I have never seen a meme that describes me better than this cat. I feel like this cat understands me perfectly. Here is a collection of best images I have found:
I have never seen a meme that describes me better than this cat. I feel like this cat understands me perfectly. Here is a collection of best images I have found:
I have to confess that I have another very bad habit. I sing a lot. I know, there‘s nothing wrong with singing. Unless you do it too much. My family got already used to it. It‘s considered perfectly normal in our house when I randomly start singing and shouting. I perform every day in the shower:
Me and my sister love to sing together, it’s our favorite thing to do on weekends.
The problem is that I love singing too much. Sometimes I get an uncontrollable urge to sing. And the worst thing is when that happens in a public place. In such case I have no choice but to repress this urge as much as I can.
But sometimes I‘m walking on a street when I feel a strong desire to sing. The street looks empty, no one is around. So I take a risk and start singing. Usually I don‘t get caught, but it happened to me a few times that out of nowhere, a person appeared a few meters from me. It‘s like they literally manifested out of nowhere, and of course, they‘ve heard me singing. In this situations I feel extremely uncomfortable. As much as I‘m okay when my family hears me singing, when a stranger hears me singing, I feel like I want to disappear out of this world.
I just walk away and act like nothing happened.
One time an awkward moment happened when I was casually having my concert while home alone. I sang my favorite songs REALLY LOUDLY. Suddenly the door bell rang and I went to open the door. It was a postwoman. She had this weird grin on her face while she was giving me my letters. As she was leaving, she told me that I have a nice voice and I should audition for X-Factor. Till this day I have no idea if she really meant it or it was supposed to be sarcasm… But I felt really awkward afterwards. I should have realized that the whole street could hear me when I was singing.
One thing I hate is doing presentations in front of people. Sadly you can‘t avoid them while you’re in school. I‘m always extremely awkward when I speak in public. I tend to have nervous tics, I stutter, I mumble words which make no sense or forget everything that I‘ve learned.
I could tell you many awkward stories about how I failed my presentations, but one of them really stands out. Once I actually ran away in the middle of my presentation and went to the bathroom. Yes, you read well. My presentation was so poor and so very bad. I stuttered at every word, I forgot almost everything I wanted to say and I was so red in my face like a tomato. I choked hard and stood there, completely quiet, with my face searching for something I couldn’t find really hard, while my eyes were just staring at people with this blank face. You guys should’ve heard the ABSOLUTE SILENCE while I was struggling horribly to find something to say…
People were just gawking at me with their eyes and mouths open……
The longer I was standing here trying to remember something and save this awkward situation, the worse I was feeling. And the more I needed to go to the bathroom… I‘ve literally felt like I was going to vomit in front of everyone. So what did I do? I did what I know best: I ran away.
Without saying a word I stormed out of the class, shut the door and ran to the toilet. I bet everyone was just sitting there with their mouths open asking themselves what did just happen. Everyone already knew that I was awkward, but no one expected me to run away so suddenly. The teacher sent another girl to the toilet to check if I‘m alright. I wasn‘t alright of course. I felt like vomiting, crying and ending my life at the same time. After I calmed down a little bit I wasn‘t sure what to do next. Should I return to the classroom and finish my presentation? Or should I return, sit on my place and act like nothing happened? When I came back to class, no one forced me to finish my presentation anymore. Thankfully, no one was laughing at me, they all looked at me like they were regretting me probably thinking: “Poor girl, she has a serious problem. I wouldn‘t want to be on her place”. Well, this story is maybe more sad than funny…
I‘ll admit it. My thoughts are really weird. If someone could see what is happening in my head, they would think I‘m psycho.
I do remember once, a long time ago, I was in class and I was staring really hard at this pencil.
And the guy next to me is like: “Hey… what are you doing…?”
Me: “Well, I was trying to imagine what it would be like if the only two entities in the universe were me and this pencil.”
The way he looked at me…
I never know how to handle eye contact… I tend to swing between two extremes. In social situations involving conversations, either my gaze is lost in space, fixed on some random point while nonetheless listening to whoever’s talking (at least for the first five seconds if it’s something I’m supposed to be listening to, less if I don’t care, and more if I do, but yeah, I inevitably drift off), or, I look directly into their eyes, which does take conscious effort. This means I don’t blink for a prolonged period of time, and the look I give, as it’s been described to me by others, suggests either that I’m planning to kill them or that I’m ripping their mind or soul open (or something to that effect)…I had a staring contest with a friend, she ended up freaking out a bit and continuously asking me to please blink. My reply: “Hold on, I’m pushing for a new personal record.” It appears hostile, in any case, and yet I don’t mean it. But I do tend to avoid eye contact with strangers, sometimes even acquaintances, or pretend I didn’t see them.
