Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’ focuses on developing inter-personal skills. In the poem, the poet talks of how to deal with people in different situations in life in order to achieve success and more so to be a good human being.
The poet advises us to keep calm when others around us are losing their cool and blaming us for something. The poet also makes it a point that we should not lose our self-belief and at the same time try to figure out what’s going wrong and why people are doubting us. Even when people lie about us or hate us, we should not deal in lies and not give way to hating. And having possessed all these virtues, we may sometimes be complacent and talk too wisely in front of other people. The poet warns us against such behaviour because people may start to avoid us and think us to be boasting. Thus the entire first stanza of the poem concentrates on developing interpersonal skills so that we can interact with people in a fluent manner and hold our good in all situations.
But this does not end here. In the fourth stanza of the poem he says, “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, / Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch” This is also about interpersonal skills that we should keep in touch with people from different spheres of society and behave in such a way that people will be delighted to meet us. Neither friends nor enemies would be able to hurt us. And if we can develop such strong communication skills, we are sure to succeed in whatever we do in life, as the poet feels.