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I talk to my teddy bear

I’m so socially awkward that I have no-one else to talk to.

You are not alone, says our elder. But the good news is that you can overcome this.

Dear EWC

Hello I wanted to ask advice on how to be less socially awkward. I am sick of feeling very awkward when I want to talk to someone new. This has been a very big issue in my life. I wanna talk but there is this very big barrier around me. Even though I have the guts to talk, I just don’t know how to initiate conversation because I’m just nervous of what will go wrong. Whenever I feel like there is no one or just loneliness, I cry and talk to my teddy bear because no one would listen. Please help.

Sage replies

There are people who are natural butterflies. These are the people that seem to be able make friends with anyone and are good with conversation. They seem to have no problems with initiating and carrying on conversations with anyone at any time.

However, the vast majority of people are like you — socially awkward — and don’t know how to communicate with people or keep conversations going.

As an adolescent and young adult I was extremely shy and socially awkward. I was also very insecure and had low self-esteem and self-confidence. So, do not feel that you are alone.
There is a whole field of study dedicated to explaining the causes and fixes for what is called “social awkwardness”. The professionals in this field are called social confidence coaches. These professionals have created a profile of distinctive traits that they use to determine the degree of a person’s social awkwardness.

The good news is there are ways to overcome social awkwardness. Consider these tips and strategies to become more social:
1. Don’t fret about awkwardness. Even though you may think your awkwardness is holding you back, there might actually be some benefits to it. People tend to view awkward individuals as sincere and non-threatening. Awkward people can also be very funny in their own way. For all of these reasons, a lot of people find awkwardness endearing and even attractive.
The less you worry about your own awkwardness, the less it is likely to actually have a negative effect on your relationships, so just relax!
2. Change your mindset.
Realize that you’re not alone. Most people worry about being socially awkward in public. We all experience moments of shyness, embarrassment at slips of the tongue, awkward bodily noises, messing up a conversation or struggling to connect with another person.
Try to identify the root cause of what’s making you feel awkward so that you can address it directly. https://www.succeedsocially.com/relatedfactors
Seek proven ways to overcome shyness, whether through your own learning or through getting professional help. http://www.wikihow.com/Overcome-Shyness
Work to improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. https://www.wikihow.com/Build-Self-Confidence; https://www.wikihow.com/Improve-Your-Self-Esteem
Learn how to calm your nerves in social situations. Realize that many people are as nervous as you are; some have simply learned better ways at covering this up — which means that you can do it, too! https://www.wikihow.com/Be-Calm-in-a-Stressful-Situation
3. Change your attitude.
Focus on the positives. While socially awkward moments can tend to make you focus on everything that is going wrong at that time, it is helpful to deliberately make yourself focus on the positives.
Use self-talks to help you to shift the focus from worrying about what others are thinking of you and back onto calming yourself so that you can project a sense of ease with yourself.
Learn to relax. Relaxing before you go into a social situation can help you open up more, be honest with people, and to let your guard down when you’re in a social setting.
Stop worrying about what other people think about you. Though it may sound easier said than done, one major way to avoid social awkwardness is to stop caring about how others perceive you. Most people are worrying what others think of them, which is something worth reminding yourself when you start to worry about what other people think of you.
Accept that you’re great just as you are. You are a person worth knowing, even if you have imperfections. We all have imperfections.
4. Improve your social skills
Learn to make small talk. Making small talk is what can help you build a deeper relationship with people, get them to open up, and to have short conversations with people you have just met or who you are just getting to know. https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Small-Talk https://www.verywellmind.com/small-talk-topics-3024421
Have a great conversation with anyone. Don’t worry about having a full-on conversation with someone you know or someone you’ve just met. Learn how to end a conversation as well as how to have one. For many people, it is ending a conversation that is going nowhere or that is excruciatingly boring that leaves a sense of awkwardness, out of fear of appearing rude or uncaring. Here is a great website to help you improve your conversational skills and overcome those moments of awkward silence.
Learn how and when to tell jokes. The right joke can really crack people up and appreciate the fact that you’re putting yourself out there. The most important thing, when it comes to telling jokes, is to not take yourself too seriously. If your joke fails, don’t look crestfallen, like it’s the end of the world. Instead, brush it off, flash a goofy smile and say, “Tough crowd,” and move on with it. https://www.wikihow.com/Tell-a-Joke
Know what to avoid. Though every social situation is different, there are a few key things that you may want to avoid when it comes to being socially savvy. There are certain comments or actions that tend to come off as socially awkward and are worth avoiding if you want to feel comfortable around other people. https://www.wikihow.com/Sample/Conversation-Topics-to-Avoid
Get going and get out there. Staying at home, behind your computer screen, hidden behind your cubicle barrier or dodging lunch dates won’t help you to avoid socially awkward moments.

In summary, I think that you can overcome your problems in social situations by: Changing your mindset; changing your attitude; and improving your social skills. You will not change overnight. However, you can make a plan to start improving your ability to handle any social situation. (Be advised that I am not a professional in the medical or mental health fields. My advice and suggestions are based on my life experiences). I wish you the best.

Letter #: 453194
Category: Friendship

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