Tips to Feel Less Awkward in Social Situations
Today I finished my first week at a new school. Kindergarten was the last time I had gone to a new place without knowing a single soul. Let me tell you, it was a lot easier to make friends when I was five. In this post, I will share my top 3 tips to feel less awkward in social situations.
Before you read on you should know that I am a very introverted person. I am extremely quiet when you first meet me and holding up a conversation is not one of my specialties. This made it hard for me to talk to people at school and I can imagine to some others it might have come across as rude. Anyway, after two days without having made any friends, I knew I had to change something. These three tips to feel less awkward are great for anyone to try.
1. Do things because they make you happy NOT for the outcome
We can not control the outcomes of situations, so why do we spend so much time stressing about it? We make decisions constantly whether it’s what we’re going to eat for breakfast or what we are going to do after school. Behavioural analysis shows that we make these decisions based on one of two aspects.
The first being the action makes us happy. For example, I could choose to eat cornflakes for breakfast because I like the taste of them, or I could choose to take a gap year before uni because it is something I’ve always wanted to do.
The second aspect we base a decision on is we desire the predicted outcome. Using the same example as before, I could eat a piece of toast because I want to lose weight. I could think this action will lead me to that outcome. Perhaps I could decide to study law straight out of school because I want to make lots of money and I think this choice will lead me to that outcome.
These past three days, everything I have done at school is because the action makes me happy. Because I have put such a conscious focus on it, I have realized that too often I will base an action or decision off of a desired outcome even if it doesn’t make me happy. The theory behind this tip is that we are guaranteed to be happy even if the outcome in which we can’t control is not what we wanted.
2. Don’t feel awkward
You’re probably sarcastically thinking OMG I hadn’t thought of that?! I don’t blame you. That’s what I thought when I first heard it, but hear me out. I’m sure we’ve all had moments when our friends have come up to us complaining about something being so awkward and we think to
ourselves that wasn’t that bad surely?
We only feel awkward when we are overthinking something while in the company of people. So to not feel awkward all we have to do is separate overthinking from being in the situation. How do we stop ourselves from overthinking something? Well, this tip goes hand in hand with tip 3. What I have been doing is just doing or saying the first thing that comes into my head with confidence. If I know I’m going to be in an awkward situation, I’ll finish all my overthinking when I’m at home. I will decide on what to do or say and go in feeling so much less awkward.
3. Schedule a worry time
In order to do this properly, pick a time in daylight hours, and stick with that same time for at least a week. Now every time you think of something to overthink or worry about, put it aside and say to yourself I’ll come back to this at our appointment at 4:30. Not only does this leave most of your day free from worry but by the time you get to your 4:30 ‘appointment’ you’ll find that most of the things you were going to worry about you’ve forgotten. You’ll find that these things are so small and unimportant, you just couldn’t see that in the moment.
It’s only been three days since I’ve started using these three tips to feel less awkward and I have already seen such a positive difference! They are so simple and easy to introduce into your daily life, I highly recommend.
Read on how to boost your mood here
are you an awkward person or do you usually play it pretty cool??