An individual who is excessively afraid of social interactions and uncomfortable around people due to the fear of rejection, criticism, judgment, or due to personal choice is termed as socially awkward.
When you are feeling shy or anxious, chances are you’re not thinking straight, fumbling over your words. Thus, you end up embarrassing yourself. Social awkwardness isn’t a mental health issue. There are no diagnostic criteria or even a proper definition. It can be a feeling or a collection of feelings and experiences that form certain patterns in your life. Socially awkward people also face a hard time during conversations or working in a group. As a result, people see them as ‘boring’ individuals.
Signs that you are Socially Awkward
You are socially awkward if
- You are better at making friends online than in real life
- Networking is a nightmare for you
- You are bad at making eye contact with people
- Summoning a waiter, asking questions during a seminar or greeting people make you feel uncomfortable
- You become dreadfully nervous when giving a speech or when you get too much attention
- Rather than going out you prefer staying home
- You have no idea how to react and simply becomes nervous when you receive compliments
Upsides of being Socially Awkward
Socially Awkward People have Deep Conversational Skills and are not Interested in Small Talk
Awkward people might not be interested in small talk and they always try to find a way out when it starts, but they can be very good partners if you want to have deep discussions. They don’t crave discussion, which is why they are only interested in deep and meaningful ones. According to psychologists “socially awkward people may struggle with small talk. But they’re often great at diving deep into topics they’re passionate about.”
Also one of the reasons why they don’t strike up a conversation is that they think that they might bother the people. When they are talking they don’t want people to think that they are clingy. This is a sign that they are very caring people, who don’t want to hurt others’ feelings and don’t want to offend them. Socially awkward people often ask themselves such questions: What if they really wanted to tell me to shut up and they were just being polite? What if I said something that may offend them?
Awkward People have Competitive Advantage due to their Creativity
Awkward people tend to see the world from a different perspective and they are interested in the most unnoticed part of a big picture. Most people focus on the center of a stage where the spotlight falls and illuminates it but awkward people see the corners of the stage where barely light falls. It is due to their unique perspective of life because they don’t follow the systematic social norms. The unique perspectives they hold about simple things around them make them think creatively and differently.
Awkward people possess enthusiasm, persistence, sharp focus, and innovative perspective that can add tremendous value to any workplace. Their ability to pick up small details, drawing patterns from these details, and adopting a unique approach to a problem gives them competitive advantages.
People are more tolerant of Socially Awkward Individuals’ Mistakes
If you have been socially awkward throughout your whole life then chances are that the people around you will become more tolerant and polite towards you. Some people are likelier to chat to a shy person at a party. They may have a compassionate streak and want to help them feel comfortable and included. Your awkwardness at times makes people think that the mistake you have made is due to your confusion but not every time this is going to save you.
As you become socially adjusted people start to expect more from you. And if each time you make that insensitive mistake people will surely pull off.
They Make Fewer Mistakes because They Observe Everything
From the moment we are born, we know that failing is a way to gain experience and finding the truth. But others teach us about many situations without the need to experience them personally. When you are socially awkward, your life is full of opportunities to learn from others’ mistakes and judge situations from an unbiased and rare perspective. By simply listening, watching, or being, you get to see how others handled certain situations as well as the consequences, and in turn, can alter your actions. In the end, you learn more from an objective viewpoint.
But to be able to learn from others’ mistakes, it is important to belong to a wise group of people. Making friends can be hard if you have social anxiety but once you have one, you will have an extremely strong bond.
They are good at Specific Subjects they are Passionate About
Oxford University has found that awkward personalities have unusually intense focus and are passionate about the subjects that are governed by rules such as logic and math.
Not all awkward people will exhibit striking talent. But when their sharp focus, passionate interest, and unusual perspective combine with a dash of natural ability, their interaction creates exciting possibilities. They are more likely to take over fields like science, technology, engineering, or mathematics and are drawn to leisure interests like gaming, collecting, and baseball statistics.
How to become Socially Comfortable
Want to be socially comfortable? You can start to overcome social awkwardness by working over small areas of your life like this.
Try Making New Friends
Try to make new friends especially try to strike up a conversation with the people you don’t know. Any situation you’re in where you’re surrounded by people you don’t know at all or not very well for instance; a conference, a trip on the bus, a line at the coffee shop, a family gathering, can be a good opportunity to practice conversation.
Don’t Hesitate to Try New Things
Try new things as much as possible. Go to the places where you haven’t been, meet old friends, attend seminars, go to spontaneous trips, and try new things that make you feel adventurous.
Ask Question; if you don’t know How to Start a Conversation
Politely ask questions; if you don’t know how to start a conversation. Think to yourself what you want to know about that person you are talking to and ask.
Make an Eye Contact with the People You are Talking to
Look directly into the eyes of the person you are talking to. It indicates interest in the other person while looking away without a clear purpose often indicates boredom and disinterest.
Stop Comparing Yourself with Others
Focus on what you are and not on what you are not. Because most of the time social awkwardness gets fueled when you start comparing yourself with others. Instead of making yourself feel small try to think about what you can bring to the table.
Ask for a Close Friend’s Help
You’re more likely to feel relaxed if there’s a familiar face close by. Call in a friend-favor and ask a mate to go with you the next time you think you might feel socially awkward.
Always Remember Your Good Traits and Strengths
When you are trying to become less socially awkward boosting confidence would be a good idea. Each time you feel bad about yourself jot down something good on your phone. This way you will have a list of good traits that you can use for self-motivation.
Another article from the same Author : Types of Toxic People You Should Avoid