In this guide, you will learn to identify all the factors that might make you come off as socially awkward. Click here to learn how to avoid awkward silence
Find Out if You Are Socially Awkward
Socially awkward people often find themselves in the following situations:
- They are not aware of what is considered normal, so called social norms. They do not know how they are supposed to behave in social situations. This lack of understanding leads to poor jokes or jokes that are not suitable, or what is best to talk about.
- They become nervous when they are about to talk to people they just met, in a way that shows. This nervousness blocks the brain of the person that is considered awkward and the right path of how to behave is hard to see. Additional stress is created from other people reacting to this behavior.
- They often have hard to come up with things to say. While socially awkward, as well as other introvert people, might have a lot of thoughts inside, they often do not know what to say to others.
- What the socially awkward person says is often misinterpreted by other people. Their intention might be to be funny, but instead, they come out as just weird.
- They are often being made fun of by other people. If you notice that other people are often making fun of you, and you feel that you do not get the respect you deserve when you try being serious, people might see you as the awkward person.
- They do not have close friends. This is because the awkwardness works as a block behind them and other people. Most often they have at least one friend, but generally, a larger friend network that is common for people who are not socially awkward does not exist.
Out from this, we can draw two main factors for the awkwardness. The first one is being nervous. This could be due to social anxiety or shyness, or just because you are not used to be around new people. Sometimes, even the social anxiety or shyness is caused by you not being used to talk to people. Perhaps you grew up without siblings or with few people at your age around you. Here’s a guide on how to be good socially.
The other main factor is being more or less oblivious to social codes. This could be caused by different levels of Aspergers, a condition that makes it a bit harder for people to read social signs. However, these people can to a large extent substitute the “gut feel” of social interaction by studying the norms. Many people live with light Aspergers, often even without knowing it. This factor can also be due to slightly lowered empathy, which means the lack of understanding how other people feel. Or more accurate, what feelings your behavior cause in others.
If you identified yourself with one or more of the fields above, risks are that you are considered socially awkward. Bear in mind that a person might be socially awkward in some moments and in others, not. Almost everyone has been socially awkward at least in some moment of their life.
How to go From Socially Awkward to Socially Awesome
First, we need to address the first factor, the nervousness. You need to deal with your nervousness in a way that you after a while feel less tense around others. I highly recommend you to read our guide “How to be more self-confident” for the purpose of this. In that guide, we will walk through a specific method that over time will make you more self-confident. With this, you will notice how after a while your brain will “unblock”. This will make you able to enjoy social interaction and to have a relaxed conversation.
The second we need to address is to develop the habit of thinking about how others will react to what you say. This is contrary to the advice I use to give, which is trying to think as little as possible in social interaction to get “out of your head” and use your gut feel. That will work for most cases, but when dealing with the feelings of others, there is a good exercise you can do, even if it will be a bit of a hassle in the beginning:
Every time you say something, try to imagine how you would react if someone else said the same thing to you. You will be amazed how much you say that can be misinterpreted by others, and they think you are picking on them when you are just trying to be funny.
If this method messes up your brain, use another shortcut: Never talk down on anything.
As soon as you make a joke about how french people are, or that people from the countryside are stupid, you can bet the person you talk to has a french cousin or that his or her parents own a farm. The easiest way to get out of awkward situations caused by you not paying attention to the feelings of others.