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Any advice on how to be less socially awkward?

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posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 10:58 PM

Originally posted by mossme89

*1 'there's a lot of shady looking people in there' 'they seem to find a lot of issues with many of the things I say or my mannerisms and are very quick to judge'

*2 'I said "so what do you people want to do?" They found me saying "you people" offensive'

*3 'I have ADHD and have a hard time sitting still.' 'I work best when I'm moving around and thinking... But my group members said they found this intimidating.'

*4 'My teacher sometimes gives me a hard time because while she's talking, she says I stare at her.

*5 'I'm an introvert and my group sometimes gives me a hard time because I'm not constantly talking like they are.'

*6'There's this one girl in my group who seems to find fault with much of what I do and what I mentioned above, moreso than others.'

*7'It's little things like this that make people judge me and dislike me.'

*1 - Maybe try not to judge them on the way they appear or act. Give them the treatment you desire from them and that is all you can do really. If they do not return the gesture, no big deal, you seem to not desire the company of them anyway.

*2 - Maybe they are not being as hard as they appear, but when someone uses this phrase, they feel they must react as you described. Maybe not because of you or their idea of you, instead, you may find it is an aspect of social conditioning. 'These people' (couldn't resist the opportunity) may be programmed to respond or be confrontational when they hear this phrase, or other phrases used in todays popular culture as items of racism, whether it really is or not.

*3 - This is a part of your personality and as I am impressed that you are still a young person, going through some level of the education process, then you are surely still developing the personality you will use the rest of your life.

Instead of finding their comments about your intimidating manner offencive or confrontational, use it as information to adjust your actions so you gain the most benefit from what comes naturally to you. Intimidation through natural stature or speech patterns is not a bad thing at all. Although, being intimidating, coupled with a receptive personality that allows these peers to be comfortable enough to approach you and request change may need to be adjusted.

Intimidation can be very useful and, though it may sound like a trait of a 'bully', it is an asset that can be used throughout your life. Whether you are gaining the respect of a small group of individuals or commanding attention on a large scale, a naturally intimidating presence is an incredible assest to have and when used properly, you may find it to be one of your greatest personal tools.

*4 This is one that I would almost completely ignore, taking from it what you need. If you never looked, they would undoubtedly find fault in that as well.

*5 I think you are doing fine with this one, too. I would never talk unless I have something worthwile to say, unless in a social environent. Going with that, if you have something relative to say and find yourself not speaking up, maybe speak up. Never feel that speaking up is a fault, regardless of what anyone has to offer in response. This is also a very good trait to have, as when your peers and colleagues come to find that you almost always remain quiet, unless you have something worthwhile to say, will serve you well when you need to get a point across. Couple this trait with a finely honed 'intimidating' presence and you could have 2 incredibly usefull skills - and to add to that, these are natural for you!

*6 You will encounter all types of people throughout your life, and hopefully they will all be different. This means that you will encounter people like this and you will have to learn how to interact with them. Remember, some people are confrontational and feel the need to question or ridicule things that threaten them. Apparently your actions threaten her in a way that she may feel a need to bring you to, or below, her level of social interaction.

We will always have encounters with people who just don't mesh well with us. They should be handled properly and respectfully. Most anything else will only further inflame the relationship with them.

*7 - When others judge you, only you can allow it to offend or compliment you. If you feel what they say is valid, then use their comments like information, instead of taking it as an accurate depiction of who you really are.

Remember, they are people too and surely have some of the same concerns you have. They are just as unsure about things as you or I am. They may just use their personality traits to cover their fears.

You are seemingly still young, don't sweat it and just be yourself. You will come together soon enough and surely be happy with the person you evolve into. Follow the right/wrong instinct we all have and without doubt you will be fine!

Good Luck!

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:00 PM

Originally posted by TheDarkestHour
If you have a problem with ADHD, take medication. (prescribed or alternative)

When you're in a group, don't address the group as a separate entity. You're a part of it, aren't you?
By the way, "you people" while addressing a group of African Americans can come off as being a douche. Duh?

People don't feel uncomfortable making eye contact while you talk to them or while you're listening to them. Staring incessantly is rude, unless you're trying to get some chick in the sack don't make such intense eye contact.

