For me, and maybe for you too growing up socially awkward was well, very awkward. When I was younger going through these things I believed that I was the only one in the world dealing with these problems but lo and behold when I got older I found my tribe! There were people who were just as socially awkward as muah!!! I was happy because that meant I wasn’t alone in this world and also I could warn others, who can sometimes feel alone and weird about their social awkwardness, that hey there’s more of us out here. Here are a couple things that you may be able to relate to:
1. You feel that everyone is looking at you.
This has to be the worst feeling, especially when you’re in a crowded area. Make no qualms about it, people will and do stare but for some reason the feeling is magnified to us. One thing I like to do when I know I have to be around a lot of people is look in the mirror, throughly, before I leave. I look at my fly to make sure its zipped, my face to make sure it’s clean because I know that will be some things racing through my mind while mingling with the outside world.
But even if you have either of those problems remember you’re not the first and most certainly won’t be the last. Zip up your fly and move on from it, quickly!
2. When you actually do talk to people, you wonder if they care
Ever been talking to someone, having a great conversation… but then you notice their eyes start to drift? Yeah that sucks.
Talking for most of us can sometimes feel like a huge task. One that we feel we may not be able to overcome but when we do, we expect people to listen because we rarely do it. And even if said person is looking us directly in the eye we feel as if their attention must be elsewhere because our conversation isn’t captivating enough. Or something crazy like that.
Look, what you have to say is important! I find that the more confidently I say something the more other people will seem more agreeable to it. You could always seek out ways for you to learn to be a better communicator. It’s not as hard as you may think, I’ve started many a businesses where you have to sell them on your product, and I did great because I practiced. Books such as how to talk to anyone are great to begin with.
Be confident and trust me you can do it!
3. Often times when you begin talking people stare!
Now this is the opposite of the point above I guess.
Don’t get too nervous about this, and think that they’re staring through your soul. When people peg you as the “quiet” one, it’s hard for them to change their perception. So when they see “the quiet girl” talking, it’s something different for them, thus the stares begin!
And the reason I put quiet in parentheses above is because I actually have a lot I want to say and I want people to listen (I actually want to be a motivational speaker, I’ve told people and they have laughed but I will get there) but sometimes because we’re hyper aware our social awkwardness, we simply CHOOSE not to speak rather than put our foot in our mouths. So I like to look at us as selective “quiet” people.
4. You Know exactly what you’re going to say…Until it’s actually time to say it
For some reason figuring out what your going to say isn’t hard, but when it’s time to say it a brain fart happens!
I mean literally I could practice for months and months the moment it’s time to say it my brain goes completely blank. I recently seen a meme that said something to the effect you prepare days for this one phone call, and as soon as you get on the phone you forget everything you were going to say! ouch, I know that feeling too well.
One thing that has helped me but you may not be able to use for every convo you have, is to have a written script with you. This is especially good for phone calls. I write down who the phone call will be with and I write down any questions I think will be asked. I even write down my name because yes I have forgotten my actual name before *hangs head down in shame*.
Just remember to breathe and write it down somewhere if you can. It’s scary but you can do it!
5. Going out seems fun until its time to go out, yeah that’s scary…
The thought of going out to a party a couple of weeks before you actually have to go out probably brings pleasant thoughts. Yeah you’ll have so much fun and it’ll end just like that one movie you love. But come a couple a days before your big day out and all of sudden your dreams of how great it will be to just to get out of the house turns into utter fear and sweaty palms. There’s no way you can go to this party now because you’ll probably trip and embarrass yourself or no one will even talk to you. This is what people who are socially awkward put themselves through when trying to follow through with plans.
I still struggle with this to this day, but I’ve gotten better. I’ve been called flaky, unreliable and every other name associated with making plans then breaking them. I used to feel so sad before I let my friend know that the party they really wanted me go with them with? I wouldn’t be able to go because I was umm *cough* *cough* sick…. again. I hated the feeling I felt and I hated making my friends mad. But I thought what could I do it’s not my fault I’m socially awkward and they just didn’t know how much better that party would have been without me.
But I knew that wasn’t true because I actually wanted to attend parties and outing with my friends it was just my that was holding me back. I had to change that. So like I said above I read books and listened to all types of “how to” videos on partying and going to dinner and things like that. I needed to see how other people act when they were in public around other and imitate them.
Another thing I did was stop saying yes to everything! I wanted to be good friend but saying yes then flaking, is not anyone’s view of a good friend.
Now I’m saying no more, and when I go out I’m having lots of fun because I put work into myself and found out that people aren’t out watching your every move, the books and videos helped too.
6. You wonder how that other quiet girl has so many friends
I’m not sure anyone else feels this way but maybe you have. I sometimes notice that there is a girl who is just as quiet as me but people would flock to her. It was always an odd and maddening phenomenon because I mean we were practically the same people but one of us was somehow better at getting friends than the other.
I thought well maybe they were jealous of me or maybe they were family? I don’t know, I thought of every good reason I could so that I could feel better about myself. But the older I got I realized that it was neither of those things. It was the fact that she was more open and less awkward than me, it was that simple. She seemed quiet but instead of hanging out by herself at lunch she would sit where all the other people were gathered. So her chances to meet friends rose higher than mine ever could eating lunch in a room that only contained me and maybe 1 or 2 other people.
I learned that if I wanted people to be my friends I couldn’t close myself off I had to put myself out there and my chances for gaining friendships would also rise.
7. Everyone thinks you’re a rocket scientist
Seriously?! Quiet =/= smart! Even though we tend to be pretty smart people, this sentiment is totally false. We come in different colors, religions, nationalities and even different speeds of learning. Believe it or not we are actually different people even though we don’t wear our personality on our sleeves. But hey it’s not a bad stereotype to be associated with. 😉
8. Small talk is not your forte
The dreaded small talk at the time clock situation. I hated getting to work early for precisely this reason. I knew that I would have to stand around for about 10 minutes, which seemed like 30 in social awkward time. Oh how are you? How have you been? Fine, you?… Listen…. listen…. then awkward silence! Why couldn’t I just start my day off
9. You’re a good listener, but that doesn’t mean you’ll remember
I know I know it hardly makes any sense. But when people talk to us, and they love to talk to us, we listen. We may not listen listen to the point we can recall everything said in the that conversation but we remember the important things for the most part. I have no clue what it is about our body language that says “tell me your whole life story but never offer to be friends” but it’s strong and if you know what it is please leave a comment below, each one teach one!!
10. You notice the small things
Sometimes something as small as where the other person grabbed breakfast from two days ago is tucked in the back of your mind. And later when you bing it up to them they seem surprised that you would remember such a minor detail. They may even think you’re a stalker of some sort (jk). I remember I met a girl at work that I knew from second grade, she clearly didn’t remember me. I said hey I remember you from 2nd grade…. she said oh. Yeah probably won’t do that again but hey I did rememebr her *shoulder shrug*.
This skill will come in handy when we’re rich and famous guys!
So those are 10 things that that I’ve been through growing up socially awkward in school and also as an adult. Honestly looking back I’m very happy that I went through that because it built..umm… character. I like to put a positive spin on things especially knowing that at one time I had very low self-esteem, so being able to kind of laugh at it now is a huge milestone for me.
Comment below and let me know if you’ve been through any of these or maybe you can think of other things that us socially awkward beautiful beings have been through.
Anyway, talk to you later.