Last updated on April 8th, 2024 at 02:52 pm

“I hate being socially awkward.” Many of us feel this way when we’re trying to fit into conversations or feel part of a group. If you’ve ever felt alone in a crowd, misunderstood, or simply out of sync, know that your experiences are valid and shared by many.

Remember, what makes you unique is also what connects you to others. We’re here to unfold the reasons behind this awkwardness and assure you it’s perfectly okay to march to the beat of your own drum.

Let’s navigate this journey together, turning awkward moments into stepping stones towards genuine connections.

What it means to be socially awkward

Being socially awkward means feeling uneasy in social settings. When saying, “I hate being socially awkward” you might worry about what to say, or feel like you don’t fit in. It’s also when you’re unsure how to act around others, fearing you’ll say something wrong. 

Many people feel out of place in social situations, and it’s totally okay. It’s about finding your way through these moments, even when they feel awkward. This also shows you have your own unique way of seeing things, especially in a world where fitting in is a big focus.

Being socially awkward can lead to feelings like:

  • Nervousness in conversations
  • Worry about fitting in
  • Fear of being misunderstood
  • Frustration over finding the right words
  • Feeling alone even in a crowd

Why do I feel socially awkward?

Feeling awkward around people goes beyond just not blending in. It really hits deep, shaping how we see ourselves and fit with others.

Let’s break it down simply.

  • Feeling Isolated: Sensing you’re not part of any circle.
  • Self-Doubt: Lacking confidence in oneself.
  • Excessive Anxiety: Overwhelmed by nervousness, beyond mere timidity.
  • Friendship Difficulties: Struggling to form or maintain friendships.
  • Avoiding Activities: Staying away from events due to fear.

These feelings mixed together make it hard to join in and connect with people. Feeling socially awkward.

The 5 Main Struggles of Social Awkwardness

1. Overthinking How You Appear to Others

Feeling like everyone’s watching you can make social situations tough. It’s like there’s a spotlight on you all the time, making you worry about every little thing you do or say.

Picture being at a gathering where, instead of enjoying the moment, you’re caught up in thoughts like, “Does my outfit look weird? What if I say something ridiculous?” This worry is something many people experience.

 Research suggests that 73% of 25-35 year-olds overthink. Studies also show that women tend to overthink more than men do.

Remember, it’s completely normal to feel observed or judged, but it’s also important to remind yourself that it’s okay to just be you. You’re definitely not alone in this feeling, and embracing who you are, quirks and all, is more relatable than you might think.

2. You Lack Social Experience…But you’ll get there

Lacking social experience isn’t rare. Many find themselves in new social settings, feeling like they’re at a game night but without knowing any of the game rules. This uncertainty and nervousness about fitting in or saying the right thing are feelings many of us encounter, especially when stepping into diverse social circles for the first time. It’s completely normal.

The study on the Big Five personality traits, including introversion, suggests that introverted individuals may have less social experience due to their natural preference for solitude and smaller social settings.

Remember, every social expert had to start somewhere, and gaining confidence comes with experience. It’s more than okay to take small steps, learning and growing as you navigate the social world at your pace.

3. You’ve Social Setbacks…But you’ll improve

Past embarrassing moments can make us scared to face similar situations again. Think of a time when a small mistake made you the center of attention, like tripping in front of everyone. It’s normal to then avoid situations where you feel exposed or vulnerable.

But it’s key to remember that everyone has these moments, and they don’t control your social life forever. Each new day offers a chance to rewrite your story, showing that one awkward moment doesn’t define you.

4. There’s Difficulty Understanding Social Cues

Sometimes it’s hard to get what others mean without them saying it directly, like knowing when someone’s joking or if they’re actually upset just by their tone or face. If you find yourself puzzled in these moments, wondering how to react, that’s pretty common.

Imagine laughing when everyone else is serious because you missed the cue. It can feel awkward, but it’s just a part of learning how to read those around us better. You’re not alone in this.

5. You’re anxious about being Judged or Rejected

Worrying about what others think or if they’ll like you can make you act differently or not want to join in at all. Like, if you’re afraid to share your idea in class because you think others might laugh or ignore you. It’s a common fear to be nervous about fitting in or being accepted.

Just know, it’s okay to be you, and everyone feels this way at some point. When you say, “I hate being socially awkward”, know that you belong, even when it feels like you don’t.

Feeling judged or rejected can hurt because our brains are wired to want to fit in and be liked by others, making us feel bad when we think we don’t.

