How to Stop Feeling Socially Awkward Around People
It’s okay – you’re not the only person feeling socially awkward everywhere you go.
Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on January 22, 2023
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While it oftentimes may feel as though you are the only one in the world who silently suffers from a case of being downright socially awkward – we can assure you that that most likely isn’t the truth! In reality, feeling socially awkward is something that happens to all of us at one point or another.
While it can be demoralizing, we do not have to follow our awkward tendencies. Below, we have included some tips and tricks that will hopefully help you to begin channeling your inner social butterfly.
How to Stop Feeling Socially Awkward Around People
One of the worst things that you can do in an uncomfortable social setting is to attempt to act like anyone other than who you are. This almost always goes wrong and people, whether you know them or not, can usually see right through this. We as humans are great at fishing out when others are being authentic or not, so we suggest keeping things on the safe side and remaining cool, calm, and collected.
If you find that you want to speak but have nothing valuable to add, don’t force anything! Nobody will judge you by the frequency in which you contribute to a conversation and you will not look socially awkward just because you’re not the loudest person in the room.
Shift Your Mindset
If you are someone who suffers from being socially awkward, don’t allow that to label and define you as a person. Acknowledge that feeling socially awkward is something that you struggle with and instead, work to fix it.
Without taking any steps to help improve your situation, you’ll always stay stuck as that person who dreads any and all social gatherings. If you shift your focus instead toward working to improve your old patterns, this can help you to gain that necessary confidence.
Ask Yourself Why
A good starting point when beginning to address your issue is to ask yourself the simple question of why you are feeling socially awkward in the first place. This seems like a small task but asking yourself this question may open up other doors to a better understanding of yourself.
Do you think you are socially awkward because you aren’t as loud as others? Or is it because you feel as though you have nothing of importance to add to a conversation? Getting to the root cause of your anxiety will make it easier to address any issues that you think need working on.
Focus on Others
A common mistake that people make when they find themselves in an uncomfortable encounter is to over-analyze or nitpick everything that they say or do. Doing this will only cause you further stress and anxiety, which means it will all undoubtedly add to your feelings of being socially awkward.
Instead, try your best to focus all of your attention on what the other person is saying and portraying. This means that your phone should be tucked away, and you should try and do your best to engage in whoever you are communicating with. Doing this will take your mind off of yourself and allow you to react in a more genuine and easygoing manner.
Practice To Not Be Socially Awkward
Overcoming socially awkward tendencies is not something that will happen overnight. It’s important that you remain patient with yourself, but it is also important that you continue to practice socializing with others often. While that may seem a bit overwhelming, we promise that the more that you do it, the less you’ll fear it.
It’s basic human nature that the more we choose to avoid something the scarier that thing will end up seeming each time we encounter it. So, the best advice we can give someone who truly struggles in feeling comfortable within social settings is to practice speaking to people every day – whether the conversation is brief or more involved is up to you, just make sure to keep at it.
Do Not Be Afraid to Reach Out for Help
Feeling socially awkward in not an issue that you must deal with alone. Do not be afraid to reach out for help, especially if you begin to feel powerless in the situation.
Whether you choose to reach out to a friend, a therapist, a relative, or a colleague, you should never beat yourself up about it. Talking to someone is actually a great way to reduce any feelings of built-up stress, and you may find that the initial conversation alone already has you feeling a lot better.
Be sure to tell the person exactly what it is that is causing you anxiety and ask for their support. If they are a true friend, then this should be a no-brainer for the both of you.
Stay Mindful of Your Body Language
This is a very important point that is usually overlooked in those suffering from social anxiety and feelings of being socially awkward. If you walk into an event with your arms crossed, your head down, and your shoulders slumped, then your odds of coming out as the social butterfly of that event look pretty slim to none.
However, if you arrive in a confident posture and actually take the time to scan and survey the room with a more confident outlook, it’ll almost always be easier to socialize within the setting. In fact, research published in the Harvard Business School Working Paper proves that your body language has an actual effect on your confidence.
We hope that our tips and tricks help to get you on the right track towards feeling less socially awkward and becoming the social butterfly that you were meant to be. Overcoming social anxiety takes practice and persistence, keep working at it and you will succeed eventually.
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