Photo Credit: Rifka Schonfeld

Self-awareness: knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and interests allows you to choose friends who are better suited to your personality. For instance, you are more likely to be friends with someone who loves baseball if you too are a sports fan.

Self-esteem: feeling confident in who you are makes you more comfortable around others. When you believe you have value, you will be more willing to allow others to invest their time and effort in a friendship with you.

First impressions: a friendly, smiling expression lets people know that you are open to new experiences and friendships. Studies show that people who smile more are consistently rated as more “likable.”

Reaching out: recognizing that other people might be uncomfortable in new situations can help you set someone else at ease. People always like those who exhibit kindness and empathy.

Body Language: identifying non-verbal cues helps conversations go more smoothly and easily. Facial expression and gestures are just as important as the words that come out of a person’s mouth.

Incidentally, these same role-playing techniques and social skills activities can be used during shidduch coaching. If you feel your child needs to brush up on his or her social skills, acting out the appropriate responses will set him or her at ease before entering the parsha of shidduchim.

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An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@gmail.com.
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