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Life Skills

Updated on April 21, 2012

Call it a phenomenon, a term, a field of study or just two words but 'Life Skills' never correctly respond to just a single aspect, rather it's a combo with many flavors and myriad facets which one appreciates gradually.

You may be polishing your life skills at the market place in terms of using your skills to negotiate a bargain, in terms of your presentation, on the stage with your communication skills or even in the simplest things like table manners and the way you greet people.

The effect of these two words is subtle but comprehensive, persuasive and all-encompassing. 'Life Skills' is not limited by a single definition but is related to the abilities in an individual in the ways in which he carries himself in a variety of situations, which benefits him in all respects but at the same time, does not lead to any conflict or inconsistency.

“So the bottom line is enhanced interpersonal relationships and more forward looking self.”

Are You Born With Life Skills

Now the question which surfaces is whether life skills are inborn, latent within the individual or do they develop over time. You cam broadly classify them into three phases:

1. Parents & Childhood

Scientific study tells that, in the first phase of a child's life experiences the major parental influence is in terms of shaping of nature, behavior, communication, confidence and a number of other life skills.

Some skills are taught by parents and some are incorporated through observation, a skill every child possesses. Building the child's confidence, which is one of the primary life skills, is very much in parental hands. If they unknowingly try to suppress their lad's confidence, by extra strict behavior, they are laying the foundation for future problems for their child. It is at this phase when the child learns to greet, to interact and moreover, he tries to work in the same manner as his parents do.

This phase also initiates the process of learning academic skills.

2. Late Childhood & Teenage

Phase two, is the 'MAGNA-CARTA' of life skills development. The child, now a teenager is exposed to the real world, the world which is harsh, unlike their cozy bedrooms and warm parental touches.

What he Gets Affects Him

Ruthlessness & Roughness

Some teenager become silent, they do not share or talk about their experiences and in the process they lose their luster, lose their metal, and become introvert. This happens when the environment outside takes its toll on them. But, it can have its positives in some cases!

Getting bullied, jested around and mocked at school can either break a child or make him so strong and street smart, that there is no stopping him. Some teenagers tend to face these problems and come out very well. When facing such stuff, they incorporate skills of strength, courage, wit etcetera.

In the process they themselves become ruthless and rough for the harsh world out there.


Ah! The vice among men and women… Surprisingly jealousy can lead to the incorporation of competitive spirit which is very essential in the modern day world. Though persisting jealousy is a certain vice and should be taken care off before it becomes a permanent trait.


Friends and company are the most influential entities in a person’s life. Skills like humor and wit are closely incorporated among friends. Abstract skills like loyalty, honesty, brotherhood, compassion also in their first instances arise among friends.

“A man becomes like the company he keeps”

Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Skills like communication, self-confidence, Self-esteem, Friendliness etcetera are boosted up in the right company of friends.

Peer Pressure


A sibling rivalry at a young age and Peer Pressure later on cultivates various skills in a person. While on one hand it may lead to bad habits like smoking or drug addictions on the other hand if handled well… a sense of pride in oneself is cultivated, confidence boosts up, competitive skills are advanced and a wholesome better personality comes into shape

Peer effects

3. Maturity

The third phase brings in the ultimate life-skill MATURITY, but people will continue to learn things even after they mature, so there is nothing to feel sad about.

Now, experience plays a major role and leads birth of:

Judgment skills

Experience gives us to power to judge people, choices, methods and what not! The skill of judgment can only come with hands full of experience.

The ability to differentiate between right and wrong

The Power of Observation- The skill we are born with

This is the only skill we are born with. It is a god gift to us. Without observation a child cannot learn to smile, a kid cannot make friends, a boy cannot learn to ride a bike in fact… no one can do anything without observation.

It should be our prime practice in life to use and extract the skill of observation to the maximum. Observation is essential for survival.

Scientists observe and publish results

Economists observe and publish papers

Theorists observe and put down assertions

Workers observe and put forth unions

People observe and lead a life

Observation is a primary skill.. it is never lost. It is always present in every individual in every state of body and mind.

