Social Responsibility: What is Your Contribution to Your Community?

– Posted in: Emotional Intelligence

Social Responsibility is part of the Interpersonal composite in the Emotional Intelligence model. It is a desire and ability to get involved and contribute to your community, to society and to others in general.

What is Social Responsibility?

Are you actively involved in teams, groups, or your community? Do you show concern for others and for the environment?

Having Social Responsibility means showing a concern for others and being involved in something larger than yourself. It involves acting in a responsible manner even if you might not benefit from it personally, having a social consciousness and upholding social rules.

What It Is Not

Social Responsibility is not becoming overly concerned with others at the expense of yourself. It is not either becoming overly committed to social, community or environmental causes.

If You Have It

If you have a good level of Social Responsibility it is easy for you to do something for a group you are a part of, an organization or the society in general that does not benefit you directly. You have a basic concern for others and you take on community-oriented responsibilities.

If You Don’t

If your level of Social Responsibility is on the low side you may not be very sensitive to other’s feelings or to group needs, you may also not pay much attention to the community or to the environment. Others may perceive you as disrespectful at times, or occasionally socially or environmentally irresponsible.

Try it!

Social Responsibility has many benefits: by helping others you often gain more meaning in your own life, you develop another perspective. In addition, since it is a behavior that is directed toward others it is an aspect of emotional intelligence that is easy to change. Here are a couple of practical ideas if you want to expand your social responsibility (Adapted from The EQ Edge by Steven J. Stein & Howard E. Book) :

  1. In your notebook write down five things that you could do for people in need. Then, pick one thing that you could do this week, then another for the following week.
  2. Find a group or cause and commit to help with one project or effort, such as serve as a volunteer at a local school, a neighborhood shelter or an animal hospital.

After you complete one of these exercises notice how you feel. Has you perspective of the organization that you helped changed? How do you feel towards the people that you helped? Boosting your Social Responsibility often results in increasing your Self-Actualization, your Empathy and Interpersonal Relationships.

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