Keep what you have to say, short and concise. The less words, the better.

Try not to be such a square, if it's not a formal meeting makes jokes and laugh. Smile. Be happy. It spreads like wildfire.

Go out. Talk to strangers. Start a conversation with everyone. Don't be weird about it. Simple conversation topics will get you on the right path.

If someone pushes you, don't take it like a chump. No one likes a wimp.

Most importantly, stop being so self-conscious. The minute you start thinking "Am I being weird?", guess what? You're being weird. Relax dude. It's only life.

OP don't listen to this guy..

Pfft, he comes here asking for help advice and you just judge him. Read your reply, that's what you did.
You're telling him HOW to act.

OP just be yourself, don't change unless YOU want to. And don't let people tell you how to act, if you're insecure don't hide it, acknowledge it and see what you can do to change it. Who cares if someone thinks you're a wimp?

That was so grade school.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:05 PM

Originally posted by mossme89
I'm somewhat socially awkward. Nothing too bad, but lots of little things that end up offending people or making them dislike me.

It's better to be hated for who you are than be loved for who you are not.

Compliance with their mandatory expectations (laws) isn't even possible anyways.

Hell buddy, you are not even going to learn the number of laws that exist in your lifetime.

Be you. Cuz I ain't gonna do it for you.

edit on 17-2-2012 by ILikeStars because: remove bb code that did not work.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:06 PM
Remember we're all part of one. 'You people' is counter-productive to the advice/acceptance you seem to be seeking.

A teacher/professor complaining about being stared at is quite silly, I gotta say. Especially when I think of $1,000 per credit and 128 credits for a 4 year degree, that adds up to to $128K and the professor is complaining at being looked at, LOL

Awkward doesnt really matter. Nowadays to fit in one has to drink lots of flouridated water, eat lots of fast food, listen to pop culture music and watch "reality" shows and have no real hobbies or endeavors of true substance.

So yea just be yourself but don't forget we're a part of society no matter how "awkward"... or lemming.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:34 PM
If someone tells you to stop "caring" what you say, how you say it, and the way you present yourself. Never ever take advice from that person.

Because , I'll tell you right now. They are socially awkward. Whether you like it or not, the idea people have of you can carry you a long way, or you can drag you down to a piece of filthy sand on the floor.

Always strive to improve intelligent decorum, just don't take it too far and become geek 101. Find a balance between respect, compassion, and honesty (being straight forward). If you cannot or care not to attempt to find that balance, then social life is not for you with the general population.
edit on 17-2-2012 by milkyway12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:40 PM

Dont let it get to you. There's always people out there trying to critique you, make you do things their way, and conform to "normal" society. Be yourself and be happy. People are only happy when they can truly be themselves. Just like how rain runs off a ducks feathers, let all the comments and everything else run right off you.

posted on Feb, 17 2012 @ 11:41 PM
People tend to create reasons not to like you when they already don't like you. People will also make reasons to like if they like you. Don't take their reasons as they say it. Chances are, it's your body language that's putting them off. Take a look at your body language and notice yourself, and you can choose to present yourself differently or you may continue to not give a #, like I would.

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:12 AM
I get what you mean. I've had issues with all the things you mentioned. Whenever in a group i just chill and people think its annoying and I've had teachers call me out for "starring" when I just doze off. All i can tell you is that you're not any different and you feel better when keeping to yourself. Don't let things like that bother you, for me it fades away when i feel comfortable, try being more confident and people will attract themselves to you. It's nothing too serious but i guess it does make people feel uncomfortable at times, i too have ADHD and im starting medication so maybe that's something you might want to consider.

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:15 AM
reply to post by mossme89

read the following books-

how to win friends and influence people
7 habits of highly effective people
the laws of power
the laws of seduction
the prince
psychological types (introvert and extravert dont mean what most think they mean)
(titles may not be accurate by close)

the advice of "be yourself" is half bs. everyone must change and adapt to fit the people they are with unless they are filthy rich.

you must know you. you must know your goals. once those are known, you know where to fit. if you like anime and tech, dont go for jocks and cheerleaders, but nerds.

remember, while you are unique, there are many like you. all you have to do is find them.

