Socially Awkward

584 words | 2 page(s)

Our need for social relationships is almost as deep as our need for food and shelter. Like other biological beings, we humans also develop our own social networks consisting of different relationships that help us meet different types of social needs. There is a reason why we sometimes trust our friends with our secrets more than our parents even though parents usually provide us with the most dependable relationship. This is why it is important to develop strong social skills because not all relationships are inherited. In fact, most of our relationships in our personal and professional lives have no genetic basis. We often need help and guidance from others and strong social network could turn out to be our most valuable asset. But some people are socially awkward which may be due to personality traits or life experiences. Since lack of social skills could adversely impact their personal and professional lives, they would greatly benefit from tackling their social awkwardness. Fortunately, there are tactics and strategies that social awkward individuals can adopt to improve their social skills.

One of the strategies to overcome social anxiety may be to force one self into social situations (Tyrrell). Being in a social situation will create more opportunities for social interaction even if one may feel uncomfortable at first but over time, one may acquire skills and experiences. But if someone always avoids social situations, there is no opportunity for any progress to be made. In other words, one has to produce the courage to tackle the problem whether one likes it or not. Another tactic that may be helpful is to block thoughts of what others may think of you (Tyrrell). Thinking too much about others’ opinions only leads to distraction as well as discourage social awkward people from making any efforts.

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Socially awkward people can also make tremendous progress by taking on a challenge they may deem extremely difficult because successfully completing the challenge will significantly boost their confidence and morale. Examples may include talking to a particular number of strangers or even acting in a manner that doesn’t reflect the individual’s real personality. This strategy was used by psychologist Albert Ellis when he was only 19. Ellis approached every woman who sat alone on a bench at the New York Botanical Garden and while 30 walked away, about 100 did make a conversation with him (Stillman).

One can also gain confidence by becoming more knowledgeable as well as becoming a story teller (Student Counseling Center, UT Dallas). General knowledge about certain topic or issues and stories help make individuals interesting to others and gain social connections. Similarly, one can also become better at social skills by being an active and skilled listener. The key is to ask open-ended questions that encourage others to speak and not merely reply with yes and no. Other effective strategies include showing genuine interest and giving compliments when appropriate (Student Counseling Center, UT Dallas).

One may be socially awkward due to personality traits or experiences but anyone can improve his/her social skills with determination and practice. The key is to acknowledge the challenge and devise strategies to conquer it. It may be difficult in the beginning but with experience and positive results, one’s confidence will improve significantly.

  • Stillman, Jessica. 3 Neat Tricks for Overcoming Social Anxiety. 9 July 2012. 21 July 2013
  • Student Counseling Center, UT Dallas. Self-Help: Overcoming Social Anxiety. 21 July 2013
  • Tyrrell, Mark. 7 Techniques for Overcoming Social Phobia. 21 July 2013

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