View original post here. Hey! I don’t know if this is okay to ask you or not, but any advice on how to stop being so socially awkward? I feel like I can’t be myself around some people but I can around others.
Hello! We're happy you reached out!
So many of us have experienced awkward moments where we don’t understand a particular social situation and do something embarrassing. It might seem silly to some, but for others, it can have a big impact on how we interact with people in the future. Humans are meant to be social, but that's easier said than done when we feel fine around some groups of people but awkward around others. This typically occurs around those we're unfamiliar with or have little in common with. So don't be surprised that you feel this way! Even super outgoing people have a preference for who they would like to be social around.
There's no quick fix to being shy or awkward, but there are plenty of tips and helpful tidbits that might get you out of your shell! Here is what I would recommend:
Remember that the people around you aren't thinking about you - at least not as much as you assume. Insecurities and troubling thoughts want to make us believe that everyone is watching and judging us. But are you doing the same to everyone you meet? I bet not. We are the main character in our story, but not everyone else's. They have their own worries in life to dwell on that they have little time to fixate on you.
There is a high chance that the people you think you’re awkward around think they're awkward instead. It's a vicious cycle. But all it takes is one funny comment or random ice breaker to get the ball of conversation rolling.
Don't be afraid to plan out topics of conversation that you find interesting enough to talk about thoroughly. We get more comfortable when we do or talk about something we're knowledgeable about because the risk of looking goofy is low. You're an expert in something - don't be afraid to utilize it.
Have an 'I got this' attitude. Manifestation might sound silly, but the more you tell yourself that you can be around others in social settings without a problem, the more likely that you'll find yourself there. You can be your own cheerleader!
When in doubt, let the others do all the talking. Ask questions that keep the focus away from you. This doesn’t necessarily help you work on your social skills, but it does allow you time to figure out how you’d like to engage. This approach is also the best way to get to know who you’re talking to, what they like, and if you have anything in common.
Below I have linked some articles and videos that expand on these ideas:
It’s a great idea to try new things that can expand your social horizons, but no one is going to expect you to turn into someone you’re not. Everyone is different, so being a little ‘socially awkward’ isn’t a bad thing. Psychologist Ty Tashiro wrote in his book, Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome, that, “although awkward people are missing important social information that falls outside of their narrow aperture, what they do see is brilliantly illuminated and this gives them a deep, nuanced perspective about things that no one else takes the time to notice.” I think this puts into perspective that while some of us aren’t going to be the center of attention at a party, there are still qualities we can bring to the table that have value--albeit in a more timid fashion.
Try these tips out and see what happens! You got this, I know you do!