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Top 10 Reasons People Feel Socially Awkward

Written by: Editorial Staff

January 4, 2012
Filed Under Self Help 


A list of the reasons people feel socially awkwardContributed by Cindi Pearce, Top 10 Guru

There are those who are social creatures by nature and those who aren’t and many who are somewhere in between.

If socializing, for you, is comparable to having a tooth extracted it is something that you need to try to get over, or at least tolerate, particularly if you are required to socialize in your work. If you have a full scale, social phobia that keeps you in your house that is something else altogether, and you need to remedy this problem, with the appropriate therapy. Feeling socially awkward can occur for lots of reasons …

10. Introverted

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

Some people are shy to the core and find it extremely difficult to socialize. They would rather be at home, alone, with a book, or their pet iguana, finding it torturous when they have to engage with a group of people. Bite the bullet, get through it, be nice and civil and then discreetly get out of there as soon as possible without insulting the hosts or your boss. You are not required to shut down the bar. If necessary, feign a headache, but you can’t resort to this every time.

9. Confronted by an Ex

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

Your spouse’s ex is present and making a big fuss over you, as if she really wants to be best friends with you. Yeah, as if that’s going to happen. Alternatively, on the other hand, she is making a big deal of ignoring you as if you don’t exist aside from the wicked glances she keeps giving you. Roll with the punches. This isn’t going to kill you although it is unpleasant. Don’t resort to the ex’s tactics. Take the high road.

8. Gender imbalance

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

You are the only man or woman in the room. This can be a bit unnerving unless you are one seriously confident person and don’t mind being in the minority or the odd man out. You can work this to you advantage.

7. Bad a small talk

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

Some people are good at small talk; some aren’t, and you are in the ‘aren’t’ category. What are you supposed to say? Do people really want to talk about the weather in Boise? You don’t know any of the people and aren’t sure if it’s appropriate to insert yourself into one of the groups or if it would be better to slink off to a corner and do your wallflower impersonation. You can always go sit in the bathroom or on the fire escape. Your choice.

6. Youthful indiscretions

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

Indiscretions of your youth come back to haunt you: You look around the room and realize that you have a “past” with a lot of the men (or women) in the room and hope to heaven they don’t remember. Conversely, if they do, you pray they have the decency not to bring it up. “Hey, Charlotte, remember that New Year’s Eve when we …….” Oh, the walk of shame, twenty years later.

5. Other’s bad behavior

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

Someone is drunk and making a big scene. Even though you aren’t responsible for this person’s behavior, and perhaps don’t even know him – or hope you don’t, anyway – this can create a very uncomfortable situation for those present. If the behavior escalates into vomiting, falling down, a fisticuffs or a call to the police, this is very awkward. Take note: If you are socially uncomfortable, do not resort to drink to give you false courage. It rarely turns out well.

4. Tip confusion

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

You are on vacation or a business trip. Who are you supposed to tip and how much? If you don’t know the drill, this is going to make for some very awkward situations. Once again, read up on the topic of tipping before heading out.

3. Language barrier

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

You are the only person who can’t speak or understand the language that everyone else is using. AWK-WARD. Just stand there and smile. Next time, remember to bone up on your languages before consorting with foreign speaking people or … take an interpreter.

2. Culture shock

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

You are in a foreign country and didn’t do your homework. You don’t know what the dining etiquette is and who is supposed to do what or when or if you’re supposed to eat THAT or wipe your hands on it. You are relatively certain that you are going to make some horrible gaffe that will go down in the annals of the worst blunder ever. Follow the lead of others. Next time, do your research before leaving the country. It’s easy to put one’s foot in one’s mouth if you are not familiar with the culture. Your boss isn’t going to be pleased when he hears you did or didn’t do what you did. This could be a costly mistake. When in Rome …

1. Lack of information

A list of the reasons people feel socially awkward

Uh oh. You didn’t read the invitation correctly and are dressed entirely wrong. It’s a high-brow affair, and you somehow missed that and are clad in jeans and sneakers. Yep, you’re sticking out like a sore thumb. This would make anyone feel socially awkward. It’s as if you have a scarlet A painted on your forehead for AWK-WARD. You can choose to stay and graciously make your apologies for your faux pas or leave, go home, get re-dressed appropriately and return to the event. Some day you will laugh about this. Maybe. However, will your boss?

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