Have you ever met someone who doesn’t seem to understand social cues like knowing when to say “hello” or feels awkward in social settings? Or someone who has difficulty flowing naturally with conversations? You’ve probably misjudged such person to be a snub but there is such a thing as social awkwardness.
Social awkwardness is a feeling of discomfort in social settings, inability to recognize social cues or body language usually resulting from the belief that one’s desire for social acceptance is threatened a given situation. Hence people who experience it have difficulty communicating with others in social settings and try to avoid it completely. In attempting to do so, they get nervous or feel anxious and end up saying or doing awkward things.
Some of the common signs include;
• Discomfort in social gatherings
• Avoiding eye contact
• Not knowing what is expected of you in social settings
• Inability to engage in conversations, leading some to cling to their phones are social events
• Fear of having physical meetings
• Dislike for being the focus of people’s attention, hence they are terrified by the idea of interviews, speeches or presentations
• Constant fear of the likelihood of saying the wrong things.
Unlike social anxiety disorder, social awkwardness is not a mental condition; in fact some psychologists agree that it only becomes problematic when it results in feelings of rejection, unkind remarks from others, struggling to connect with others etc. More so, there are instances when it can be advantageous for instance socially awkward people are self-aware in social settings and are usually sensitive to mistakes they make around people. They tend to have an exaggerated sense of minor slip-ups because of their self-consciousness.
Nonetheless, if you are socially awkward, there are tips that can help you deal with relations in a social setting. As social beings, social skills are one of the important skills every human must possess. If you are socially awkward, it is a pointer that you need to develop your social skills.
How to deal with social awkwardness
- Read up on social skills: reading about people or social skills not only boosts your confidence, it helps you recognize and pick up social cues. Some of the skills to develop include conversational skills, courtesy, social confidence, understanding body language, empathy etc. Click here for recommendations.
- Practice with people you trust: after garnering knowledge on social skills, practice with people you trust like friends and family members. Engage in conversations with them; try to understand their body language, practice picking up social cues from them.
- Recognize the internal signals: recognize the internal signals of awkwardness like tensed muscles, sweating, nervousness etc when they come and breathe while at it. Channel your energy to remaining calm. When you flop in an awkward moment, face it head on; acknowledgement helps you move past it.
- Be aware of your environment: channel the excess self-consciousness to environmental consciousness. Being aware of what is going on around you helps you to notices cues when they come and avoid mishaps.
- Pay attention to your appearance: they say you should always dress the way you want to be addressed, in this context, dress the way you want to feel. Some people experience awkwardness because they do not feel confident or do not fit in social settings, so when you’re attending a social function, pay attention to your appearance. Dress confidently.
These are not pro-tips and do not take the place of therapy especially if your case transcends social awkwardness to social anxiety. In a perfect world, everyone would be able to tell when someone is only socially awkward; it’s not a perfect world, so we need some enlightenment!
That’s it for today’s blogsode guys, stay put for the next, ciao!