Do you ever feel a little bit awkward?
If so, don’t worry – you are far from alone. Many people feel a bit socially awkward in certain situations. If you feel awkward now and then, it might be as simple as not picking up on social cues or misunderstanding body language. Whatever the reason, the following nine tips can help you address that awkward feeling once and for all.
- Get Out of Your Head
This tip is easier said than done, but you need to get out of your head. If you are constantly worried about being awkward, you likely will be. If you find your mind is spiraling with worry and self-doubt, you will struggle in social situations. Try to center yourself, and engage in social situations with an open mind.
- Learn More About Social Norms
A lot of awkwardness comes down to not knowing social norms. You might not have learned these social cues growing up, so it doesn’t hurt to brush up on them. There is no shortage of information on the internet to help you learn more about societal norms and how to react to them.
- Keep Your Phone Handy
Your phone can be your savior in awkward situations. For example, I hate elevator small-talk, so I make sure I am immersed in my phone when someone gets on. You don’t want to be constantly on your phone in social situations, but feel free to use it if it will defuse an awkward situation.
- Don’t Show Up Late
Showing up on time or early to social engagements has two main benefits. First, it gives you time to get used to your surroundings. More importantly, when you show up late, all eyes will be on you, which will certainly exacerbate your awkwardness.
- Put Yourself Out There
If you feel awkward in social situations, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by avoiding them. You need to embrace social engagements as often as you feel comfortable doing so. The more you put yourself out there, the easier it will be to fit in.
- Invite a Close Friend Out With You
Having a close friend with you is a great way to battle your awkwardness. This is especially true if you bring along one of your friends who is socially adept. You can learn from them by mirroring their behavior. Also, it’s nice to have someone trusted you could turn to if things start getting a bit awkward.
- Develop Your Confidence
This is another tip that is a bit easier said than done. However, there are ways you can build up your confidence, and you must do so. A lot of awkwardness is born from a lack of confidence. If you are more confident, you will feel more prepared and less awkward in social situations.
- Ask More Questions
If you are in a conversation that seems to be lagging a bit and bordering on awkwardness, try to ask more questions. Focus on open-ended questions that keep the other person talking. You’ll quickly learn that you can easily avoid awkwardness by giving certain people a chance to talk about themselves.
- Worry Less About Others
A lot of our awkwardness is born out of worry about what others will think of us. We worry that they will think we are weird, stupid, or annoying if we say something. The reality is, most people aren’t that interested in others, to begin with. Worrying about other people’s opinions will do nothing but contribute to your awkwardness.