 10 May 2016

Social skills are a cornerstone of a civilised society and includes politeness, manners, respect, common decency and everything we are prepared to give and take.

For many years, I have had an ad-hoc system of gauging where my relationships with others, especially my personal assistants and volunteers, are. I do not actually keep count or make any formal records, but I keep a mental note of where they are roughly are in terms of points.

Everyone starts with 100 points, this means I have a level of good faith in everyone I meet understanding we all have good days and bad. If people are nice to me or do good things, they get points, and if they are bad or make mistakes, they lose points. It is never a competition but just an observation as I never tell people what I am thinking in terms of points.

If someone has entered into a negative score, then it is likely time to review the relationship with the aim of producing an exit strategy. In terms of employing a personal assistant, this basically means sacking them since they have have likely made several mistakes to reach that stage, unless they have done something really awful.

Your closest friends and your best staff are most likely to have a huge amount of points. This means they are able to make the occasional mistake as they have the points to absorb them, meaning you will still keep smiling when they let you down. However, no one has infinite points and any relationship can turn sour if they suddenly change their behaviour. Every relationship, like every empire and every story, has a beginning, middle and end.

In using the points system, I am acutely aware that others will be judging me in the same way as I do, even if they don't consciously understand in the way I do. I do however ensure I am good with my friends, depending on how important their friendship is to me.

I used to believe it was possible to get on with everyone, even if we sometimes argued. Social media has dramatically widened the amount of people I am in contact with, and forced me to choose my friends, and my foes, those who will always remain in a negative score with myself. I have had to learn you had to sometimes lose points with people, including good friends and others, in order to achieve my goals.

I am unsure if my points system is unique or if I am simply one of a few people who has openly discuss how they judge their relationship with others. It has worked for me well for many years. I feel in order to maintain good mental health, it is important we can identify where we are emotionally and where we are with the relationship with others.

My points system can never be f0rmalised as it will be personal to everyone who uses it, I can not and would not explain how I made a decision to increase or decrease mostly random points has it is based on the situation and my feelings. Anyone else using this metaphoric system will have their own personal way of using it.

Social skills are a form of give and take, and it is good to understand our relationship with others.