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This week we look at Asset #33, Interpersonal Competence. According to the Search-Institute, “Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they have empathy, sensitivity and friendship-making skills.”
I attended a presentation one time where a local scientist was watching fellow employees as they passed on the side walk to see if people made eye contact or spoke as they came upon each other. The truth was they didn’t even look up from their shoes.
Now if adults aren’t even acknowledging the people they pass on the sidewalk, how can we expect our youth to grow up with these skills? Let’s start with an inward look at how we interact with other people. Can you start a conversation in almost any room and around any topic or are you so painfully quiet that the people around you might think something is wrong or you don’t like them?
I’m from the East Coast and I come from Italian heritage, so I assure you, I have no problem talking and that has rubbed off on our children. However, a friend of mine was painfully quiet as a child and though she and her husband are very friendly, they are pretty quiet people. To counteract that, she put them in preschool two mornings a week to encourage them to engage people they didn’t know.
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