How Reading Improves Your Social Life
How is your 2020 reading challenge coming along? One of the best parts about reading is all the lessons that the masterminds of words teach you. There is grammar, spelling, and sentence structure along with the information weaved inside. The power a book has on someone is more than entertainment. Books educate readers on all topics (history, science, math, etc.), but did you also know that they teach us how to be better people? Once thought as a solitary activity, reading works of fiction is now a communal activity that can improve social skills. Here’s how.
Fiction books teach empathy
In a previous article, Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Books, we discussed the science behind the healing power of books on our minds. Reading a story that you can relate to, whether fiction or nonfiction, can teach you strategies on how to address any personal issues you are currently dealing with. The most well-known readers can attest to this philosophy. Barack Obama even once explained, “when I think about how I understand my role as citizen…the most important stuff I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels.” Upon reflecting on required texts in schools, you can see how something like How to Kill a Mockingbird can reshape how you view those convicted of a crime they say they are innocent of doing. A well-written book can put you in the position of a character and experience their challenges, emotions, and triumphs they feel. You learn to empathize with them, and others in real life who are experiencing similar situations.
Books teach you about to be a better conversationalist
Becoming a better communicator takes practice. Having a story to show examples of what good communication is, is the right way to develop new skills. Pausing before reacting to a statement, understanding a person’s inflection, and body language are all important when talking to those you well know, and those you’ve just met. One miscommunication between parties can be the difference from a peaceful gathering to a battle between wizarding houses! Authors do a great job teaching readers how to be patient and concentrate on what characters say. As readers get older, they become better at handling conflicts and become a better conversationalist overall.
Reading encourages social problem-solving skills
Both fiction and nonfiction books teach people of all ages how to handle situations appropriately. A nonfiction book about a solider’s account of serving in the military gives you insight as to how the military handles discipline or prepare for a war that you might not see on TV or learn in a history class. These stories can teach you better ways to manage a team at work or discipline your children. Even a work of fiction that takes place in far far away galaxy can teach you the same lesson!
While you practice your social skills by exploring more books to read, use those novels to practice your speed reading. Spead reading also improves your memory and productivity. By practicing all three skills together, you will be the best professional in your industry.