p.s. as an adult, learn the language of sports. pick a popular one in your area. then you can go almost anywhere and start a conversation. i dont like most sports (especially basketball; if you can score 50x in one game the game is too easy), but i follow just enough to bs my way through a conversation. think of it as learning a new language.
edit on 18-2-2012 by stormson because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:17 AM
as a former socially awkward, anxiety-prone introvert, the following tips are based on personal experience. i'm 24 now, but up until a few years ago i couldn't make friends, small talk, or have really any normal social interactions without either the people i was around (not to mention myself!) feeling uncomfortable.

first of all, it's imperative to understand that the aphorism "you get what you give" is one of the best guidelines on which to base your impending journey toward developing successful social skills. even if you're the strangest, most eccentric character on the planet, becoming someone who embodies confidence will shift others' opinion of you from "weird" to "unique." also, we all put out very specific vibes to other people. you know how you just feel good being around certain people? not even being able to explain it most of the time, it's just a feeling they elicit by their presence. well, that's the aura you want to cultivate. a person that makes others feel comfortable to be themselves.

before i became socially adept, i realized a few other things. first, people are usually lost inside their own worlds, egos really. they're not gonna pay others much attention unless they have a reason too, i.e. someone who gives off awkward vibes or displays obvious discomfort. also, they love talking about themselves. a great way to expedite this process of yours is to make the bulk of your interactions about whoever you're talking to. ask them questions and let them do most of the talking (sounds like you already do this, which is good! but don't not talk at all. ask questions, like i said!). be a good listener. they'll be too busy thinking about themselves and what they're saying to even consider where you fall on the awkward spectrum.

realize that your perception is completely your choice and 100% within your control. and obsessing about what other people think of you is a sort of backward narcissism - once i became enlightened to the reality that people just don't care as much as i thought (after public education, anyway), i felt free. free to be myself, free to relax, free to not give a d*mn. you'll get there
good luck!

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:18 AM
Travis Bickle was socially awkward. He found a way through it after meeting a young Jodie Foster. Afterwards he was able to talk to people. It did not end well.

John Hinckley, Jr was also socially awkward. He too overcame his shyness with the help of Jodie Foster. It also did not turn out well.

So we can deduce from these examples that Jodie Foster is evil and cannot be trusted.

I think we should ask the OP before we go any further 'Do you often fantasize about Jodie Foster?'

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:41 AM
I don’t think you said anything wrong to your group. It sounds like that one girl in your group might be bully and the other people are likely just going along with her so she won’t go after them. Kinda like those mean girls from high school. Unfortunately bullies never really seem to mature and as they somehow manage to slither their way through College and then the workplace, they are always trying to bring people down to their level.

And you mentioned that you always tried to be nice to them. This normally is a great character treat. But as sad as this is...believe it or not, people who feel bad about themselves or are very negative, often hate those of us who are able to rise above life's problems and still maintain a positive attitude. To make themselves feel better they assume we are ditzy, naive or unintelligent. And so consequently they might see you as an easy target for their criticism.

Remember, you can’t change how other people behave, but you can always work on yourself and how you react to their behaviour. My honest advice, based on my experiences with these types of people, is to save your kindness for those who deserve it. Be polite and professional, but there’s no need to give them a friendly smile if they won’t smile back. And definitely don’t go out of your way to change how you behave.

You are obviously a smart person or you wouldn’t be in College/University, and you’re obviously a good person or you wouldn’t be worried that you may have offended them. They obviously are not worried about offending you and imho, they were the ones who were ignorant and rude.

So what you need to do is develop a strong backbone (and know in your heart that you are just as deserving of success as they are) and show those bullies that they’re not going to be able to bring you down to their negative level.

And the very best way to get back at them is to just ignore their miserable comments and act like you couldn’t care less about what they say. (However if it gets too bad --- calmly but assertively tell them to stop making fun of you)

Regarding your teacher --- that’s insane that she/he would ask you not to stare at her. Where else are you supposed to look when she is talking? Sounds to me like she/he has some issues of her/his own. But that’s an easy thing to fix...just stare down at your notes, and then at the overhead/blackboard and then back to your notes.

(If it was me and my professor said that, I would immediately stop staring at her and start glaring at her instead!

