Welcome to edition #7 of our news series, where we share with you the latest resources we’ve found on social skills, making friends, and more. In this edition, we’ll talk about the age-old argument – can men and women ever be “just friends?” We’ll also find out if high emotional intelligence is really a good thing. Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss any future editions!
Opposite Sex Friendships… Possible or not?
This article on BigThink.com discusses just how differently heterosexual men and women view opposite sex friendships. It is an age-old argument that non-sexual relationships between members of the opposite sex simply can’t occur. People tend to say that one or both parties will undoubtedly end up attracted to the other.
Well… that argument is just not consistent with reality.
Yes, some people end up attracted to their opposite-sex friend.
Yes, some of them will even act on it and make advances.
Yes, sometimes it leads to casual sex.
Yes, sometimes it leads to lasting relationships.
But,… dismissing friendship between men and women as “not possible ever” is just wrong. Let me give you a few experiences from reality:
I’ve seen countless couples be friends with other couples; so that naturally creates friendships between men and women. I’ve seen colleagues or classmates be friends for years. I’ve even seen fun friends, who spend most of their time together partying,… be friends for years, while they’re dating other people on and off.
And that, from my life and from others’ lives.
I’ve also seen people who gathered around a shared interest that made them stick together no matter what their gender or sexual orientation were. Friendship can work between genders and that’s the reality beyond any research.
Let me leave you with a couple of takeaways:
- It’s okay to be somewhat attracted by your friends – after all you’re with them because you like them.
- It’s even okay if there is some sexual tension or sexual jokes.
- But don’t go overboard if you want to keep the friendship.
- Friendship is fragile, and you can destroy it quickly by trying to kiss/sleep with your friend. And that’s why people think it can’t work. Just because it’s a fragile relationship, or just because they don’t know how to keep a friendship strong, they’ll tell you it’s impossible between genders. And that’s just B.S.
If you want more proof that it’s possible, go find anyone who’ve grown up with opposite-sex siblings… chances are they already have opposite-sex friends and will tell you that it’s a ridiculous question: of course it’s possible!
Is High Emotional Intelligence Really a Good Thing?
Here, The University Herald talks about research and studies surrounding the importance of emotional intelligence, or EQ for short. While there are a number of benefits to having a high EQ when it comes to making friends and developing social skills, the Harvard Business Review claims that it can make some people manipulative.
My take on this is that you want to be emotionally intelligent, so you can…
- Understand and be aware of your own emotions
- Understand and be aware of the emotions of others.
Those two abilities, which I discuss in my book, are essential for not only making friends, but also having fun and enjoying their company along the way.
See, being able to tell what others are feeling, AND understanding where they’re coming from… is awesome, but it can be used to manipulate them. So what you should do first, is be aware of that and be careful not to be manipulated yourself.
Understanding and practicing social skills is a sure way not to fall into the traps of manipulative people. After learning the skills, you’ll start to detect when others are using social skills against you, or to get you to do something you don’t wanna do.
Your Social Skills Are Your Defence Mechanism.
And with that thought, I invite you to go read Get The Friends You Want eBook – and learn all the social skills you need to have the social life you deserve.
– Paul Sanders