How to be less awkward

FAQs people have about Social Awkwardness

Can social awkwardness affect my career?

Yes, social awkwardness can impact networking opportunities and collaboration in the workplace. However, many workplaces value diverse skill sets, including those often found in individuals who might consider themselves socially awkward.

I’m socially awkward but will I always be this way?

Not necessarily. Social skills can be improved with practice and effort. Many people find that as they gain more experience in various social situations, their comfort level increases.

How can I make friends if I’m socially awkward?

Start with shared interests or activities where the focus is on the activity itself, like clubs or groups related to hobbies. This can provide a natural way to interact without the pressure of coming up with conversation topics spontaneously.

Do others notice my social awkwardness as much as I do?

Often, no. People are usually more focused on their own feelings and experiences in social situations. What might feel like a big mistake to you might not even be noticed by others.

Is social awkwardness linked to intelligence?

Social awkwardness is not directly linked to intelligence. People of all intelligence levels can experience social awkwardness. Sometimes, highly intelligent individuals might overthink social interactions, which can contribute to feelings of awkwardness.

Take Action: How to be less awkward: 4 Easy Tips

1. Start practicing your conversational skills

Talking to people can get easier. Try chatting about simple stuff first, like the weather or a TV show you like. Then, when you’re feeling braver, try talking about bigger things that matter more to you. It’s like learning to swim—you start in the shallow end! Everyone feels a bit wobbly talking to new people at first, so it’s okay.

An example? Next time you’re in line at a coffee shop, you might say, “Have you tried the new flavor? I can’t decide!” It’s a small step, but it’s a start.

Here are more easy tips to improve conversations:

  • Start with small talk: Start with low-risk topics like weather or common interests.
  • Set boundaries: Know your limits and don’t be afraid to set boundaries.
  • Practice in safe spaces: Identify settings where you feel most comfortable and practice there first.
  • Learn how to improve your conversations in 5 minutes

2. Participate in social activities where you’ll thrive

This can help you forget about the thought, “I hate being socially awkward.”

It’s crucial to choose activities where you’ll not only enjoy yourself but also excel. This ensures you’re in an environment that boosts your confidence, making social interactions smoother and conversations better.

For instance, if you’re into drawing, an art class is perfect. It’s a place where your interest naturally aligns with the activity, reducing initial nervousness.

Being in a setting where you feel competent and excited about the activity can significantly ease the process of connecting with others and fostering new friendships.

More reasons to join a group that aligns with your interests:

  • Instant connection through a shared passion
  • Easy conversation starters based on common interests
  • A supportive environment without judgment
  • Exposure to new ideas and perspectives
  • Networking opportunities for friendships and collaborations

Actions to take:

  • Check local events or online groups
  • Join relevant social media communities
  • Seek local clubs or organizations
  • Attend at least one event weekly

3. Educate yourself with courses and more

Learning through courses and workshops teaches you key social skills, like starting conversations, listening well, and understanding non-verbal cues. These educational settings often use role-playing, where you can practice these skills in a friendly and supportive space.

This hands-on approach can build your confidence in social interactions, making it easier to connect with others.

This study says, you’re dealing with social anxiety, learning and practicing social skills as part of your therapy might help you not just feel less anxious, but also get better at interacting with others.

Learn more with our course, Next Level Conversation.

4. Work on yourself (personal issues and heavy stuff)

Therapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be tailored to address social anxieties or self-esteem issues that impact communication.

Group therapy creates a space where people can learn from each other and practice new ways of interacting, just like in the real world. According to the American Psychological Association, group therapy is not only effective for a range of mental health issues but also helps improve social skills by providing support and reducing feelings of isolation.

An example here could be a therapist working with someone to challenge negative thoughts they have about themselves in social situations, gradually increasing their comfort and ability in conversations.

See how online therapy can help you. Get 20% off!

Final thoughts on “I hate being socially awkward.”

Feeling awkward around people is something a lot of us go through. It’s okay to feel this way. Whether it’s from being really aware of ourselves, not having enough practice talking to different people, remembering times we felt embarrassed, not always getting social hints, or worrying about what people think of us—there are ways to get better at this. Learning new talking skills or talking to someone like a therapist can really help.

Over time, we can feel more comfy and happy being around others.

What Can You Do Right Now?

Join us and get our free Toolkit. It includes a mini-course and a guide on how to talk to others.

Check out our “Next Level Conversation” course. Joining us, taking this course, or just reading our posts will help you. You won’t stress over social skills anymore or say, “I hate being socially awkward.” You’ll feel confident and know what to say.

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