Hey, fellow awkward girls! It’s nice to see you here on the internet, where we all live, apparently. If put in a social situation, we all silently implode on ourselves like a balloon of regret and embarrassment. We couldn’t be extroverted and gregarious if we tried, and, when we do try, it always comes off…not how we intended. If we’re being real, it’s par for the course. A lot of us were #BornThisWay. Still, in social situations, we can get easily overwhelmed. There’s no course in being social in a non-obnoxious way if you’d literally rather not, but there are some key tips in human interaction that will save your awkward girl self when you’re out and about.
I like hiding behind a keyboard and several Instagram filters just like everyone else, but learning how to be social when you’d honestly rather curl up in a blanket burrito and nap is part of becoming mature. It’s how anyone makes friends, falls in love, or forms any sort of deeper connection. Socializing is just another part of life we can’t avoid, so you might as well just embrace it. We all bring up awkward topics, stutter, sweat, wind up with our foot in our mouth, and otherwise feel like we’re awash in embarrassment hellfire on the reg any time we feel uncomfortable in a social situation, so just take a breath, recognize what’s happening with you, and move on. I got your back–hopefully, one of these eight tips will help you socialize, awkward girl:
Lead With A Genuine ComplimentEverybody likes getting compliments, plain and simple. You want a one way ticket into someone's good graces, give them a genuine heartfelt compliment. Don't be so needy that you need for them to carry on a conversation with you after the fact. If they are extroverted, curious about you, or just plain in a good mood, they'll be likely to strike up a conversation with you. So, as long as the compliment is genuine and phrased in a positive way, this is sure to go off without a hitch. Can't go wrong with a good compliment!Source: iStock
Ask An Open Ended QuestionQuestions with one correct answer or that can be answered with "yes" or "no" shut down any room there might have been for conversation. Asking open ended questions is one way to get the other person to elaborate more about a point that you're a little curious about. Some awkward people don't like being in charge of the conversation, so learning how to ask the right open ended questions in a pinch will save your sanity. Start with common things like asking how they know a certain person at the same party you're at, then go from there. The possibilities are literally endless!Source: iStock
A Shared Group Activity Leads To BondingFinding a group activity, athletically related or not, will automatically give you something in common with the people you're in the group with. You already have something to talk about and having an activity takes care of what to do in a social situation. It's easy to get overwhelmed by overthinking your every move when you're in an awkward social space and want an out. This is why people who are on sports teams are tight. Group activities are excellent things to engage in if you're too awkward to function. They'll help you function!Source: iStock
Put Down Your PhoneHey, that's not where the people are. Obviously, I so much prefer crafting out what to say when I have enough time to copy/paste and edit how I want to come across, but, unfortunately, we can't do that in real life. Plus, being the person glued to their phone at a social event is not a good look. It looks like you're over it, bored, or are judging everyone else there. That may very well be true, but that's still no excuse. Put it down and make a real effort in engaging other people instead of engaging on your phone or using it as a tool to communicate. Use your words IRL. I know it's scary and weird for some of you, but in social situations, it's called for. Source: iStock
Acknowledge The Awkward Moment And Move OnLook, if you're awkward, something awkward is going to happen to you when you're trying to be social. Hate to break it to you, but it's our curse. You can either skip through the awkward moment or make a big theatrical excuse or joke about it - OR - you can just acknowledge what happened and let it go. Really. If you stutter, own up to it, take a breath, and restart your sentence. Trust no one thinks this stuff is as big and embarrassing as you think it is. Even if you do super embarrass yourself, try to have a sense of humor about it. Internalizing all of these awkward snafus as personal tragedies is a surefire way to feel chronically bad about yourself and that's awful. Be kind to yourself and forgive your own awkwardness. It's not your fault and you're trying your best. Source: iStock
Fix Your FaceRBF, or resting bitch face, can make people think you're feeling a different way than you are. (You can also have resting awkward face, resting judgemental face, resting "I just farted face," by the way.) Sometimes your face does weird things without you even thinking about it. So, just be more conscious about it and make it look like you're actively listening. Don't go full wide-eyed and crazy looking, but keep a small smile and engage your gaze so it looks like you're intently and truly interested in the person who's talking to you. If you feel your face doing something awkard, try and fix it. It'll save you a lot of trouble. Source: iStock
Other Awkward People Are Your Best AssetAll alone at a party? Find the other awkward loner and become their friend. Seeking out people with similar energies or who vibe well with you will save your awkward self so much. You are each other's best hype machine or go-hide-in-a-corner-and-talk-with-only-each-other confidant. If you're someone who's undeniably awkward, find your fellow weirdos and stick together like glue. No one gets the weirdness that happens in your brain like they do, and the fact that they're trying to be social too will give you a support system when you're stretching out of your comfort zone. Source: iStock
Eavesdrop To Your Advantage"Sorry, I couldn't help but overhear," is a totally legit conversation entry line. What do people expect you to do when they have conversations within earshot of you? Put in ear buds? No thanks. Knowing when and how it is appropriate to insert your opinion or point is key. You obviously don't want to infiltrate a more serious conversation, but if the topic is something universal or shared among most other people wherever you are, it's okay to listen in and sense out an opportune time to chime in. Make yourself known, drop your two cents, then don't be attached to these people continuing the conversation with you in it. After all, you were the one who eavesdropped. If they want more info from you, they'll ask. But, for those of you who feel strained and can't figure out how to talk to other people, you can definitely use eavesdropping to your advantage. Source: iStock
Are you awkward, too? What do you do in social situations? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.