Hey everyone and welcome to Online Indians. Today we’re gonna learn about four steps to stop being socially awkward, now let’s begin.
#1: Accepting the Inevitable.
Awkwardness is a part of life there’s just no way around it no matter how confident driven or sociable you are.
You’ll still run into your fair share of awkward moments you’ll accidentally. Miss a handshake, you’ll wave at someone who’s not waving at you, you’ll tell a joke that no one laughs at.
Hmm, these moments are uncomfortable and annoying but they’re inevitable. Accepting that inevitability you are. The first step toward becoming less socially awkward.
In other words, you can own your awkwardness to create less of it. Yeah I know it sounds backward.
But let me explain most people aren’t socially awkward because they’re doing awkward things.
They just think they are they’re hyper-aware of every potentially awkward the thing they do.
But it’s actually they are the reaction that makes people uncomfortable even if awkwardness is inevitable. There are ways to turn a weird moment into a fun one.
Let’s say you’re telling a story about something dumb that you did at work you get a few laughs but notice an extended silence afterward.
If you’re socially awkward you might assume the worst. You take this awkward silence as a sign that you have terrible social skills.
Now you start to think you aren’t funny, you assume no one likes you.
You blow these awkward moments so far out of the proportion that you can never recover.
Because you’re scared of making things awkward again you decide to play it safe. You stop acting like yourself your fear of awkwardness ends up ruining your chances of connecting with the people around you.
But social awkwardness isn’t some unique disease only you suffer from no it isn’t a strange feeling that no one has ever felt before.
No decent person is going to dislike you from making things awkward because they’ve done the same thing plenty of times themselves.
Who hasn’t held the door open for someone who was too far away or heard their waiters say enjoy your meal and thanks to you?
These goofy moments often turn into funny stories but only if you react the right way. People who are socially awkward tend to make one of two mistakes when something uncomfortable happens.
They either under the act or overact under acting is when you mute or muffle your personality you don’t like yourself because your worried people won’t accept who you really are.
Instead, you stay quiet and self-contained sure you won’t make the most memorable impression.
But at least you won’t make things weird right wrong when you under act everyone around you will feel like you don’t want to be there.
Even though you’re just trying to be cautious people will assume you’re annoyed sad or bored and that just makes things super awkward for everyone.
On the flip side overacting is when you try to be something that you’re not. You might want people to think you’re cool, likable or outgoing you cover up your real personality with a fake one.
Thinking it will make you less awkward but that isn’t how it works. It isn’t hard to tell when someone’s putting on an act people can and will see right through you.
You’ll end up missing out on potential connections because you were too busy maintaining your mask.
So what should you do instead of trying to avoid the awkwardness learn how to make the best of it one. The best ways to neutralize an awkward moment is to laugh at yourself don’t try to play off you are a mistake like it didn’t happen.
You shouldn’t be afraid to be a little self-deprecating. You want to show people that you don’t mind messing up. That you’re okay with doing something dumb every once in a while. And at the end of the day, your best friends are the people you feel comfortable being awkward around.
#2: Consistent Activity.
Many socially awkward people spend way too much time in their own heads. They overthink each and every word they say they overanalyze every little thing people do.
They go back and forth wondering if they’ve made a new friend or ruin everything. These mental gymnastics distract you from the most important part of being social.
Forming bonds you may have a hard time connecting. Because you’re paying too much attention to yourself say a new friend tells you a story about how they went hiking in the mountains.
Were you actually listening or were you trying to think of something cool to say when they were done?
Often times you’re trying so hard to control your awkwardness that you didn’t relate to the people around you.
By telling you a personal story this the person was trying to connect with you. They made an attempt to invest in the relationship normally this is a perfect opportunity for you to do the same thing.
If you’re too concentrated on yourself people will think you aren’t interested. So how exactly do you show someone that you’re present well you start by getting off your phone?
Socially awkward people tend to use their phones like shields whenever they feel an uncomfortable moment coming on.
They hide behind texts or social media looking at your phone might seem like a great way to avoid that awkward silence.
But it does more harm than good now I know this sounds obvious. But countless people don’t realize how their phone is impacting their friendships.
The simple truth is it puts people off it makes them feel like you’re intentionally stepping away from the conversation.
Why should they bother caring if you don’t? People appreciate when you fight through the awkward moments with them it might be embarrassing.
But it’s one of the best ways to build stronger bonds. Now that you’ve put your phone away show them that you’re present by finding ways to relate.
If they say something you agree with telling them why when they divulge an embarrassing story go ahead and spill one of your own.
Even if they say something you don’t understand you can relate by asking them for more the information. There are tons of ways to show that you’re present but they all revolve around one thing staying active in the conversation.
No matter how awkward you are, people need to know that you’re trying.
#3: Spotlight Effect.
If you’re socially awkward you might think people are paying more attention to you. Then they actually are, you might feel like you’re constantly under a spotlight when you look around the room.
Does it seem like people scrutinizing everything you do this is a common psychological phenomenon called the spotlight effect?
Since you’re used to over-analyzing yourself you assume everyone else is doing the same thing.
Imagine you spill a drink on your pants. You immediately decide you look ridiculous so you spend the whole night going out of your way to cover it up.
You try so hard to make sure no one sees but 99% of the time no one would even notice.
Even if they do they wouldn’t think twice about it each and every person has their own complicated life to worry about.
Psychologists call this theory of mind it’s our ability to attribute unique thoughts and beliefs to the billions of other people in the world.
We actually learn this when we’re toddlers. But it’s incredibly easy to forget especially when we’re feeling insecure. The truth is everyone else is just as worried about being awkward looking their best and making a good impression.
You’re obsessing about your pants the girl next to you might be paranoid about a rip in her sleeve, the guy in the corner he might be hiding the mole on his arm.
My point is that no one worries about what you do as much as you do. So don’t be scared to make connections and be yourself live your life like no one’s watching. Because most of the time no one is.
#4: Social tag-teaming.
Even if you feel more comfortable being social it’s hard to meet new people. To practice with now in theory starting up a conversation should be simple you walk up you say hi and ask how their nights going and boom you’ve got a conversation.
But in reality it’s never that easy. You may know how to hold a conversation but that doesn’t mean you’re an expert at starting them.
This is where an outgoing teammate comes in handy you want to bring along someone who can smooth over that initial rough patch.
Let them handle the awkward introductions while you slip in once the conversation gets interesting.
The trick is to find one thing to latch on to you might chime in with a funny ending to your friend’s story or maybe you ask the other person a question about something they said.
Not only is that a natural entrance but it also gives people something to relate to right off the bat.
Hey, don’t worry about inserting yourself where you don’t belong using a teammate essentially gives you an excuse to enter any conversation they do.
Just make sure you’re not hiding in their shadow. It’s easy to let a more outgoing friend do all the talking. But what does that accomplish they’ll be making new friends while you’re just along for the ride.
So make sure you’re always involved in the conversation your friend might be handling.
Most of the small talk but you can still make an impression as an individual. Look for ways to specifically connect with other people.
Besides your friend for example, if someone shares one of your interests go ahead and tell them that you’re passionate about the same the thing.
This makes you relatable and memorable outside of your friend. Now, of course, you won’t need your teammate forever. This technique is great to learn with.
But eventually, you should tackle the introduction on your own. But don’t worry the more you do it the easier it gets.
Once you’ve talked to enough people you’ll realize they aren’t nearly as scary as they seem.