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Awkwardness Rules! How to Be Socially Awkward

Updated on February 10, 2012

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!

This is going to make for a great story someday...
This is going to make for a great story someday... | Source

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.

Weigh in!

Would you prefer to be socially awkward or well-adjusted?

See results

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.

To the Awkward Mobile!
To the Awkward Mobile! | Source


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    • KenDeanAgudo profile image

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      5 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      it makes us happy all the time, being awkward?? hahaha

      in some situations it causes happiness

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      6 years ago

      Awesome hub and awesome video. I was always awkward, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Garrett Mickley profile image

      Garrett Mickley 

      6 years ago from Jupiter, Florida

      I always found socially awkward girls to be the cutest. I mean the actually socially awkward ones, not the fake ones on Tumblr/other social networking sites who are "socially awkward" for attention.

    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Palen 

      6 years ago from Midwest USA

      As a socially awkward person, sometimes I really wish I were normal. I meet people and I'm like hmm, "How do I make friends with that person?" PLUS anyone that I would want to be friends with would also be socially awkward and thus unlikely to approach me.

      Seeing people in groups makes me think I'm on the outside looking in. I mean, SURE I'm awesome for entertainment value, but I want to be considered someone in a group that has valuable, applicable input on different situations.

      I think people equate my social awkwardness with stupidity. When they hear I'm in engineering, they say, "Remind me to never fly in a plane!" I feel snarky when people say those things, like I want to say something like, "Well, don't fly a plane powered by an Internet browser!" As if all engineers do is design planes!

      In their defense, though, I do act kind of dumb on purpose. It makes uncomfortable situations easier.

      I wonder if non-socially awkward people ever wish they were socially awkward... or if they at least understand us. I have a great deal of trouble understanding normal people, although I really want to. I think it would make life easier.

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Great video! ahah too funny, even though I hate to tell you... a little awkward.

      love the wiggling toes! lol


    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      6 years ago

      I totally AGREE with everything you say in this hub!!! Just one question: where did you buy that jacket? I want one!

    • travelgurrl profile image


      6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Simone, to put it bluntly, YOU ROCK! I just absolutely loved this! I honestly think this is my favorite hub of yours. I have always said that being normal is boring and overrated!! You are a gem!

    • Garrett Mickley profile image

      Garrett Mickley 

      6 years ago from Jupiter, Florida

      I used to think I was pretty normal but then I read this and realized I do all of these things naturally.

    • THEHuG5 profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh Simone, how you make me smile with your videos/hubs. As someone who is socially awkward it took me a while to embrace it but now I do see it as a good thing. I mean you might as well accept who your are. The older I get the more I learn how to show my confidence when certain situations call for it (job interviews, meeting new people, etc...)

      Who wants to hang around boring old "normal people" anyways? Socially awkward people are freakin HILARIOUS! Great hub as always :)

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Indeed, ktrapp!! And the outfits really are SO MUCH FUN!

      Thanks, tillsontitan. Do brush up! Awkwardness is a fun thing to take for a spin every now and then.

      hecate-horus, I couldn't have said it better myself.

      Awkwards FTW, catalystsnstars!! Misfits rock- and imho, they have more fun, so perhaps we're better off not trying to fit in anymore :D

      Good point, CarltheCritic1291. Those people sound like Fawkwards. Fake Awkwards. Don't have much patience for Fawkwards. And yeah, I debated whether to leave that last part in or not... and then I was like... welp, that's awkwardness for you.

      Ah yes, FloraBreenRobison! The power of context! I know exactly what you mean.

      Yay! I'm so glad to have spread some giggles. Thanks for stopping by, daborn7!

      That last option in the poll reflects how I feel, Melovy. Everyone has an inner Awkward person- even the narcissists! Even the Dali Lama (but in a strictly awesome and adorable way).

      And hear hear, Debby Bruck! Let's make the most of our gifts indeed!

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Simone ~ You're cute as a button! And, you have a special knack at producing wonderfully entertaining videos. As I read down the page my only thought was suddenly staring me in the face amidst the poll: To be honest, we're *all* socially awkward! There it is ~ this type of behavior has gone mainstream. Now, to be "in" you would probably be referred to as "socially awkward." Let's make the best of our gifts. Blessings, Debby

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      6 years ago from UK

      What a great way to look at life - and very funny too. I clicked the last choice on the poll because everybody feels awkward at some times and in some situations. Well unless they are narcissistic egomaniacs who have absolutely no sensitivity or awareness.:) Or unless they are one of the few enlightened beings who are completely comfortable with themselves and others at all times. I guess most of us are somewhere in the middle.

    • daborn7 profile image


      6 years ago from California

      OK, I have never taken the time to think this through to this extent before. Great way of putting it. I have always been socically awkward, but you have given me a new perspective on it. Thank you for the very much needed giggles this morning. Awesome hub!

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      6 years ago

      Depends upon the situation. If I am thinking of a job interview, yes I'm awkward. If I am talking about a subject I love - like music - I am not awkward no matter whom I 'm around in age or number.

    • CarltheCritic1291 profile image


      6 years ago

      Funny stuff Simone. I have to be honest, being awkward can be okay, in small doses other wise it gets really annoying. Through experience I have met some people who just act awkward on purpose for attention, which I don't think is right. Everyone is a little awkward sometimes, but too much isn't necessarily good (in my opinion). You can be yourself but don't have to be awkward. That's at least how I see it, also your feet are super cute... How's that for awkward :P

      Great Hub as always, (with your video) interesting editing choices (I would cut off that last little bit at the end myself, but your choice to keep it in is actually better as it adds to the "akwardness"), carrots make you yellow not orange (there was an episode of 'Scrubs' that explains this), and all in all keep up the great work. Voted Up, and Everything Else :)

    • catalystsnstars profile image


      6 years ago from Land of Nod

      I love this!!! I'm like the poster child of social awkwardness. I've tried to fit in and at the age of 23, it's still not working and I've given up. We do need a voice, and most importantly, the posers need to quit. Lol.

      This hubs helps us misfits feel special. THANKS!

    • hecate-horus profile image


      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Being cool is too much work. And boring. Voted up!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Hilarious. I think I have to practice being socially awkward! Loved your video and pics...great, lighthearted hub. Voted up.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      Hhmm - I don't think I've ever been socially awkward, but you almost make me envy it - especially since you get to wear such cool outfits :) Seriously, I think it is always better to just be ourselves - whoever that is. The world would be boring if we were all carbon copies of each other!


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