Another weird thing that I do a lot is that I make corresponding facial expression to my inner conversations. It happens to me all the time. Walking on a street, sitting in a bus, in a classroom… I‘m having an interesting conversation with myself in my own head and I don’t realize that the emotions I feel so deeply inside are evident on my face. This makes other people think I’m completely insane.
The thing I struggled probably the most with during my time in school was solving math problems in front of the entire class. Don‘t get me wrong, I‘m not stupid and math wasn‘t a big problem for me. The problem I have is that when I am called to perform in front of people, I suddenly forget everything I know, even my own name. If you asked me how much is 2+2, I would probably just look at you with a stupid gaze on my face and the answer wouldn‘t hit me. That‘s how bad it is.
I‘ve had a panic attack every single time a teacher called me to solve a math problem in front of a blackboard.
It always resulted in public humiliation. The weird thing about it was that the teacher knew that I wasn‘t stupid and math really isn‘t the problem. I used to get best grades in tests. But in front of a whole class I acted like I was retarded.
After a few failed attempts, the teacher realized that I probably won‘t get better at it. So the funny thing was that each member of the class solved something on the blackboard and the only person who always got left out was me.
A situation that happens to me a lot:
Person: Oh my god, I love your dress! The color really suits you!
Me: Thanks! I like yours too. It’s, um…
(Internal dialogue: it suits her? No, she just said that to you, it’ll sound like you’re copying her. Nice color? Not only did she say that to you, but you’ve already said that to at least four different people today, you can’t just go around saying the same compliment to everyone. Good things about dresses, good things about dresses… damn, what are some good things about dresses? Cut? No, only people who are actually in the fashion business can talk about “cut” without sounding stupid. Size? No, always gets misconstrued as a fat joke. That decorative thing on the front? You don’t even know what it’s called! Damn, she obviously realizes by now that you’re struggling to come up with something…)
Me: I have no more compliments left!
I honestly did like the dress.
I have suffered from social anxiety for many years and I know how limiting and horrible it feels. So I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I overcame my social anxiety and how I can help other people that are suffering from it.
I have developed a few strategies that you can use to reduce your social anxiety. These are:
Challenging unhelpful thoughts
The way that we think about things has an impact on our entire life. The root of a social anxiety are unhealthy beliefs which are just thoughts we have been thinking for too long. Many of these beliefs occur outside of our control, and can be negative and unhelpful. It is therefore important to remember that they are just thoughts, without any real basis, and are not necessarily facts. Even though we may believe a lot of our unhelpful thoughts when we are nervous, it is good to remember that they should be questioned as they are often based on wrong assumptions.
You might have unhelpful thoughts about all kinds of things. Here are some examples:
Before Social Situations
During Social Situations:
After Social Situations
First you need to be able to recognise an unhelpful thought. Then you can challenge it. Being aware of the common patterns that unhelpful thoughts follow can help you to recognise when you have them. Here are some of the common patterns that our unhelpful thoughts follow:
These thoughts naturally make you anxious before you even arrive in a social situation.
Such ways of thinking can soon lower our mood and self-esteem.
These thoughts also make you dread situations beforehand.
These, often long held beliefs about yourself, ensure your confidence and self-esteem remains low.
When we are socially anxious, we tend to spend a lot of time concentrating on our own bodily sensations during social interactions. This is because we fear that our anxiety is visible to others. For example, we may spend time trying to judge whether we are sweating, shaking, or blushing.
Although we do this in the hope being reassured that we are not visibly anxious, this strategy actually just makes things much worse. This is because we tend to overestimate how visible our anxiety is and this of course makes us feel even more self conscious. Also, by focusing on ourselves, we are prevented from fully concentrating on the conversations around us. This naturally makes it more difficult to join properly and we usually end up interacting less well than we could. This strengthens our beliefs that we are no good in such situations. The reality is that our anxiety is a lot less visible than we think. Often we have no idea if someone is anxious or not and it can help to remember this.
Similarly, when we feel socially anxious, we tend to spend time monitoring how well we are performing during social interactions. This too prevents us from paying proper attention to the conversations we are engaged in. For example, we may spend time trying to figure out if our voice sounds shaky, or go over and over the things we have said in our minds. Again, by doing so, we end up finding it hard to follow conversations which likely makes us perform worse. Given all of this, it is helpful to try to remove this tendency to focus on ourselves. Below you will find tips designed to help you during social interactions:
Removing the use of avoidance and safety behaviors
When we are socially anxious, we tend to avoid social situations (parties, speaking in front of groups, going out). However if we keep avoiding the situations we fear, we never get the chance to prove to ourselves that we can cope in them and our confidence remains low. Similarly, whenever socially anxious people do enter the situations they fear, they tend to use safety behaviors (sticking besides a good friend at a party, staying silent when in a small group to avoid looking foolish…). Although these behaviors seem to help in the short term, they are actually unhelpful. This is because they stop people from learning that they could have coped fine without relying on such things. Therefore, like avoidance, safety behaviors stop us from learning that we can cope in such situations and our anxiety towards them continues.
