I've always been told by my parents "it's not important, just study and you'll make it in life". That is not what happened.
During school presentations, I always stood on shaky legs (im sure some others have this too!) and I completely lose control. This directly resulted in bad grades for each thing you had to do verbally.
Not everyone is talented with creativity/a great mind, but surely everyone should learn to speak to people of the other sex and be able to socialise. Daily it happens that I see people sad, because they're not as open as others. Hell, I've even seen the smartest kid in my class cry because he had no real friendships like the others.
Those were the ones from the incredibly large group of shy people who'll only learn to socialise when it's too late: by the time they're already 18-20, they'll perhaps finally get to know a girl. Untill then, they get to see how the others live life to its fullest.
The other group is those who are socially awkard. No explanation needed: people will make fun of them regardless and they won't even understand what they're doing wrong. Most likely, they'll be heartbroken when someone finally tells them that they're awkward.
The most important skills are the ones that bring you the most joy or aid you greatly in bringing you the most joy. For some people that may be social skills, for others not so much. Not everyone has the same interests, nor should they. And not everyone is equally extraverted or introverted.
Heartbroken? That depends on your personal attitude. My heart doesn't get broken when others don't like me and I would be ashamed of myself if it did.
Bill Gates didn't have the best social skills and look how he turned out.
"Shaky legs" that has more to do with ANXIETY which is not the same thing as lacking social skills. Plenty of people get told they have bad social skills when the problem is they are too nervous and then that perpetuates a negative cycle of just getting worse and worse with social skills (as actually performed, not as could be performed if the person were more relaxed) because they are always focusing trying to figure out what they are doing wrong instead of just relaxing.
My advice just relax and don't worry so much about social skills as if people tell you you have a social skills problem it's probably not really your social skills its probably your anxiety. Looking back the times when I was portraying bad social skills was always when I was anxious and when I was relaxed I portrayed great social skills. So just relax. And even if people still take you as having poor social skills oh well. You could do some people-observing and/or some reading and of course participatory observation (hanging out) where you learn by trial and error and don't get nervous about it. Even if you have poor social skills now it doesn't matter now so much as it will in the future. Risk short-term losses through risky social practicing in order to pursue long-term gains.
Sure, it is nice to get on with people, but are social skills really THE MOST important skills to learn? What about intellect? Creativity? Friends are great, but if you could save the world with your mind, would being social help in that situation? I do not think so at all.
What skills are most important vitally depends on what you do in life. If you negotiate deals or solicit information, social skills are going to be deadly important. If, on the other hand, you focus on hard science or art, social skills can take a back seat. Social skills are important for spreading word of your achievements, but science and art are really much more fulfilling than society.
I really couldn't believe this topic..
Social skills are great and dandy but at the end of the day social skills wont feed your family, they wont put a roof over your head or educate you on morals, virtues, history, science, philosophy..
There are better skills to learn in life, much better but it doesn't hurt to have social skills.