There was a lengthy period in my life when I felt like the poster child of being socially awkward! This is more true as a youth and into my young adult years. I simply hated it!!! I had no clue why and it really bothered me especially when I began to discover that in order to experience success in areas such as business and friendships, one must have some basic fundamental people skills.
I spent most of those years in a shell and excessively introverted. Coming out was about the scariest thing I ever had to face! All eyes on me I never wanted even for a few seconds.
In Christ, I discovered that my awkwardness was due to issues I had with trust, self esteem, lack of experience with people outside of my community and fear! Awkwardness for me wasn’t natural but learned behaviors due to adverse life experiences. I allowed what I was exposed to to shape me and it was indeed crippling!
I don’t like being defeated by my fears so I at least had the courage to face them even though I trembled! Today I am much better in social settings although at times I do still feel like the odd one but I’m ok with knowing I am a little different. (Maybe that or hitting the age “who cares what people think” 40!)
Conquering awkwardness starts with getting over you and embracing your uniqueness.
Stop worrying about what the majority thinks of you when the only opinion that matters is the one that created you!
If you are socially odd you may agree with the statement that people don’t know what to think of you!
You find it hard to fit in and want to so desperately at times. It takes much mental effort to remain in a social setting without wanting to run for isolated cover.
Breaking the Cycle:
1. Do a self assessment- are you off because of a mental health issue?
2. Identify a circle you want to be in and show up.
3. Identify one person and mingle.
4. Stay as long as you can without falling apart.
5. Repeat until it feels natural!
People WILL get use to you, and God always sends someone to embrace you. You will miss this blessing if your exit is premature. You may not connect with anyone the first time around but keep showing up! No matter how hard or uncomfortable it feels, challenge yourself to break through this barrier in your life.
If you’ve done your self assessment and don’t have the mental problems I mention above, then you may be fine just the way you are! Switch to doing an assessment of those you are trying to fit in with. Are you REALLY suppose to be with that crowd?
A fact about Social Awkwardness:
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), nearly 15 million people in the U.S. suffer from some form of social anxiety disorder. That’s a lot of people! The one you are looking at wondering if they think you’re odd could very well be looking back at you with the same question running through their own minds!
You are fearfully and wonderfully made says the Word Of God who does not lie!
Step into your position of being all that God called you to be! Get out there in all you awesomeness and make the sentiment of awkwardness a thing of the past! You can and Must do this!