Being socially conscious covers many things. These ten actions provide a starting point for anyone trying to live a more socially conscious life.
First of all, what does being socially conscious even mean? It means fostering an acute awareness of what’s going on around you. This sense of awareness is further shared amongst all members of your society, and carried forth from person to person.
So what exactly are the benefits of being socially conscious? For one, it fosters intelligence. By being aware of what’s going on around you, you enable your mind to absorb and analyze all that is happening, and this results in critical thinking and a higher level of intelligence.
Being socially aware also encourages empathy. For example, if you’re aware of the current plight of the millions of Syrian refugees, you will find it hard to side with the European powers, who are trying their hardest to curb the influx of these people into their wealthy countries. You will more likely empathize with these victims of war, rather than the selfish superpowers who prefer to sit around, quashing human rights. [Read: 7 reasons why empathy is important in a happy relationship]
Social awareness also introduces mindfulness. When you’re conscious of what’s going on around you, you will notice a keener sense of self, and you will make more of an effort to be a better person, both emotionally and physically.
Being socially conscious also improves communication. When you know what’s going on, you will be able to express yourself meaningfully and be better able to adapt to various situations. From participating in a lively debate on Burundi’s elections, to poking fun at Donald Trump’s policies, being socially conscious will certainly do you more good than harm.
Social consciousness – 10 ways to be a more socially conscious person
Here are 10 simple ways to propel yourself to the next level of social consciousness.
#1 Read the news. There’s nothing cute about being totally daft when it comes to current affairs. It may be a good look on Kim Kardashian, but in the real world, keeping abreast of what’s going on in the world is sexier than any D-cup bra size. Not only does reading and watching the news keep you from looking like a fool at cocktail parties, it also lends a hand in helping you be a more socially conscious person.
#2 Be active in your community. Another way to become a more socially aware person is by participating in community events. There is no need to go knocking on everyone’s doors asking if you can help them, but keep in mind that everything from attending your neighborhood’s annual general meeting, to volunteering at the community center counts as being socially responsible.
When you’re active in your community, you become fully aware of the people around you, what’s important to them, what’s going on in their lives, and what you can do to make a positive difference in your immediate society. [Read: 11 simple ways to inspire the people around you]
#3 Don’t isolate yourself. Be socially conscious by surrounding yourself with people. There’s a reason why the phrase “socially conscious” contains the word “social.” By being just that, you lessen the chances of isolating yourself and falling into the damned lonely pit. This is especially true when you’re feeling depressed.
That’s why behavioral experts always say that it is important to accept support from loved ones when you’re undergoing a difficult time in your life. Humans are social beings, and there’s no point fighting the fact that you need people around you if you want to be socially conscious. [Read: 18 insightful reasons why you don’t have many friends]
#4 Be aware of others. You can also be socially aware by paying attention to others. Instead of living in your own bubble and being oblivious to everyone around you, make it a point to notice and understand other people’s body language, their tone of voice, how they react to you, and so on.
It is not that difficult to tell if someone likes you. If you’re greeted with open arms and a smile, you’re in the clear…but if you’re greeted with crossed arms, a higher pitched voice, and tense body language, there’s a chance you’re going to have to work on that relationship if you don’t want to lose it.
#5 Think before speaking. Remember the saying, “Empty vessels make the most noise?” You don’t want people thinking that about you, so be sure to filter your words and don’t just say the first thing that comes to mind. Always remember that things sound very different when you say them out loud, as opposed to when you said them in your head. Carefully reflect on how it will make the other person feel and how it’s going to sound.
#6 Be more sensitive. Being sensitive and reacting accordingly is one of the most important things a socially conscious person can do. As fabulous as it is to only have to worry about yourself, it is very important to think of other people’s needs.
For example, you may think that it is a good thing your best friend got dumped by her cheating ex—but there’s no need for you to say it out loud. She’s hurting right now, and won’t appreciate you saying that, no matter how right you are. [Read: 11 ways to spread the love to those who need it]
#7 Avoid negativity. Always try to avoid negativity, no matter the situation. When faced with conflict, don’t react in anger, and keep aggression at bay. Use positivity to combat negativity and exude calmness whenever possible. By keeping a straight face in the harshest of situations, you’re proving not just to others, but to yourself, that you’re socially aware and reacting to it in a grown up manner.
#8 Choose your circle wisely. As writer and motivational speaker Jim Roth once wrote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” so be sure to choose your friends wisely. Slice the toxic and negative ones out of your life or, at the very least, keep them at bay. Spend more time with positive and happy people and you will find your mindset starting to shift. Positivity rubs off on people, and before you know it, your view of the world will evolve into a more socially respectable and pleasant one.
#9 Avoid being biased. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with having an opinion, but don’t be a hater simply because you disagree with someone else’s viewpoint. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, so respect them and don’t let their thoughts get the better of you. Only when you open your mind up to conflicting viewpoints will you be socially aware and accepting.
#10 Practice conscious consumerism. According to the Network for Business Sustainability, “Consumers’ attitudes shape their intentions, and their intentions affect their behavior.”
There’s no denying that this point is very broad and that being socially aware encompasses many aspects. However, let’s call a spade a spade. By being conscious about what you buy, you’re improving upon the society you live in.
Environmental issues plague societies all over the world, and one way to be socially conscious is to recognize this fact. Buy local, support sustainable farmers, and be sure to practice the many habits of a fierce eco warrior. Practicing conscious consumerism isn’t that hard to do, so what are you waiting for? Do something green—today.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” There are many ways to be a more socially conscious person, so don’t limit yourself to this list of 10 actions. Opportunities arise every minute of every day, and if you can seize even a fraction of those chances to be more socially aware, then do it and don’t look back.
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Born in Singapore and raised in Malaysia to multi-racial parents, Lianne is a self-proclaimed travel and food junkie. Having traveled extensively around the wor...