Philosophers remind us that the human person is a social being by nature. However, this is not enough: humans must develop a good social conduct throughout their lives. Humans are born with natural antisocial tendencies, such as aggressiveness, envy, egoism, etc. These tendencies will always be present throughout one’s life.
It will be within the social roles that an individual will have to play in his or her respective context (as a child, parent, friend, or professional, etc.) where the necessary conducts will be able to develop and adequate to a specific ethic.
A student, exerting his or her freedom, can study with determination or not, but, must be ready to accept the consequences of his or her conduct. In the same way, a professional could abide by his or her work schedule, or not; and thus risk getting sanctioned or fired.
A child can show disrespect towards his or her parents, but this does not mean that it is appropriate. Instead, this type of conduct is blameworthy and can degrade the person. On the other hand, following the saying “you shall respect your father and your mother” is a positive attitude that helps to perfect the individual.
We can say that a person can improve his or her social life by adjusting to the following five norms:
1. Technical norms, which derive from the relation between a person and objects: learning how to drive a car, use the computer, handle tools, etc.
2. Social behavior norms in treating others: developing courtesy, gratitude, friendship, etc. These norms are not compulsory.
3. Legal norms, which identify our human rights and obligations in social life, such as traffic norms, honesty with public money, etc. These norms are compulsory.
4. Moral or ethical norms, which facilitate the development of positive habits or virtues, such as diligence, sincerity, honesty, prudence, etc.
5. Last but not least, religious norms, which establish the relationship between a person and God.
The improvement of sociability requires a diligent process that begins at birth and ends with death. This process is not casual, but intentional, and takes place within the family, school, university, profession, and group of friends. We can say that it is part of a holistic educational process that attempts to achieve two goals: 1) control of antisocial tendencies, such as egoism and aggressiveness, and 2) positive social habits, such as the capacity to understand others and cooperate with them (Translated by Gianna Sanchez Moretti).