Understanding trouble with social skills

Social skills help us connect with other people and have successful interactions. Trouble with these skills can cause problems in many areas of life. That includes school, work, home, and out in the community. 

Struggling with social skills is different from not “being social.” People may want to interact. But when they do, it doesn’t go well. They might struggle to make conversation, seem out of sync, or behave in a way that turns off other people.

People may have trouble picking up on social cues and following social rules. That can make it hard for them to fit in, form friendships, and work with others. They may avoid interacting and feel isolated and alone with their struggles.

There are different reasons people have difficulty with social skills. Sometimes, the cause is temporary. But trouble with these skills is often part of larger, lifelong challenges.

That doesn’t mean social abilities are set in stone. There are ways to build skills so it’s easier to connect with other people and have better interactions.

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