It is the harbinger of all the skills that come into a person’s life.

The power of observation

“To acquire knowledge, one must study;
but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.”
Marilyn Vos Savant

Where do we use Life Skills?

The skills which develop play a vital role in all the walks of our life

For instance,

A boy uses his negotiating skills at the grocer's shop to save a dime or two.

A young lad uses his wit and humor to impress his date.

Ones presentation and personality skills are tested a practical interviews

An orange seller uses his convincing powers to sell you one pound extra!

The way you talk to your boss

The manner in which you read this hub

The way you will interact with your children

From writing RESUME to the organizing of a party, I can go on and on about infinite examples… probably make 100 hubs about them but the point is.. the use of Life Skills is in every single thing you do and the way you do it!

Skills like planning help you decide your probable future, isn't it?

Self exploration is also a skill, which helps you to work upon that thing and excel.

'Practice', another primary life skill is required for every little or big work- from sewing a button to solving complex mathematical computations.

Thinking and imagination help an individual at the work he does.

Time management helps one cope up with pressure, as a student and as a professional.

Other skills which help us throughout our life are patience, discipline, concentration, determination, good nature, firm character, and our way of talking. Moreover if you dance well or sing well, that's also your life skill. No one can really classify

How Do We Come Across Life Skills?

The three phases make us come to a conclusion that most life skills are born out of





Therefore it may be possible that a boy learns his table manners when he is fifty.

No One Can Have It all…

I am reminded of Bard of Avon's words

"No perfection is absolute that Impurity doth not pollute it."

Indeed, no one person can have all the skills and must never look for all but only what he is best at. When you look into the ocean of life skills, you will find them so numerous that capturing a quantified number of them is an insurmountable target. Life skills, once again are a vast multitude and we inculcate only a part of them with time and experience. To each one his own set of skills and no one is really without a smattering of some of them. That is impossible.

To conclude, let me give you a fact. You were practicing your life skills while reading this… go ahead explore, learn, observe and incorporate


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    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      thanks so much Mahesh

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Indeed my friend ... indeed... sometimes ., it does feel that all done is good for nothing..... and those are the moments our patience and perseverance pays..

      but yet,, there are those moments

      Thank you for connecting and your kindness..

    • eswar profile image

      eswar 5 years ago from India

      Even though so much skill we require and learn, to enjoy life the way we dream, at one point of time we feel, for this we need to know and practice so much skill, sometimes its so blank isn't it. Its a wonderful hub made me to dig my brain, nicely written, keep it up, i enjoyed it.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Thank you so much Mahesh :)

    • profile image

      maheshtcr1 5 years ago

      Wow interesting hub

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Hi Deb! Thanks for the votes and kind words! Much appreciated

    • profile image

      Deb Welch 5 years ago

      Alot of information covered here - a full Hub. Voted Up - Useful and Interesting.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Thank you Nurj! I will surely read about it!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Hi James! Glad you liked my work amigo :)

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 6 years ago

      Powerful and influential writing Rahul. I like how in depth you went into the facets that make up our lives. This was an enjoyable read and I feel better about life after finishing. Great job! Voted up, shared, useful, awesome, and interesting :)

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Thanks for the gracious comments Stacy! I am glad you connected!

      Observation is something we do the moment we open our eyes and to the moment we close them again... don't we?

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Great job... I really enjoyed this piece about life skills. It is important that we all have these as they are used everyday. I was also fascinated to find out that observation is the only life skill you are born with. I guess I never thought of it that way. Well done!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Indeed It does Jonny! If I talk about myself then showing my emotions and feelings has not been a prime instinct of mine.

      I am 22 and still I have never hugged my father! I cry on average once a year and that too in front of the mirror in the washroom! The two-edged sword is something which I have been very familiar with!

      The display of love and closeness I believe should not be frowned upon but watched!

      Thanks for your lovely feedback! Will look forward to keep hearing from you! :)

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      Yes, everything you have said is fine. My focus for the moment is on what I perceive to be a negative in my English background.