On a slightly off-topic, I took a double major in Psychology and Sociology in University. And I found that on average, many of the people in my Sociology classes seemed to be really stuck-up and b1tchy compared to the psychology students who seemed more laidback and quite frankly nice. I dunno if that’s just my experience, but it does sounds like your sociology class has a healthy amount of b1tches in it as well.

Anyways, I wish you the very best and remember, they’re the ones with a problem, not you! As smart as they may be, emotionally their like jealous little children and just as you wouldn’t get mad at a 5 year old for saying something mean, neither should you take it personally when a bully tries to attack you. They obviously don’t know any better, or they wouldn’t be so mean in the first place.

edit on 18-2-2012 by OwenandNoelle because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:51 AM
Ok time for that Skeptical Guy on the Conspiracy Forums to step in and put my views in on all of this:

Based on what you said first of all the African American people who are being overly sensitive to "you people". I've had that happen multiple times in my life probably over 20 times, the last time I remember I was like really hungry walking down the street and I was kinda talking to myself and I said "I would love some KFC right now, one of those chicken potato bowls". Somehow some black guy like wearing a hoody like 30 feet from me heard me say that and starting threatening me and saying stuff like "that you better not have been talking to me" and then like "shut your ass up" something like that. The point here is I think unlike other races a small percentage of African Americans are always waiting to take something out of context as racist, I am very open minded and love all races and still I have been yelled at multiple times as being racist, never by any other race though and I also have a lot of African American friends too btw. Its ignorance simply put.

Ok next part the people in the class not treating you normally. I have ADHD also, your problem is probably you're not taking your meds and you're not actively listening and also you have impulsive behaviors that other people consider to be weird. You need to go get a book on Body Language like What every BODY is saying by Joe Navarro, reading peoples body language is very important and I think you've spent too much time listening to what people are saying instead of paying attention to their subconcious non-verbal communication. You also need to watch out for anything weird behaviors you're doing based on your boredom with the class, the teacher is probably not that good at engaging the class. As far as that girl picking out things about you, there's people who in this world like pointing out flaws in others to make themselves feel better because they get pleasure in making other people feel bad, just get in the habit of being overly thankful for all input she gives you and anytime she says something laugh it off make it seem like you don't take anything she says seriously but then again be overly nice to people thats how you get them to be nice to you, make a habit of complementing people.

Also peoples first impression of people tend to stick for a very long time so if everyone thinks your a weird dude you're kinda screwed with those people, go somewhere you don't know anyone and work on your first impression skills. That means both how you look and how you act.
edit on 18-2-2012 by SkepticalOne because: Added First Impression part.

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 12:53 AM
I'd like to suggest Invocation.

In you mind, focus on a person or character that embodies the opposite of your social awkwardness. It may sound silly or stupid, but it works. Like in dreams, focusing on an archetype determines what comes next, namely things associated with that archetype.

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 01:20 AM
Hey OP, I can really relate to what you experience.

In school it was the same for me. I as well have ADHD, diagnosed as a child but never really accepted it until later. I have to be moving or doing something when talking to people often as well, and people sometimes pick at my mannerisms, posture, etc, and it does feel intrusive at times. I mean, I'm 6'4", I act a bit eccentric, and am quiet and to myself half of the time.

I don't rush people and I don't like feeling rushed by anyone. A quick-paced atmosphere can make me feel sick and not so in-tune with others or able to speak their language. Not all of us can properly give to and satisfy others though, believe this, know this. School and the work place is different, it's more demanding in general and people just expect many things from out of what is the accepted norm. Not every person or every place is like this however, I find people fairly respectful, kind and patient when not confined to a small room. Location does vary.

I have to really let go and feel worry free to be able to be myself. Meditation does help, but some days I just have real bad anxiety in my abdomen that pains me and has me "not in the mood" to be around others because of the overall physical discomfort, to which I act really awkward and feel out of place. I experience a lot of downtime between moods and motivation, so many things attribute to how I feel which attributes to how I act or feel I should act, etc.

I think in images quite a bit, and lack the words to describe something well while I'm on the spot. I'm a writer, and when alone I can process most images or thoughts into text, when in public it's like sensory overload and hard to get with. We cannot please all, remember that.

