Do you feel like you’re always the one left out of conversations? Do you hate small talk? Are you shy around new people? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone!
Shyness and social awkwardness can be a real challenge, but there are ways to overcome them. In this article, we will discuss 10 tips for overcoming shyness and becoming more socially confident. Read on to learn more!
#1 – Start with Baby Steps
Making a change in any area of life can be daunting, and how to be less socially awkward is no exception. The best place to start is by taking baby steps — don’t try to completely overhaul who you are overnight. Small changes that help you feel more confident and comfortable interacting with other people are the key here.
Start by making a conscious effort to observe how those around you act and how they respond to different topics: not only will this help you form a better understanding of how socializing works, but it can also give you ideas on how to handle similar situations when they arise.
From there, begin introducing yourself into conversations and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Before long, these small actions will add up and you’ll find yourself less socially anxious overall!
#2 – Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Making mistakes is an inevitable, and even essential, part of learning how to grow as a person. While it can be tempting to feel embarrassed or ashamed when we make a mistake, it’s important to recognize how much we can learn from the experience.
Making mistakes can offer valuable opportunities to better understand how the world works and how to be less socially awkward. Embracing our mistakes and their lessons can be one of the best sources of growth and development.
Taking risks and trying new things helps us learn more about ourselves and leads to positive changes. Everyone makes mistakes – don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith and see what it teaches you!
#3 – Take a Deep Breath Before You Speak
A key step to having an easier and more enjoyable time in social situations is to take a deep breath before you speak. This simple and easily attainable technique can help instantly relax your anxiety and put yourself in a more confident state of mind.
Allowing yourself one moment to pause, breathe in, and exhale grants you the opportunity to center yourself with your own thoughts and be present in the company of whomever. With that extra moment set aside for reflection, you will demonstrate how self-composure can contribute positively to how others perceive what you say or do – and how it reflects how sure of yourself you are!
#4 – Smile and Make Eye Contact
It’s easy to feel socially awkward in certain situations, however one of the simplest ways to make a connection with someone is by making eye contact and smiling. Smiling signals trustworthiness and openness; it will also help you relax so that you appear more confident. It takes only a moment to smile but can have great effects on how people perceive you.
Making eye contact during conversation is just as important. When making eye contact, hold the gaze briefly rather than casting your gaze away too quickly. This conveys an understanding of the conversation and an appreciation of the person you are speaking with. If done correctly, this small gesture can go a long way in how to be less socially awkward – it will also give people a positive impression of you!
#5 – Pay Attention to Body Language
Knowing how to decode body language is an important skill for anyone wanting to be less socially awkward. Crossing arms is a universal sign of closed off body language, signaling that someone may not be feeling altogether comfortable in the conversation or situation.
Other signs of crossed arms can be tapping feet, shifting weight from one foot to the other, clenching jaw muscles, or avoiding eye contact. Although it might take some getting used to, taking the time to observe how people use their bodies when they communicate can help immensely in understanding how they are feeling and responding at the moment. It’s also an effective way of helping others feel more included and accepted in conversations.
#6 – Don’t Try to Change Who You Are
Trying to be someone you’re not is exhausting, and it’s far better to invest your energy in becoming more at ease in social situations. There are lots of small steps that can help boost your confidence in any company. Making sure you have up-to-date knowledge of current affairs is key; this will allow you to participate in conversations without feeling too lost.
Additionally, try to focus on how comfortable the others around you appear instead of how uncomfortable you feel; this will give you an instant dose of calm. Finally, remind yourself that everyone experiences social anxiety sometimes; it isn’t something you have to battle alone.
Put your best foot forward, associate with positive people who accept you as you are and practice gratitude for being able to connect with others – follow these straightforward tips and soon enough you’ll discover how to be less socially awkward, ultimately allowing the real you shine through.
#7 – Talk More Openly About What You’re Thinking and Feeling
Everyone can relate to the feeling of social awkwardness and how difficult it can be to open up and let people know how you really feel. It’s okay to not want to always share every single thought and opinion but learning how to talk more openly about what you’re thinking and feeling is key to making meaningful connections with other people.
After all, how are we supposed to understand each other if we don’t communicate openly? We’d all appreciate it if you could be brave enough to share your feelings so we can better engage in real conversations. Your honest communication helps build trust, which translates into stronger relationships that last for years.
#8 – Don’t Take Things Too Seriously
Life can be a fun journey at times, and how you respond to the little moments in life matters. Don’t take things too seriously – when you can, practice learning how to laugh at yourself instead of dwelling on mistakes or potential embarrassment. This way, you’ll become more comfortable in social situations and less anxious.
A great way to learn how to enjoy these everyday moments is through mindfulness practices like journaling or talking with your friends and family. When reflecting on experiences and conversations, look for things you can laugh about as well as anything valuable to remember for the future. Doing this will certainly help lessen any awkwardness you may feel in relationships, especially when it comes to being more confident in your own skin!
#9 – Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
In today’s society, it’s easy to feel like everyone else is more successful or is better off than you. However, comparing yourself to others can be a dangerous mentality that leads to social awkwardness and anxiety. Instead of looking at how someone else is different from you, focus on how your own unique qualities make up who you are.
Everyone has different talents, interests and strengths, so accepting the fact that no two people are alike will prevent unnecessary melancholy from entering your thoughts. Furthermore, being less socially awkward and allowing yourself to be open with new people is as simple as taking these comparisons out of the equation. Embrace how you’re different instead of fighting it and allow yourself to discover how remarkable individualism really can be.
#10 – Join a Club or Group That Meets Your Interests
Joining a club or group that meets your interests is a great way to combat social awkwardness. Hanging out with people who already share similar interests can give you something to talk about, making for more comfortable conversations than with strangers.
In addition to the social benefits of being part of a group, taking part in activities that you enjoy can be both enjoyable and rewarding on its own. Furthermore, it’s not too difficult to start your own club or group – having an idea of how many people you want, how often the meetings will be held, how long they should last, and what activities you’ll do are all necessary considerations in getting started.
There are so many clubs and groups available today that even if nothing completely fits your interests, you can certainly find some close enough to get involved with. By joining or creating one of these communities, you develop better relationships and make new friends while doing something that brings happiness in the process.
Being shy or socially awkward doesn’t have to be a hindrance in your life. These 10 tips should help you feel more comfortable and confident in social situations so that you can take advantage of all the great opportunities that come with having a strong social network.
Give them a try the next time you find yourself in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation – chances are good that you’ll be surprised at how well they work. And who knows, maybe before long you’ll even find yourself teaching these tips to someone else!