Signs You Are Socially Awkward and How to Overcome
Are you clueless when it comes to following social norms? Or are you the one who doesn’t know when to use a filter when in the company of social friends? Well, you’re not the only one who can be called “socially awkward” then.
We all, at one point or another, experience about of social awkwardness. Being socially awkward means you can’t follow social cues as easily as others can.
When you see someone being socially awkward, you may cringe inside and get second-hand embarrassment but when it’s you being socially awkward, then you may experience feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, self-doubt, and even low self-esteem.
But did you know that being socially awkward isn’t always a bad thing? We’ll get to that later, however, any kind of awkwardness in a social setting doesn’t make the interaction less distressing.
Below, we’re going to be exploring the signs of social awkwardness, the benefits or drawbacks of being socially awkward, and how you can overcome social awkwardness.
Signs You Might be Socially Awkward:
If you’ve been called socially awkward before, it’s OK. Being socially awkward isn’t always a bad thing and while socially awkwardness isn’t an official diagnosis or disorder, it’s normal to feel awkward at times.
Here are some signs to know if you’re socially awkward:
- Having intense feelings of anxiety and fear in social situations
- Failing to recognize social norms
- Frequently made fun of by others
- Lack of meaningful social relationships
- Avoiding socializing or situations that require social interaction
- You begin to ramble or find yourself unable to stop talking
- Others cruelly mimic or mock you
- You tend to put your foot in your mouth
- You feel like you are being judged during social interactions
It’s not always easy to spot signs of social awkwardness in yourself as you may not be aware of social cues and of course, when you don’t follow the rules, how can you pick up on them?
Instead, you may notice that your friends and family often call you socially awkward and that you may not exactly fit in with them.
Is It Wrong To Be Socially Awkward?
Nope! While being socially awkward isn’t a negative thing, it can cause social distress. When others don’t understand your uniqueness, they may make unkind remarks and comments on your social skills. This may cause you to think that you’ve done something wrong. This can also make you slowly lose confidence in yourself and feel rejected by others.
And trust me, as someone socially awkward, social situations can be hard to face but you don’t have to change yourself to fit in. All you can do is learn more skills to better maneuver social situations and conversations without feeling socially awkward.
In some cases, being socially awkward means you’re not so good at making small talk but if you’re allowed to talk about things you’re passionate about, then you’re likely to have deep social conversations.
And in his book, “Awkward: The Science of Why we’re Socially Awkward and Why that’s Awesome” psychologist Ty Tashiro writes,
“Awkward people’s minds tend to make them natural scientists because they are good at seeing details, picking up on patterns in these details, and taking a systematic approach to problems,”
How To Overcome Social Awkwardness?
While being socially awkward isn’t a bad thing, it doesn’t hurt to improve yourself and overcome social awkwardness. Here are some ways to not be socially awkward and become confident enough to lead social conversations:
1. Don’t Ruminate On Your Awkwardness
So what if you opted for a handshake when your friend was going in for a hug? So what if you tripped over on your date? It happens. As a human, you’re bound to make mistakes and it’s OK.
Avoid thinking about it more than necessary. Often after an awkward moment, we tend to think about it for a long time. This can cause rumination and once you’re stuck in that cycle, it can cause you to lose confidence in other social interactions.
2. Find The Reason You Feel This Way
More often than not, awkwardness leads to feelings of shame and embarrassment but did you know that feelings of shame can also be the source of social awkwardness?
When this happens, take a moment to understand where these feelings of shame and embarrassment are coming from. Did something happen to you in your childhood? Or is there a voice you hear in your head when awkward moments happen?
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
If you’re struggling with social awkwardness, then you may find it useful to practice conversing with your loved ones. This conversation can include topics like how to start a conversation, understanding when to stop talking, how to change the subject, etc.
Improving your communication may take time but practice a lot. You can also take classes, ask your friends for suggestions, and practice in front of a mirror.
4. Try To Be Present In The Moment
Mindfulness can help you pay more attention to the present moment and help you not miss any social cues. Try to practice mindfulness and learn to be more mindful in your conversations.
This can also help you increase your awareness of the present moment and avoid thinking too much about past awkward situations.
5. Learn From The Awkwardness
You can use this as an opportunity to learn about yourself. Is your awkwardness driven by a certain situation, place, or person? Or is it more about your lifestyle choices?
For example, you may feel awkward at a party where you haven’t met people in decades and that might make you feel anxious. Or maybe it’s self-consciousness that’s making you feel awkward. Think about what you can do about it.
6. Say “OK” To Awkwardness
Social media is one of the most influential communication tools, use it. While there are many “curate” posts, there are some people who aren’t afraid to be socially awkward.
Learn from the most influential people in the world and say “Yes” to awkwardness. From Jennifer Lawrence to Mindy Kaling, people are embracing their social awkwardness. And so should you.
7. Celebrate Yourself aka Self-Care Is Good
You should never leave an opportunity to celebrate yourself and when it comes to overcoming social awkwardness, it’s OK to celebrate that too. Just because you’re socially awkward does not mean you can’t celebrate the small wins you achieve. And celebrating doesn’t have to be social.
Self-care’s a good alternative. To make yourself feel good, treat yourself, take a bubble bath, or just jot down your socially awkward experience in a notebook.
8. Maybe It’s Social Anxiety?
Being socially awkward isn’t a bad thing but it is important to pay attention to the feelings you experience during awkward moments. If you feel unhappy, rejected, lonely, or distressed, then it is recommended you speak to a professional to figure out why you’re feeling this way. More often than not, being socially awkward can be an underlying symptom of social anxiety
Social anxiety is different from being socially awkward and social anxiety can make you isolate yourself from a social situation or outright avoid them.
A therapist can help you understand more about social anxiety and help you find out new ways to help overcome social anxiety.
Whether you’re a socially awkward person or not, remember to be self-compassionate. Humans aren’t perfect and it’s OK to make awkward mistakes at times. Learn to forget them and move on.
Being socially awkward isn’t wrong but it can make you feel unpleasant feelings. If your social awkwardness makes it hard for you to do things smoothly, then it’s suggested you pay attention to the above ways to Become less socially awkward. If your social awkwardness is more than that, it’s recommended you speak to a therapist.
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