Should you embrace your social awkwardness is social settings? Is it just a part of who you are? Some people will tell you to embrace it, but I truly feel that it’s important to try and overcome being socially awkward as much as possible, especially if you want to create a life full of relationships, love, happiness, and success.
Being socially awkward will affect your life negatively. It may not affect your online life, where you can say whatever is on your mind without fear of hearing a reply and where you can delete any word or statement you make. But, it will affect your ability to form real relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, and it will affect your self-esteem, success, and happiness in the long run.
The bottom line is that when you are socially awkward you feel awkward or out of place, and that makes all situations and events with other people more difficult than they need to be. Moreover, it can hold you back from going after things you want because, often, the things you want are through or around other people, which can be hard to face.
Therefore, I highly suggest that you embrace your social awkwardness as a part of who you are now and then find a way to improve your social skills and confidence so you can become less socially awkward.
10 Signs That You Are Socially Awkward
Are you not sure if you are socially awkward? Following are some common experiences awkward people have. If you find that you relate to almost all of them, then you are socially awkward and need to work on it if you want to change your relationships and life around.
1. People Avoid You In Social Settings
If you find people moving away from you or avoiding you during social settings, then there is a high chance that you are socially awkward. People don’t feel comfortable around people who are awkward and lack social skills. It’s hard to have a conversation with them, understand what they are trying to convey, and feel at ease around them. This is true whether you are at work or in another social setting.
2. You Avoid People As Often As Possible
If you ever find yourself ducking behind something to hide from someone that you would have to chat with, or crossing the street to avoid someone, or quickly shutting the elevator so that you don’t have to talk to your co-worker, or cancelling plans where you will need to interact with people, then you are probably socially awkward. We avoid people because we feel uncomfortable at the thought of having to engage with them.
3. Dates Always Go Bad
If you find yourself offending or scaring off almost every date you have, then there is a high chance that you are doing things that are weird or looked down upon by someone who is looking for love. A lot of socially awkward people just don’t understand what other people are looking for or find unacceptable.
For instance, you could be talking over your date, ignoring their questions, saying offensive things, asking inappropriate questions, or acting in a manner that makes them think you are too needy or desperate. Without being there with you, it’s hard to tell exactly what you are doing wrong, but it’s easy to say that something is going wrong if all your dates never lead into anything else.
4. Romantic Relationships Don’t Last Long
You may find someone who can look past your awkwardness, but after a while, they start to grow tired of your inappropriate behavior or inability to be social and have a good time. They will probably tell you straight up during your relationship that they wish you were more social and outgoing. And, eventually, when things don’t change they leave.
5. You Don’t Have A Lot Of Friends
Friendships are hard for you. You don’t make friends easily and when you do, you often lose them because you are not willing to meet their friends or go out and do things with them. You would rather sit at home with them than go out, which is a friendship-killer because friends build experiences in life and bond over those experiences.
6. Your Self-Esteem Is Affected By How Others Treat You
If your self-esteem goes up and down faster than a rollercoaster while you are in a social setting, even if you are not talking to anyone, then you are probably socially awkward. It means you are sizing up how other people feel about you through what they say and do, and then letting your conclusions – whether they are based in reality or not – dictate how you feel about yourself.
7. You Overthink All Social Instances
Big or small, you replay the moments in your day where you needed to relate to other people and you beat yourself up over them. For instance, if you talked for a few seconds to someone about nothing important, you may not be able to stop thinking about whether or not you were friendly enough or stop worrying about what they thought about you.
8. You Are Scared Of Being Seen In A Negative Way
Are you scared that other people are going to see you in a negative way? Maybe they will think you are not funny, boring, ugly, too sad, too happy, too fat, too thin, not smart enough, or not witty enough. If you think about these things before you even get into a social situation and have said a word, then that is a big sign that you are socially awkward. The very thought of being a social makes you uncomfortable because you care too much about how people view you.
9. People Tell You That You Are Weird
If people are outright telling you that you are weird, rude, annoying, or frustrating, then there is a good chance that you don’t understand social norms and are rubbing people the wrong way. While these people can easily make you feel bad about yourself, they are also being honest with you and giving you criticism that can help you become less awkward and more confident if you embrace what they are saying.
For instance, if someone tells you that you are annoying, then you have a chance to work on some personal growth. You may want to look at how you interact with others. Do you take the time to get to know other people? Do you act appropriately around other people? Do you say things that are off the wall and don’t need to be said? If you can find answers, then you can begin to fix issues that you may be having in social settings that make you annoying and then form stronger and healthier relationships with people.
10. You Have A Different Impact Than You Meant To Have
You try to convey how much you like someone and you end up offending them. Or, you try to make someone feel better and you end up making them feel worse. If you always find that you are not doing what you set out to do then that is a huge sign that you are socially awkward.