Because of this, the best way to reduce our anxiety towards social situations is to gradually confront them, without relying on safety behaviors. Of course, confronting social situations can be horrifying, especially given that our anxiety levels often rise when we do it. If you repeatedly allow yourself to become involved in a short conversation, rather than avoid it, you can begin to prove that you can handle these scenarios much more effectively than you think and your confidence will soon rise.
Social anxiety is the term used to describe a high level of shyness. Of course everyone feels shy or anxious in certain social situations, but for some people it can be a little more extreme. When this is the case it has a huge affect on their lives and stops them doing the things they would like to. For example it may affect their confidence to go to school or work and impact on their confidence to make friends and enjoy their hobbies.
When in such situations, people can often experience many uncomfortable physical symptoms of anxiety.
Socially anxious people often feel under the spotlight and believe that everyone is thinking badly of them.
They often hold beliefs that they are no good socially, are boring, and that they have nothing interesting to contribute. After social events, they tend to pick out parts that they believe went poorly and beat themselves up over them.
To cope with social anxiety, people tend to avoid social situations if possible (parties, pubs, canteens…). If they can’t avoid them, they tend to try and stay in the background and attract as little attention to themselves as possible (say very little).
How do you know if you suffer from social anxiety? Answer these following questions:
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes,’ you may be experiencing symptoms of social anxiety and you may find my future article on how to overcome social anxiety helpful.
Because my life is full of awkward moments and embarrassing situations, I‘ve decided to write a second part to my article “My socially awkward moments“. Here are another socially awkward stories from my life that are only a proof that I‘m a queen of social awkwardness. Enjoy!
The following story sounds like something you would see in a movie. I really wish I could say I made it up. But I swear to God, it really happened. I attract these awkward situations like a magnet…
A few years ago we had a student exchange program in Germany. This embarrassing situation happened during my first dinner with the entire family of my German exchange partner. It was a formal setting with a large group of people. I was wearing a red dress and shoes with high heels.
This is an accurate example of how other girls walk in heels vs. how I walk in heels (I‘m the one on the left if you didn‘t guess it):
While we were making plans for dinner, I leaned back on my heels and, you guessed it, the heel of my boot snapped off. Just one. So I’m terrified, trying to think of what to do. Her mother and sister were sympathetic, but I was so embarrassed…
But it gets better.
I tend to act completely retarded when I eat in public.
We ate a tomato soup for dinner and me being my awkward self, I splashed the whole soup all over my dress.
So here I am, walking around with one of the heels of my boots gone, tomato soup all over the front of my dress… I’m done. I want to leave.
Oh, but it gets better.
As I say goodbye to the family, I go to wave, and a hard metal bracelet I had on, FLIES OFF my wrist, and just misses hitting her mom in the head. Luckily, her whole family has a decent sense of humor. Her dad said something like: “We better get out of here before her clothes fall off!”
I was absolutely mortified. I got in my room and cried for twenty minutes.
Something I absolutely hate and I‘m sure that a lot of you had to deal with this as well: speaking to someone you don‘t know on the phone.
So… say I have to call a bank for some reason. After an hour of putting it off and procrastinating, I finally dial their number. Then the person at a bank answers the phone and they‘re like: “Yes, of course I can help you! I‘m just gonna need to ask you a few questions first.” Then this person bombards me with hundreds of specific questions! And I‘m just sitting on the other line like: “Eh, hmmm, eeehh”. I get really flustered and I can‘t speak to them like I‘m a normal human being…
Another example of my exceptional social skills is that I fail at ordering food in restaurants. First of all I spend at least 30 minutes deciding exactly what I want before I speak to anybody. But when I go to order and they say what I want isn‘t available, or if they start asking if I want extras or if I want my food in a certain way… Well you know what, at this point you might as well just bring me a DAMN COCONUT because I‘ve lost every thought that was in my brain!
So I usually just end up saying yes and getting whatever they give me. I‘m sure one day I will end up with a coconut…
I‘m an expert in dropping things. I literally drop things for no reason! I will be walking along, perfectly fine, and then all of a sudden, my brain will just cut out and I will drop whatever I‘m holding.
