In psychology, characteristics of social awkwardness include shyness, anxiety, insecurity, feelings of inadequacy, fear of being judged or rejected by others, and the inability to communicate easily with others. Very often we know exactly the answer to a question, but we are afraid to voice it, we know how to do the right thing, but we do not dare to take a step. In order to become more sociable and socially awkward need to work on yourself. Experienced professionals are ready to share their tips so that you can overcome obstacles and become happy.
Social norms and signals, such as knowing when to say hello or give intimacy to people, can help you navigate social situations. You may have learned some of these standards directly. Others, you may have noticed while observing others.
When you see someone violating any of these standards, you may feel uncomfortable and embarrassed for the other person. Similarly, you probably feel your stomach turning when you don’t meet someone new or have misspelled your words.
But social awkwardness doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can even be beneficial to you. But for the time being, it does not make him less sad.
Here are some signs of social awkwardness, tips on how to not be socially awkward
How do I know if I’m socially awkward?
Social awkwardness is not a mental health problem – there are no diagnostic criteria or even a specific definition. It is more like a feeling or a set of feelings and experiences that form the model of your life.
These feelings and experiences often result from:
- inability to notice certain social signals
- not understanding or not knowing the body language of others
Heidi Mackenzie, PsyD, explains that socially awkward people can have trouble navigating conversations or splitting into groups. As a result, they may seem a little “irrelevant” to others.
It can be difficult to recognize your social awkwardness because you may not even be aware of some of the social signals you don’t catch. Instead, you may simply notice that you do not match your peers.
Is that bad?
Social awkwardness in itself is not a bad thing.
But this can become problematic if it leads to frustration due to:
- people make derogatory remarks
- spend a lot of time wondering if you have done something wrong
- problems often arise in social situations
- want to make friends, but do their best to communicate with others
- feeling rejected by others
In an ideal world, everyone would recognize that people are unique and have different skills. But in reality, this is not always the case.
It can be tricky. But that doesn’t mean you have to change who you are. Social situations may not be your strong suit, but you can do some things to minimize the stress associated with these scenarios (we’ll talk about this later)
how to not be socially awkward: Does this serve a purpose?
Before delving into strategies to overcome social awkwardness, it is important to understand that social awkwardness has several positive aspects.
Internal warning system
If you find yourself in a difficult situation, you might think of something like, ” this is not what I thought was happening.” You might feel a little uncomfortable or uncomfortable and want to leave as soon as possible.
But a small study from 2012 shows that these same senses can help, acting as a kind of alert system. They help you understand when you have approached (or crossed) a social boundary.
As a result, you may experience physical symptoms of anxiety, panic or fear, including:
- muscle tension
- red face
- beating heart
This probably doesn’t seem useful at all. But this discomfort can prompt you to:
- act at the moment
- be careful not to miss similar social signals in the future
Deep conversation skills
The difficulty with routine chatter and social interactions does not mean that you are not the best chatterer.
Mackenzie notes that people who experience social awkwardness “can be difficult to make small conversations, but they are often gifted at immersing themselves in topics they like.”
Psychologist Tai Tashiro, in his book Awkward: The Science of Why We Are Social Awkward and Why it’s Great, notes that socially awkward people tend to see the world around them differently.
They may be less likely to notice social signals or catch emotions, but they feel more inclined to take a systematic or scientific approach. According to Tashiro, this unique perspective can be related to differences in the brain – differences that are sometimes associated with high intelligence and achievements.
“People’s clumsy minds tend to turn them into natural scientists because they are good at understanding the details, grasping the patterns in those details, and taking a systematic approach to problems,” he writes.
How can I feel more comfortable on social networks?
Social awkwardness can have its advantages, but you can also notice some disadvantages. Maybe you often feel displaced or miss something. Or maybe you sometimes do or say things that bother you at home, at school or at work.
These tips will help you better navigate social situations and cope with the consequences of inevitable failures.
Taking a little time to learn about social awkwardness can help you better accept that part of yourself.
Don’t know where to start? Try visiting your library or bookstore. There are a number of books on the topic that offer interesting research on what is and what is not social awkwardness, as well as useful advice.
Remember that awkward situations happen to everyone
Social awkwardness happens probably more than you think. Although there are no statistics to support this, it is safe to assume that most of the people you meet in your daily life have experienced awkward moments themselves.
Let’s say you left all the food you had with you in the middle of a supermarket. A can of pasta sauce is smashed, eggs are smashed, and cherry tomatoes roll out a cardboard box and cross the aisle. Every cell in your being screams internally and tells you to drop the food and run out the door.
But remember: you are definitely not the first person to do this in a particular store. And you won’t be the last. And everyone who turned to look? Most likely, they have been there before in one form or another.
When faced with an awkward moment, whether you made a social mistake or just witnessed someone else’s, you will usually respond in one of two ways:
- to avoid or ignore what happened
- to fix the error
In a small study mentioned above, it was concluded that avoiding or ignoring an awkward situation does not help. Instead, it just prolongs the awkwardness and makes further communication even more awkward.
The next time you realize you’ve done something awkward, try marking it with a casual remark or joke instead of pulling away.
This is a tip that you can also pay in advance if you want to help someone get through an awkward moment even better. Try a smile or a kind remark like, ” Don’t worry about it! With whom it does not happen.”
Practice communicating with others
If you are experiencing difficulties on social media, it may be helpful to practice your conversation and communication skills with someone you know and trust.
- Communication includes things like:
- knowing how to start a conversation
- finding out when the conversation is over
- smoothly changing the subject
- know when to intervene and how not to interrupt someone
But good communication also involves being able to read someone’s body language. This will help you recognize signs such as discomfort, boredom, interest, and so On.
You can practice communicating with others:
- take social skills classes
- ask for advice and suggestions from friends or other people you trust
- passing practical scenarios with friends or family
- put yourself in more social situations
how to not be socially awkward: Advice from a professional
Worried about practicing your social skills in front of people you might potentially see again?
Consider taking classes outside of the usual places. For example, you might try to have a short conversation with the cashier at a grocery store that you never go to, or take your dog to a Park on the other side of town.
Try to stay in the present
Mindfulness techniques help you pay more attention to what is happening here and now. If you are more attentive in your daily life, it will help you focus on the present environment.
This can help reduce awkward moments in two ways:
- If you are more attuned to what is happening around you, you are less likely to miss signals from others that might alert you to a possible incident, such as expressing frustration about a colleague coming up behind you.
- Raising awareness of the present moment can help you not think too much about awkward moments that have already happened. Instead, it may be easier for you to let go of them and move forward.
be socially awkward: When to ask for help
Again, there is nothing wrong with social awkwardness. But it’s important to pay attention to how you feel.
If you feel unhappy, upset, or lonely in your daily life, you may want to consider talking to a therapist who can help you find out what is causing these feelings. They can also help you develop new social skills and sharpen your self-identification.
The therapist can also help you identify major issues that may matter, such as social anxiety. McKenzie explains that while some people use the terms “social awkwardness” and “social anxiety” as synonyms, they are two different things.
“People with social anxiety usually have average to above-average social skills,” she says. “You may Feel like everyone at a cocktail party thinks you’re “weird,” but chances are you’re doing well with others.”
This anxiety may cause you to reject certain social situations or avoid them altogether.
There is nothing wrong with being awkward in society. Whether you admit your social awkwardness or not, it’s generally not bad or harmful, as long as it doesn’t bother you or prevent you from doing what you want to do.
But if you feel that everything is all right, don’t try to change. Remember, everyone feels a little awkward from time to time.