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How to Deal with Social Awkwardness

Raising an awkward kid

The awkward kid may say or do things that others will interpret negatively - such as correcting people's grammar or strictly sticking to rules and routines (which helps them to function but could be perceived as stiff).
Parents can do the following:

  • They can act as coaches by teaching their children social scripts that help them fit in.
  • They can teach them social expectations for dress and behavior.
  • They can help them find their passions and connect with others who have similar interests.
  • Social media could be a good tool to set up face-to-face time with friends.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Deal with Social Awkwardness

How to Deal with Social Awkwardness

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_deal_with_social_awkwardness

greatergood.berkeley.edu

5

Key Ideas

Social awkwardness

Some people experience awkward moments, but it doesn't necessarily impact their relationships too much.

However, for other people, awkwardness can be a way of life where they miss important social cues. This creates painful misunderstandings that lead to social exclusion.

Inside the awkward brain

Awkward people tend to see things differently. They highlight parts of their perceptual world that others tend to overlook.

Neuroscience research suggests that awkward people have less activity in their "social brains" and require extra effort when interpreting social cues. This is draining and can cause anxiety.

How awkward people can adjust

Awkward people can learn to feel more at ease in social situations.

  • Showing a real interest in what others say will send a message that you are invested in their well-being. Awkward people can learn to stop talking and instead ask questions to further the conversation.
  • Awkward people can be taught to pay attention to social cues like eye contact during conversations, and not chip in when someone else is busy speaking.

Raising an awkward kid

The awkward kid may say or do things that others will interpret negatively - such as correcting people's grammar or strictly sticking to rules and routines (which helps them to function but could be perceived as stiff).
Parents can do the following:

  • They can act as coaches by teaching their children social scripts that help them fit in.
  • They can teach them social expectations for dress and behavior.
  • They can help them find their passions and connect with others who have similar interests.
  • Social media could be a good tool to set up face-to-face time with friends.

The upside of being awkward

The nerdy kid or adult is not all bad.

  • Their deep focus gives them a particular perspective that no one else takes the time to notice.
  • Their narrow attention can help awkward people to develop unique expertise. Famous examples would be people like Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein, whose obsessive interests helped fuel innovation.
  • Awkward people may be more likely to excel at systematic problem-solving tasks.

Those who are not socially awkward could practice a greater appreciation and empathy, reaching out toward those who struggle socially.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Decreasing Awkwardness
Decreasing Awkwardness
  • Find common interests and discuss them.
  • Encourage others to talk about what interests them.
  • Be gentle or help someone out, even if it is on a small thing.
Situations That Lead To Awkwardness
  • Walking into a room where you don't know any of the other people.
  • Being in a situation in which you don't know what you are supposed to do.
  • You are all talking amongst yourself and an unknown person approaches the group.
  • When a conversation does not go smoothly. 
  • Discomfort around food. 
  • Invading someone else's personal space—or having your own space invaded.
  • Not remembering someone or their name or not being remembered.
  • Been put in the spotlight or when others start talking about you while you are in the same room.
Forgetting Someone's Name
Forgetting Someone's Name
  • If you haven’t already, ask for their business card.
  • Ask for their name and pretend you just didn't know their last name.
  • Introduce the person to a friend and hope they introdu...
Making Small Talk and Dealing with Awkward Silences
  • Have some good go-to stories.
  • Use the FORD technique (asking questions about Family," "Occupation," "Recreation" and "Dreams) to turn small talk into an actual conversation
  • Just enjoy the silence.
Going on a First Date
  • Pick a great first-date activity.
  • Keep your expectations in check.
  • Learn the science behind the perfect first date.
  • Try not to sweat it even if things do get uncomfortable. 

