If you personally feel awkward and left out when it comes to your social skills, don’t worry. Socially awkward teens (and even adults) are very common. During your teenage years, many things change that you must learn to adapt to, and social situations are one of them. Adjusting to the different ways that your peers socialize can sometimes be difficult, but it’s important that you don’t beat yourself up if you feel awkward around others. Instead, work on your social skills on a day to day basis. If you fail or make a fool of yourself, do not turn away; pick yourself up and try again. Mastering social skills is an important part of growing up.
The first step to overcoming being socially awkward is to take action. Attend school events such as sporting events, school dances, fundraisers, and presentations as often as possible, as these experiences will allow you to interact more with people. The more you expose yourself, the more opportunities you’ll have to practice your social skills. Joining a club or organization can also help you to build self-confidence and build friendships, and by becoming involved in different activities around school, you will start build your communication skills by being part of a group.
Through friendships, people will get to know you better, and as this happens, you will become more comfortable around them. The more comfortable you are, the less likely you are to feel socially awkward. Yes, taking the initiative to immerse yourself in social situations will be difficult at first. But it will eventually get easier, and the payoff is huge.
Learn to understand body language.
Body language can tell you a great deal about another person (even if only subconsciously), so it is important to understand your own body language and how others view it. Body language is an important factor of communication and can increase your attractiveness if you know how to “say” the right things with your mannerisms. Learning to control your body language also helps to reduce mixed messages (which can encourage social awkwardness).
Good posture, for example, will encourage a controlled and focused body language, and a steady voice can boost your confidence and show the person you are talking to that you know what you’re talking about. Maintaining eye contact with someone you’re speaking to is another good example of body language (as long as you break eye contact semi-regularly to avoid giving them the impression that you’re “staring them down”). Finally, when you’re having a conversation, try not to fidget (pick your nails, shake your feet, etc.). Giving off the right messages with your body language can go a long way in positively influencing other people’s opinions of you.
Do not be afraid to talk.
Talking is our main means of communication, so whether it’s by phone or in person, be sure to be confident in what you are saying. The more you talk, the more you can learn to express your ideas or standpoints to a group comfortably. By talking and communicating, you can become a leader.
In order to build your social skills, start small by initiating conversations with those around you. This can help you get to know others and will help you build your communication skills. Usually, the easiest thing to talk about is yourself, so start there. Be sure to let the other people participate in the conversation as well, though, as part of being a good communicator is to be a good listener.
While it may not be the easiest thing to perfect right away, it’s important to take the time to build your social skills. It may not seem like it, but everyone has their socially awkward moments. They key is to learn to laugh them off and to forgive yourself for the awkward or embarrassing mistakes you make in communication.