      During my childhood and young adulthood, there was an emphasis on not showing emotion. One was expected to show a "stiff upper lip." Bury the emotion whatever it was: anger, sadness, tears, absolute elation at having won the contest, softness, intimacy, etc., etc.

      I never saw my mother cry. I know she did on a few occasions, because I heard her through closed door, but "never in front of the children!" It was some time into my adult life before I actually gave my dad a hug. Handshake, yes. But not a hug. The display of love and closeness was frowned upon.

      It's my belief that this was a two-edged sword. On the one hand it did protect one from the time-wasting show of weakness. On the other hand it blunted the experience of passion and deep sensitivity.

      When, during men's group activity, I learned to really recognise and experience strong emotion, then the fear of expressing it diminished considerably. Once I learned that I could bawl my eyes out in front of caring and supporting men, then I was able to accept another's tears without being fazed by it. I was able to really connect with a person on his/her level, without judgment or criticism. Similar with the display of anger: we learned to knock hell out of a pile of cushions, focusing on the thing or person that triggered the anger. Just letting go was the therapy, without hurting the person in focus. It brought a much deeper level of understanding of the other person's needs.

      I hope this gives you more food for thought.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Certainly Jonny! "Emotional Intelligence" and its reference to controlling others for OUR work is something I would neither follow nor advice to follow!

      A certain level of emotional intelligence is needed don't you think in matters such as

      - Emotional understanding of different people around you: which helps all age groups in adapting and working in a particular environment better!

      - The feeling of compassion and other holistic attitudes

      - The particular reference to self control... emotional intelligence can render us morally active

      I can place more examples here but the point I try to make is that it is not entirely negative.

      Its on the individual incorporating the skill isn't it?

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Thanks for the visit Deepa! Much appreciated!

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      I would like to throw a pebble in the pond here, if you will allow me.... the term Emotional Intelligence sounds very theoretical to me. Also, doesn't it focus on the ability to control? Control others, I mean.

      How much does the application of Emotional Intelligence help you/me, the individual, to experience life in the 100% mode? Would we be better focusing on "awareness of my own emotions," and what these emotions are telling me about my self?

      On looking up Emotional Intelligence in Google, the Wikipedia showed me a lot of theoretical stuff, much too deep and intellectual for me to follow. However, one small link there mentioned "the term social intelligence to describe the skill of understanding and managing other people." This is what sparked my worry about a sort of dictatorship.... controlling other people to serve MY needs.

      Do these ideas give you food for thought?

    • deepateresa profile image

      DEEPA JOHN 6 years ago from Trivandrum, Kerala,India

      I believe that it is the situations and the backgrounds that turns out a man. Well written hub; Voted Up.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Thanks Ruchira!

      Oh yea Living life is not easy at all :)

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 6 years ago from United States

      you covered ALL arenas that life needs skill, Rahul.

      Well said indeed. Phew! life sure is treacherous huh !!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      exactly bliss! rightly said.. thank you

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      Yes, I think emotional intelligence is such an important life skill to learn -- and it is believed that it can be learned and improved with practice to a certain extent. In our modern world, it may be more important than intelligence.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Don't you think emotional intelligence is a primary life skill to learn and the following branches like these come out in many?

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      These life skills are related to "emotional intelligence" a term popularized by Daniel Goleman who wrote book "Emotional Intelligence".

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Thanks for the kind words Theresa... glad you liked it:)

      Please keep them coming... love and regards


    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a great Hub. Important information and wonderful graphics. :) SHARING with my followers.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Theresa! This has been the most kind comment I have received and am Humbled by the precious time you took out for me and ushered me with your brilliant ideas!

      I am bound to make changes here and make this hub more presentable!

      Reviewing 75 college essays can be tough... but I wish I could tell your class that won't get a better reviewer!:)

      Thank you

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Rahul- Very good effort for your first Hub. I am impressed. Th article contains lots of very good information and you have a great vocabulary. I am something of a word-freak, myself. :)

      I was reading the comments and your responses and you struck me a someone who truly can accept and appreciate positive suggestions...So with that in mind, I would like to make a couple of suggestions.