Why Are You So Socially Awkward?
I’ve never seen a socially awkward baby. Have you? That is a big indicator that social awkwardness develops over time. There are many different reasons why you can become socially awkward.
1. The Way You Grew Up
A friend of mine was rejected by his family for not being Italian enough. He wasn’t a typical Italian boy, so his father and mother made him feel bad at every turn in life. His self-confidence was low from a very young age because of that.
To make matters worse, they wouldn’t let him play with his friends because they didn’t approve of them, so at a young age when people are learning how to be social with others, he was sitting at home with his parents. That ensured that he wasn’t able to develop those skills needed to develop and maintain friendships.
And, even though they lived in Canada, they sent him to Italy at the age of ten to live with strange relatives and become more of a ‘man’. Unfortunately, it just made him more socially awkward. His relatives were busy with their own lives and he was more of a nuisance than a family member.
Add all of that up, and he became a socially awkward adult who had a hard time making friends and keeping friends. Dating was hard for him as he offended women more than not. And, despite his best efforts, his co-workers always found him weird or off-putting.
This guy is one of my best friends, and he is the most compassionate and intelligent men I know, but his social awkwardness has always stood in the way of people being able to see that.
2. Having Socially Awkward Parents
We learn from what we see the most. If your parents are socially awkward, there is a good chance that you developed a lot of their habits and behaviors in social settings. You may interact with people as they do and you may have a hard time forming relationships like they do. You may even think like they do (have certain judgments and opinions about others) which causes you to be socially awkward.
3. Being Online Too Much
The internet can make you socially awkward. What applies online doesn’t translate well offline. You need to have good conversation skills, body language skills, and compassion and understanding towards other in order to get along in the real world, whereas online you just need to be able to type and reply. Therefore, people who are online too much can forget how to interact with real people on a one-on-one basis.
4. Having A Disorder
A friend of mine runs a relationship blog for men and has found that a lot of guys with Asperger’s are having many different problems with women. They lack the nonverbal behaviors that are important for sending appropriate messages while dating as well as other issues that block their ability to understand and convey messages needed to form an intimate relationship.
5. Being In An Altered State
If you do drugs, drink in excess, or even don’t get enough sleep, you may find yourself being socially awkward. Being socially acceptable requires you to be aware and grounded in reality. When you are looking at the world from behind a curtain or veil, it’s hard to see how you are impacting other people and adjust the way you interact with them.
6. Idolizing Someone Socially Awkward
Another problem with being online too much is that it gives us a window into people’s lives who are not exactly the most socially aware people on the planet. And because young and impressionable people spend so much time watching these people, it goes without saying that there are more socially awkward people than ever before.
For instance, YouTube is full of vloggers who sit in front of a camera for a living and talk about their lives, and they don’t need to be socially confident in order to do so. After all, they are talking to a camera, not interacting with people in the real world. And, we now know that teenagers are watching more YouTube than they are anything else.
I find that there are some vloggers who obviously don’t know how to get along with others in this world. Their stories are full of bad relationships, poor experiences with other people, and failure in the real world. But, in their own little world, they glow! This is a good sign that they are socially awkward people and you shouldn’t mold your behavior after theirs.
Unfortunately, many kids are picking up these vloggers beliefs, habits, and ways of talking and behaving, and they are becoming socially clueless because of it. They think that because the vlogger is successful, their way of behaving is acceptable, and it couldn’t be further from the truth in the real world.
In short, don’t idolize anyone and try to be like them. Be yourself. Think for yourself.
So You’re Socially Awkward – What Do You Do Now?
Many people would tell you to work on your confidence, but I have a different suggestion. You can’t just flip the switch and become more confident socially. You can, however, educate yourself wherever you need education and develop new perceptions, habits, and behaviors that will help you be more socially acceptable and become more socially confident as a result.
First and foremost, learn what it means to be socially normal. Understand that social norms can be different depending on where you are and who you are around. What works in one scenario or place will not work in another. For instance, what works on a date will not work with your co-workers, and what works in one area of the world will not work in another area.
In other words, if you are awkward while dating, then learn what is generally acceptable on dates. Learn what people are looking for in a date and try to understand WHY they are looking for that from someone. The more you educate and understand, the more you change your perception on what is acceptable and how you should behave, which results in interacting with people differently.
Moreover, if you are awkward around strangers, then educate yourself how to interact with strangers in a way that makes them happy or satisfied. Learn what makes people feel good around other people. The more you learn, the more confident you will be as you go out.
In the end, practice makes perfect. You have to be willing to admit that you are socially awkward, learn how to interact with other people in all areas of life, and then apply that information to your life. The more you learn and practice what you learn, the more socially confident you will become – guaranteed.