Are you a person?
Do you talk to other people on a regular, or even occasional basis?
If you answered yes to both of these questions, you need social skills. They probably could use some work. It’s in your best interest to improve them as much as possible.
Unless you’re a hermit who never leaves their house, you have to talk to other people – at work, at the grocery store, or even simply your neighbors. When you do, you’re going to need to understand the general rules of how to talk to people without making them want to avoid you, hate you… or worse.
The list of situations that require social skills for success is long – the list that requires none is very short.
Trying to get ahead at work? If you have poor social skills, your coworkers will probably dislike you, and your manager most likely will too, no matter how good you are at your job.
Trying to make friends? If you have poor social skills, you will accidentally offend many people, and many others will avoid you simply because they don’t want your poor social skills to affect their life. You will make friends… but infrequently, and often only with people who are the most tolerant of your lack of social graces.
Trying to find romance? Social skills are a requirement to even get in the door. For many men and women, “poor social skills” is a deal breaker, even if they find you good looking. And even if it isn’t a deal breaker, poor social skills will likely leave you unable to start or maintain a relationship.
Even in a scientific institution or university, places which (we’re told) are dedicated to scholarship and the pursuit of truth, social skills reign supreme. In a group of the nerdiest scientists, the one with the highest social skills will most likely get ahead and lead the rest (look around your scientific institution if you don’t believe me). And at universities… let’s just say office politics don’t just happen at office jobs.
Don’t think you’re above it. Don’t think you can get ahead without social skills. Treat them as learnable, improvable skills and improve them as quickly as you can. Your happiness in life, success in life, and (in the worst case scenario) your life itself might depend on it.
Learn the basics of How to Win Friends and Influence People. Learn to negotiate, and to Never Split the Difference. Learn the foundations of Influence. And if you want to protect yourself from the psychopaths and narcissists of the world, memorize the 48 Laws of Power.