4 more ideas

Social behavior
Many of the correct behaviors people once considered common sense have gotten lost in the swirling wind of bad advice, outdated manners, rules, and social media that makes it too easy to slip up an...
Social rules
  • Have good manners.
  • Be on time.
  • Personal space. Every culture has different comfort levels of personal space, so before you travel, find out how close you can get to people without being rude.
  • Men’s manners. Be a gentleman. Rudeness is never manly.
  • Women’s manners. You can be a lady and still show strength. It is always appropriate to be mannerly.
  • Teens’ manners. Demonstrate good manners. If you exhibit proper etiquette, you'll earn respect and maybe even more privileges.
  • Children’s manners. Be polite. Be the kid everyone wants to play with. 
  • Host and Hostess Gift. Never show up empty-handed when you're a guest in someone's home.
Learn to communicate
  • Conversation. Learn how to hold a decent conversation with back-and-forth dialogue. Never monopolize a discussion.
  • Never gossip
  • People’s names. Most people appreciate your effort to learn their names if you spend more than a minute or two talking with them. 
  • Cell phones. Use your cell phone sparingly in public.  Think before you hit “send” in an e-mail. Most electronic mail can never be taken back.
  • Social media. Remember that not only can your friends see what you post, others can repost, copy, share, or retweet anything you put out there.
  • Rude questions. There are ways to deal with them and not come across as snarky. 
  • How to Graciously Change the Subject. There are times certain things shouldn't be discussed, and it's up to you to shift the conversation.

3 more ideas

Awkward Work Scenarios
Awkward Work Scenarios
  1. Others taking credit for your work: speak up when presenting your joint ideas, else the boss will remember that the other was the one who did all the talking.
  2. Overanalyzing y...
Introversion and social anxiety are separate

Introversion is how you’re wired, whereas social anxiety is something that is holding you back due to fear instead of a choice you're making.

Non-anxious introverts are...

Ellen Hendriksen
Ellen Hendriksen

"We have to put action before feeling confidence because when we see ourselves doing challenging things, we start to believe we can."

Tips for being more likeable in social situations
Tips for being more likeable in social situations
  • Don't overshare your whole life's story. 
  • Actually listen to what people say. Then respond accordingly.

  • Remember people's name...

Social learning

There are mainly two ways to learn something throughout one's life: by means of personal experience or as a result of observing how others react to certain situations. The second kind is what w...

The good and the bad of the social learning

In times like the current one, when we are all facing a pandemic that forces us to stay locked in our own houses, without any face-to-face interaction with a person other than the ones we share our house with, social learning seems to be the solution to fight both fear and depression. By means of different platforms that enable users to interact or handle difficult situations that might appear as a result of the current lockdown, individuals might become able to cope with this challenging period. However, one should always pay attention to the behaviour that is being promoted, as not everything that is done by a majority can prove overall beneficial.

The Way Therapy Works
There is growing research on how therapy actually works. Psychological communication, dialogue, and intervention can work even better than pills.
This seems eve...
Therapy Techniques
  • Some therapists are just there to listen and provide a backdrop.
  • Even the silence that they exhibit seems to kindle the patients into divulging more of their most uncomfortable truths.
  • Others keep the sequence of assignments and tests lined up, never pausing.
  • Therapists play varied roles to get some valuable information out of the patient and make him better.
Therapy That Works

No particular form of therapy is proven to be better or more effective than others.

Different people prefer or respond to different forms of therapy.

5 more ideas

The Most Awkward Conversational Pratfalls
The Most Awkward Conversational Pratfalls
  1. Approaching for the first time someone you don’t know: focus on them, ask about them and approach humbly.
  2. Deciding when to end a conversation: you can end the conversatio...
Being an introvert
Being an introvert has nothing to do with being shy.

All it means is that some people recharge when they are by themselves (introverts).

Deal With Being an Introvert
  • Learn to recharge by yourself. You can be enormously creative and successful once you know how to recharge.
  • Create a life where you can have more time by yourself.
  • Make small incremental moves towards the life you want to live.
  • Ask yourself throughout the day: is this activity giving me energy or draining me? 
  • Be humble enough to realize what you are not good at. 
  • Self-esteem is great if you earn it. But if you have no gas in the car, faking your gas gauge won’t make the car run longer.
Gets things done as an introvert
  • Write down ten ideas a day to keep being creative.
  • Read a lot to keep learning.
  • “Execution ideas” are a subset of ideas. When you have an idea you want to test, think of the next execution ideas to get the idea done.
  • Talk with friends who can help if you think the idea is starting to gain traction.

  • Focus your execution efforts on the things you're skilled at and hire or outsource the other things.

  • Work with people who are good at what they do, so you can be good at what you do.