Awkwardness Rules! How to Be Socially Awkward
The Perks of Social Awkwardness
Many socially awkward people consider their awkwardness to be a weakness or liability. This, my friends, is a terrible shame.
I will readily admit that social awkwardness can lead to:
- An uncomfortable childhood / adolescence / adulthood
- A long string of painfully embarrassing moments
- Social ostracism
- A dearth of friends / popularity / career success
However I would like to bring to your attention the fact that, if handled properly, being socially awkward can also lead to:
- An eventful, exciting, and fulfilling childhood / adolescence / adulthood
- Fame and fortune courtesy of one's ability to stand apart from the crowd
- A long string of hilariously awkward moments
- Many meaningful friends, a lifelong legacy, and a wildly successful professional life
That's right; it all comes down to how you spin it. Let's have a look at the major ways to make the most of social awkwardness. You'll find that your inherently awkward disposition is a blessing- not a curse.
You Have Carte Blanche to Be Yourself
If you consider yourself to be socially awkward, chances are you have trouble "fitting in." Is it more pleasant to fit in with the rest of society? Absolutely. It's warm with the crowd. Cozy. Predictable. Safe.
But... is safe always the best way to go? Are all your heroes known for their amazing feats of normalcy? Are the people who have changed our world famous for conforming? NO!
Being different is a wonderful thing- it challenges you to forge your own path in life and make a real difference. Because you are socially awkward, you already have an excuse to be different from the get-go. This gives you a leg up relative to well-adjusted folk because you have enjoyed the societal equivalent of being launched out of bed on a freezing morning, whereas they are still tucked in and forced to somehow find the will to get out from beneath the soft, warm covers (and as we all know, that is excruciatingly difficult).
Your awkwardness is a head start; a carte blanche to be unique and to challenge the status quo. Use it as an excuse to:
- Question authority
- Be truly honest about your feelings and opinions
- Be yourself
- Forge your own path in life
- Not be obsessed with what others think of you (because they obviously think you're a frickin' weirdo and there is nothing you can do to change that)
... and just for the fun of it, you might as well take your awkwardness as an added opportunity to...
- Be goofy
- Dress like a crazy person
- Enjoy yourself when everyone else is "too cool" to be having fun
It drives me crazy when people don't take these opportunities. What a dreadful waste of potential!
Bonus Perk: You Probably Have Special Skills!
Now is the time to cash in.
Many of the socially awkward of Japan come to be referred to as otaku. An otaku, generally speaking, is an enthusiast about a specific thing (be it German U-boats, anime, or men's coat and jacket patterns), and is incredibly well-versed in this area. Why do these people end up becoming specialists? In many cases, their expertise is a direct result of social ineptitude.
Sure, this makes for pathetic adolescent social lives, but that's water under the bridge. If your socially awkward childhood forced you off the playground and into the cinema/lab/music room/library/whatever, cash in on your hard-earned superpower!
Your specialized skills can be used to give you an edge over all the mediocre people who spent their youths "hanging out" (i.e. wasting time). Make the most of them- and use them as an excuse to get out in the world and meet new people, too! Just because your youth was full of isolation doesn't mean your adulthood has to be. Nerdy is the new cool. Live it up!
The Bonus Perk Strikes Back: Your Life is Filled with Hilarity
Let's take a break and think about back massages. If your shoulder muscles are tight, the massage might hurt a bit. If you tense up and freak out, the massage might leave you even tighter and more uncomfortable than before. If you relax and enjoy the deep tissue work (it hurts so good, right?), you'll come out much looser and more relaxed than you were before.
Socially awkward situations are like massages. You can tense up and think "OH MY GOD THIS IS SO TERRIBLE I WANT TO DIE RIGHT NOW. KILL ME KILL ME KILL ME" and be miserable, or you can think to yourself "Wow, this is hilarious!" and get a real kick out of the moment.
If you play it right, you can utilize your awkwardness to bring you an unending stream of hilarious moments and experiences. If you're really good, you can use those moments as material for songs, paintings, cartoons, screenplays, essays, stand-up comedy, and novels.
Just accept these uncomfortable situations for what they really are: sources of great material.
Would you prefer to be socially awkward or well-adjusted?
Return of the Bonus Perk: You're Building Character
Despite all its potential and benefits, the socially awkward lifestyle can be tough, and there are points at which it is filled with nothing but undiluted suckitude.
But buck up, my friend. Even this dark cloud has a silver lining. With every lonely moment you survive, with every excruciating humiliation you endure, and with every disappointment you suffer, you are becoming harder, better, stronger, faster, and generally AWESOMER. Unlike those pudgy, well-adjusted folk, who are likely complacent in their comfortable live, you are no stranger to adversity, and are all the more compassionate, resilient, and wise because of it.
Next time your awkwardness gets you down, remember this- as well as all the other perks I've listed. You've been given a gift. Make the most of it.