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Managing Social Awkwardness
You would recognize the perennial wallflower of any social group. He is the person who seldom says much, and when he does, his words leave people feeling uncomfortable.
He is socially awkward, and needs to manage this desperately. It can damage his self-esteem.
To manage it, he must first seek the causes of his discomfort and recognize its signs. He does not have to stay a wallflower forever.
Causes of social awkwardness
The first step to overcoming social awkwardness is to consider its causes. It is easier to overcome it if you treat it at its root.
Inherent personality traits seem to predisposed people to having certain social problems. Life events tend to aggravate social behaviors. Happy news is that even those who have social awkwardness can overcome it.
Certain people are more inhibited than others. They dislike activities that others enjoy, or simply do not need to mix with others. Those who cannot tolerate change or risk taking are at a disadvantage because they lose out on the social opportunities that come with dating or partying. They miss chances to develop their social skills.
Some people may have personalities that do not gel with the norm. Certain people are eccentric and idiosyncratic, making them harder for those with more typical personality traits to relate to. Often, those who are socially awkward may have poor social role models, and become socially awkward.
They may have interests that are not popular, or cause others to pick on them. Some people may have solitary interests, and prefer to do things on their own. They are often misunderstood, and become socially awkward.
Signs that you are socially awkward
If social interactions do not go well for you, you may wish to take a step back and ask yourself why that is. You may show the signs of social awkwardness without realizing it.
For a start, social interactions may make you nervous. It gives you an awkward demeanor, which generates even more nervousness. Such jitters prolong negative cycles.
You may find yourself creating the wrong effect with your statements. Instead of consoling someone, you may end up using words that hurt him instead. You may have problems continuing conversations. If you find yourself constantly being teased by others for using the wrong words or phrases, you may have a problem with social awkwardness.
How to deal with social anxiety
Avoiding being socially awkward
A person does not have to stay in his shell forever. He can make conscious attempts to change his situation. Those who have loved ones who are socially awkward can help to move them through their difficulties as well.
The first step a socially awkward person should take is to remember that he is not alone. Everyone worries about how others see them. Knowing that he is not the only person coping with social worries will put him more at ease.
To help him move past his social awkwardness, he should take time to find out where his awkward feelings come from. Perhaps he is over-analyzing social situations, or had bad experiences. He could also have an introverted personality.
A socially awkward person can take steps to rebuild his confidence and overcome shyness. He can relax in social situations by making small talk, and realizing that people are feeling as awkward as he is. He can learn to give others meaningful compliments. Loved ones can get their socially awkward family members to interact more with others.
Do watch the attached Youtube video for more tips on managing social anxiety.
Teaching a socially awkward person to handle social situations
f you have a loved one or friend who shows signs of social awkwardness, you can help him overcome in by teaching him a few etiquette basics.
Nosy questions put anyone off, and frighten those who are more reserved. Your socially awkward friend will benefit from a few witty tricks. If someone asks how much he earns, he can respond with "Enough to pay my bills, but not enough to become a millionaire overnight." That would immediately dissuade further questions. It also tells the other party that he is being intrusive.
Sending an email to the wrong person is another socially awkward situation. Prompt your friend to make a phone call to the person to clarify matters, and help him to avert a misunderstanding.
Your friend may feel at a loss for words in front of others if he is late for meetings or events. If he is running late for a meeting, remind him to apologize, then catch up with what he missed. Others are more likely to understand that he was genuinely held up.
If the person has forgotten someone's name, tell him to introduce himself by saying, "Hi, don't know if you remember me, but I am _______." The other person will probably take the hint and do the same. If not, tell him to continue talking to the person until something triggers his memory.
How would you deal with social embarrassment?
Anyone can move past being a wall flower to becoming one in full bloom.