      I am aware that you may have already learned these techniques and applied them to your later hubs - I just don't have time to look at all of them - have to go grade 75 college history essays.

      When formatting a Hub, always keep your reader in mind. Reading from a computer screen can be very tiring and cause eyestrain And long blocks of text can easily bore or intimidate your reader. And because we wouldn't write unless we cared about our ideas and our readers, here are my suggestions.

      First, break all your long paragraphs into 3 or 4 shorter ones - leaving a lot of white space page on the page reduces eyestrain an actually encourages your reader to continue. Second, insert several subtitles and Bold them. Tell your reader where you are heading, what is coming next in your essay. Third, use pictures, visuals, maps, and I repeat, add pictures. :)

      There are two very easy templates provided by HP. I don't get crazy fancy like some people on HP...I am not that good at it and I would rather spend most of my time on the text of my article and just a little time formatting, so I keep it simple but still make my hubs very visually appealing.

      So I suggest the template that divides the page in half with text on the left and pictures on the right or perhaps even better for you the template that is totally composed of horizontal capsules.

      Start with a subtitle then put 2 or 3 paragraphs in the first text capsule. Go to the upper right of the page and click on a photo capsule (it will appear right under your first text capsule) then click on the text capsule icon and insert 2 or 3 more paragraphs...continue like that until you get to the end. Then go back and find pictures and insert them in your photo capsules.

      Go take a quick look at several of my hubs and you will see the left/right vertical template and the horizontal text / photo/text/photo template. Just so you know, it takes a lot more photos, maps, or pictures to do the vertical template, so for starters you might actually prefer the horizontal template.

      I hope this has been helpful...I wasn't trying to be bossy or seem like a know it all, because I certainly am not.:) Good luck with your writing.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Thanks Christy for the kind feedback! :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      A very important topic here. How nice that Jonny has provided you such accurate feedback too. I look forward to reading more.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      Thank you for your feedback too, Rahul. The greatest asset is an open mind, with a strong sense of objectivity.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Thank you Jonny for throwing such insight on my hub! This was my first hub here and I am glad you appreciated my effort!

      You are right! Your comment has made me think and analyse this article and I thank you for the positive criticism you have offered.. I will edit the hub soon... And would like your feedback on the edited one and my other hubs as well...

      As a youngster looking to shape his way through the world.. I am humbled by the mentoring you have offered me with...

      Please keep them coming!



    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 6 years ago from Tasmania

      Rahul, that is a good effort, thank you, I enjoyed reading it.

      Would you permit me to offer a couple of constructive comments? Just regarding the structure of your hub, not wishing to be over-critical, because you have tried very hard. So anything I say is intended to help you advance.

      The paragraph beginning: "Ruthlessness, roughness, jealousy...." is a very long one. There is a huge amount of information within it. Therefore, if you were to "organise" the paragraph a little, it would be easier to read. Also, the subject matter would be better organised within the reader's mind.

      For example, "..the adolescent interacts....;" "the power to observe...;" the boy's negotiating skills, etc. would seem to need a little more re-arranging so that they can form one or two sub-paragraphs. What do you think? You are free to agree or disagree with me. This can just open your mind to other possibilities.

      What do other readers think?

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 6 years ago from Delhi

      very apt info about the necessary skills of life

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      hi Nurj.. nice info shared by you about CMM. on a larger scientific perspective ... obviously no skill lies inborn within some one.... sometimes hereditary incorporations do take place

    • nurj profile image

      nurj 6 years ago from Davao City

      If you know CMM, you should know that people are said to have no substance at birth at all. Thus, there really is no such thing as inborn life skills. Nice article, anyway. :)

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      MEN IN PROGRESS. a polished n proper work .well done mate

    • profile image

      Abhijeet Raj 6 years ago

      very much near to reality...!!

      awesome work bhaiya...!!

    • profile image

      vasu 6 years ago

      awesome writing...


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