Do you feel out of place when you are in a group? Are you shy to go up to a new group of people and strike a conversation? Do you feel anxious and nervous in a social setting? Are you astonished by people who can make effortless conversations?
If you answer “Yes” to be above questions, do not worry. You are not alone. There are a lot of people who are socially awkward and shy. The good news is that you can overcome it. Just with a little bit of conscious effort, you will be able to easily get dates and make new friends at will.
On the other hand, if you are not sure whether you are socially awkward or not, here are some traits that are distinctive of socially awkward people. See if you have any of these traits:
1. Lack of understanding of social norms: You do not know what to do and what not to do in a social situation.
2. Nervous in a social setting: You feel uncomfortable and weird around other people. This sets off a chain react of creepy and nervous demeanor on your part.
3. Unintended impact of your behavior: Most of the time, your jokes or actions have a complete opposite reaction than what you expected. Whether you crack a joke or compliment another, it attracts a distasteful response.
4. Conversation flow: You conversations lack any flow and are abrupt.
5. Ridiculed or Avoided: You are ridiculed or avoided by others. These might be in a subtle manner, but you still know its happening.
If any of the above are traits that describe you, then yes you are socially awkward. There is nothing to worry at all. We are all unique individuals and it is okay to be socially awkward or introvert. That does not mean you cannot work on becoming more socially elegant and confident. We are all socially beings, and being socially fluent has its perks. So, here is how you can overcome being socially awkward and shy:
1. Accept it and know that it’s absolutely Okay to be that way: This is the first step: Acceptance. You will be surprised to know that even the most socially smooth people you know will be worried about being socially awkward. Remember this golden saying: “Do not worry about what others are thinking about you, because they are busy worrying about what you are thinking about them.” Once you understand this, most of your worries will vanish. So, stop beating yourself about being socially awkward.
2. Figure out where your awkwardness stems from: Social awkwardness stems from insecurity, fear, anxiety or low self-confidence. Figure out where yours stems from and it will be easy to address it. Also, your social awkwardness can be related to a particular past experience. It would help if you could identify such experiences, and understand them in retrospect.
3. Build confidence and overcome shyness: There is no better way of building confidence and overcoming shyness than putting yourself out there. It might sound scary, but it is not. You cannot become socially fluent sitting at home. It is only in a social setting that you can work on building your confidence. Next time you are in a social setting, make a conscious effort to be more relaxed. Go out and actively participate even if you are afraid of embarrassment. Even if something bad happens, nobody will remember it in a year’s time. All your fears and past negative experiences are inside your head. Every successful social encounter will improve your confidence, and in no time you will be able to completely overcome social shyness. Remember, the key here is “Conscious Effort.”
You now have the necessary information to start your journey from being socially awkward to being socially fluent. It is up to you to put it to use, and develop necessary the skills and confidence. Good Luck!