Social intelligence is one of the more interesting parts of the principles of attraction. It’s the idea that we understand how to act within a given situation. It’s important to stand out from the crowd and have some kind of individuality. You don’t want to blend in and look the same as everybody else. But, you also don’t want to be that person who’s just a little bit too out there.

In any social situation there is a perceived correct manner of behavior, and acting too far outside the boundaries will leave you segregated from the group, making it harder to integrate. For example, turning up at the Queen’s house for dinner and shouting expletives may not be the best way to behave. At the same time, going to a rave and sitting quietly in a corner isn’t the correct behavior either. The goal is not to blend in with the crowd, but to behave in a way that makes you memorable, while ensuring widespread social acceptance.

I saw a guy going into a bar dressed in a black leather jacket, big boots, leather trousers, and slick hair. He went up to a girl and tried to break the ice with her. She walked away from him. He came back to me and felt the need to inform me that the reason his approach didn’t work was because there was an issue with his tonality. I said to him, “Perhaps because you behave like a cartoon.”

People with high social intelligence are often said to have “nourishing behaviors” which makes others around them feel valued, loved, respected, and appreciated. These people are very appealing to others and are often described as having a “magnetic personality.” Conversely, people low in social intelligence are often described as “toxic” – they cause others to feel angry, devalued, frustrated, inadequate or guilty. They are often very alienating people. Interestingly, however, often people can be unintentionally “toxic” and their low social intelligence is simply due to lack of insight. In other words, they are often so preoccupied with personal stresses that they fail to see the impact of their behavior on others. They will often undergo radical behavioral or even personality changes when made to see themselves as others see them.

Social intelligence is understanding what we can get away with without looking weird

The key to social intelligence is to understand what you can get away with and what you can’t. Pushing the barriers – but not breaking them.