If we fear, worry, or constantly feel inadequate around others, then we're just building energy towards that negativity and it will manifest, and as a result things will appear worse. If you go into a place or situation feeling real good, then you'll give off that energy and you'll most likely receive that energy back, unless the other party is in a bad mood, or experiencing something else, to which situations become out your grasp. Just 'be' and let the world come as it is.

I worked retail on days and nights for years, and that sort of broke through a couple of layers. It's definitely a process of getting yourself out there and learning how to love yourself.

I enjoy just feeling like a tourist sometimes in my own city. While travelling I feel at ease, and I feel like being around strangers is a lot easier than when home. Travel is how I let go and realize things, and how I'm able to fight feeling so awkward. If only I could travel more.

Acquaint yourself with the world, be you. This much I know.

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 01:25 AM
Step 1.) Do not go to conspiracy websites for lessons in savoir faire.

But since you're here, Step 2.) Develop a legitimate sense of humor about it. If you do something others find weird and they pick on you just mock-innocently say, "Yeah, I'm a weirdo. I do weird things. We've established that." And then change the subject.

All the while realize you'll probably be the dude who rules the world someday while these clowns are farting their best years away.

If all else fails, watch old people sometime. Know what they don't care about? ANYTHING. Because that's what advanced age has taught them--none of this "keeping up an image" stuff we spend our lives cultivating and fretting about is worth anything in the end. In the end, it's energy wasted.

And that will be you someday so why not get an early start?

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 01:32 AM
Like yourself for who you are so you can get busy being you, instead of trying to be someone you believe others will like...

I think you will find its the simplest solution...

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 01:35 AM
Id suggest taking some supplements before you go out.
Start with half a bottle of vodka 1hour before you intend to socialise and continue your dosage at 3 nips mixed with your favourite mixer every hour.
If social anxiety persists try up-ing the dose to 5.
If it still exists, maybe enquire around shady neighbourhoods about a flour like powder that i think comes mostly from south america and or mexico.

If none of this works, be batman.

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 01:35 AM

Originally posted by jewdiful
before i became socially adept, i realized a few other things. first, people are usually lost inside their own worlds, egos really. they're not gonna pay others much attention unless they have a reason too, i.e. someone who gives off awkward vibes or displays obvious discomfort. also, they love talking about themselves. a great way to expedite this process of yours is to make the bulk of your interactions about whoever you're talking to. ask them questions and let them do most of the talking (sounds like you already do this, which is good! but don't not talk at all. ask questions, like i said!). be a good listener. they'll be too busy thinking about themselves and what they're saying to even consider where you fall on the awkward spectrum.

realize that your perception is completely your choice and 100% within your control.

This is such great advice, especially about how people are lost in their own worlds.

Our reality is ours to interpret and shape most definitely. It can seem a whole lot scarier for some than others at certain times, but it is definitely one of the most important things to realize.

While out on a sidewalk or sitting in class for example, there are others nearby, in their own way, thinking as you are, gathering from the environment, heading to or from, doing something with purpose, with aim, direction. Separate by individual identity but all one as a whole. If you walk down a road and somebody startles you and you give them a weird look, try reversing shoes for a minute and use your own reaction as the basis of a reaction from another.

Poor example at the end there, but you get the idea.
edit on 18/2/12 by murkraz because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2012 @ 01:53 AM
i am autistic and it took me until 30 to give up trying to be something i'm not and fit in. From then on my brain took over and i am now free to be who i am. The major communication problem you will come across time and time again is that we speak in fact, we add no emotion or feelings to our speak, its just talking lines of text. To us it's the most basic,simple and easiest way to communicate, but everyone else takes your words and they add emotions,feelings and other percieved things to what you say, which takes the whole meaning of your sentence down a path which wasn't meant. That's the problem i have in life, people just can't seem to listen to the words i say and just listen to the words, they have to add something to it and it becomes something it's not. If you said "what do you people want to do" it's because they are people and you want to know, they take the sentence and for whatever reason add emotions and feelings to it.

The reason we are socially awkward is because we try to take our words and add emotions and feelings to them when it doesn't feel right, just to fit in and try to communicate with these people on their level. The problem is that for people like us we become so aware and its so awkward and difficult for us to add so many aspect to our talk and to seem "normal".
edit on 18-2-2012 by Equ1nox because: (no reason given)

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