How Do I Get Over Being Socially Awkward?

Jan 14, 2018 | ASK THG

SA ASKS, Girl feeling Socially awkward in a crowd

How do I get over being socially awkward? It’s not severe or anything I can go out with my friends and stuff. I just don’t like crowds. If I go to the mall, I have a slight panic attack. I can shop, but I try to get out of there quickly. I’ve started saying no when my friends ask me to go to the mall so I don’t have to deal with it. But I really want to hang out with them. Is there anything I can do to help myself feel less socially awkward?

SA

Hey SA,

Being socially awkward is something most of us have dealt with. You’re definitely not alone in how you feel. The good news is you are aware of it and you want to learn how to manage it.

Try to think of your social awkwardness as a habit. It’s a habit you can work on changing.

It’s time to take on a new pattern of behavior. Sure… that sounds easy peasy, right?

Okay, it will take some work. But it is totally possible. You need to reprogram your brain to feel more at ease in these types of situations.

 

Taking the awkward out of being social

 

Before you go out:


Give yourself a pep talk. Think about the positive things that will happen while you are out. Think about having fun hanging with your friends.  Stand in front of the mirror and repeat:

I can do this!

I will stay calm!

I will have fun!


Tell a friend. Let one person in on what’s going on. They can help advert attention from you if you’re feeling overwhelmed. They can help you get through a crowd, or distract you from your own thoughts. Plus, sometimes, just knowing you are with someone who understands can help put you at ease.

 

Out and about:

 

Breathe. This is so important! If you start feeling a panic attack creeping up, take several deep breaths. Inhale through your nose for about 3 to 4 seconds. Hold it for about 2 seconds and then exhale through your mouth for another 3-4 seconds.

Breathing in and out slowly will help relax your body. This is something you can do right in the middle of a group and no one will even notice. When your heart starts racing take a few deep breaths.

 

Remember your pep talk. Remind yourself that you got this. You are having a good time with your friends, you’re safe and you will stay calm.

 

Use your headphones. Pop in your headphones for a few minutes and listen to some music or use an app that can help you feel zen. It might be all you need to distract your mind.

 

Take a small break. Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom or go outside for a few minutes. You can go alone or ask the friend you confided in to go with you. Take some time to regroup and then try starting over.

When you start over, let what happened go. Don’t give it any power. Move on and start fresh.

 

Know yourself. Know when enough is enough. If you decide it’s too much and nothing is working, it’s perfectly okay to go home.

 

Things to remind yourself:

Okay, that happened, no big deal.

I am taking the steps to work on it.

I will try again next time.

It doesn’t have to be today, but I’ll keep working at it.

 

Don’t stress over it. It’s important to remember that these things take time. There’s no rush. Be patient, kind and understanding with yourself.

Take it one step at a time. As you become more comfortable, you can increase the amount of time you spend at the mall or in similar situations.

For some feeling socially awkward goes away easily, for others it requires a bit more help. If things don’t seem to get better, consider talking to a counselor or therapist. Always do what is right for you. Never be embarrassed or afraid to ask for help.  You deserve to feel comfortable and happy.

hope, clouds, and lots of love,
gabriella & veronica
The Hope Girls

What about you?

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