Usually it isn‘t that much of a problem, but sometimes it can be a real limitation of my life.
For example, my mom asks me to carry some stuff she just bought from her car. I‘ll pick up a glass bottle and guess what, I‘ll drop it. I‘m carrying a basket full of laundry upstairs and in the middle of the stairs, I‘ll drop it. Or someone tells me: “Pass the salt”. And I drop it. A friend asks me: “Hold my bag for a second” and I drop it on the floor. It‘s not easy keeping friends when you‘re like this…
Afterwords I‘m like: “Oh god, I‘m so sorry, I didn‘t mean to!”
Seriously, never let me hold anything of yours that you wouldn‘t want if got broken or dropped in a puddle…
But the worst thing is when this happens in public. Like in the following case: I was having lunch in a school cafeteria and I had to walk through the entire room to return back my plate. It was nothing unusual, I used to do this every single day. But on that particular day, my level of social awkwardness was especially high. As I was walking, I felt extremely awkward that people were watching me. And when people are looking at me, my body stops listening to me. Suddenly, I dropped all that I was carrying in my hands on the floor! My plates with rest of food on them, my cup, my bag… Everything was laying broken on the floor. And this happened in front of 100+ people and literally all of my teachers saw it. After a few moments of dead silence, the entire cafeteria burst out laughing.
All students and classmates were laughing like it was the funniest thing they have ever seen.
Some of my teachers were giggling, but some of them had this stare on their faces that screamed: “I‘ll kill you! What have you done?!”
In that moment I didn‘t know what to do. I‘ve tried to collect the broken pieces of everything, but it just wasn‘t working. Then some people came and started to clean up the mess I‘ve made. I could still hear people laughing. In that moment I felt like the most awkward person on the planet.
After this incident my fame in school has risen to incredible heights. I‘ve managed to make my already horrible reputation in school even worse.
I was in a class and we had a new teacher. The teacher asked us to introduce ourselves and say what we like to do. Everyone was saying the typical boring shit like go to clubs, dance, go out to bars, hang out with friends, sports, blah… Then I said something like this:
Me: “I like to study theories that catch my eye or fascinate me, like quantum physics, for example. I‘m especially intrigued with the Many-Worlds Interpretation. I‘m also interested in psychology, biology, astronomy and history. I would go on Wikipedia and start reading, but then I see something I am curious about and end up hopping from page to page for like three hours.” Then I realized that what I just said made me look like the biggest nerd on the planet. So in attempt to make myself look more normal, I added: “And I like traveling, listening to music, reading, writing and painting. ” (But I knew that it was too late, because everyone looked at me like I was a space alien).
The teacher: You have now established that you are the smartest person in the room.
*awkward laughter from the entire classroom*
Me: *mental face palm*
(Not really sure whether to take that as a compliment…?) But seriously, why couldn‘t I just say something normal? I told them the truth and sounded like a nerd…
So since then, I officially became the queen of school nerds.
Which is not the best position to be in, because everyone hates nerds.
Unless we were writing a test. Then suddenly everyone starts acting like they‘re my best friend.
Everyone wants to sit next to me, so they can copy my answers. Literally, before every exam our entire class had a fight who will get the privilege to sit next to me.
I give the WORST direction advice ever. If you ever get lost and need someone to tell you how you get to a specific place, the last person you want to ask is me. I hate it when someone stops me on the street and asks me where do they find this and that street. Like why would you do that to me? I wasn‘t ready for you to ask me this question. Why would you expect me to know where that is? DO I LOOK INTELLIGENT?! So I usually just end up pointing in a random direction and saying: “go this way”, just so they leave me alone. I don‘t know how many times I did this, but I apologize to all people I caused serious trouble because of my awkwardness. I‘m sorry…
What is the thing I am especially bad at? Dating. I mean it doesn‘t happen very often because, OBVIOUSLY, who would ask ME on a date? But if it happens, I make sure that I make a complete fool of myself. Usually I don‘t make it past the first date, because I embarrass myself so efficiently, that these people never want to see me again. Like with that one guy I talked about in the first part of this series on which I spilled my drink and then ran away. It‘s like when I‘m on a date, I lose all my intelligence, all my charm and all there is left is my awkwardness.
Another embarrassing date happened when I was at a summer camp. Don‘t get me wrong, I enjoyed the camp, I had a time of my life. But there was too much social interaction. 24 hours all days a week was incredibly energy draining for me. After two weeks of spending zero time alone, the only thing I craved was some alone time with my favorite book. One day I was in especially bad mood when one guy asked me out. I was soo low on energy and soo annoyed, that the last thing I wanted is to go somewhere with this guy. I knew that acting like a normal person is not going to be possible tonight. So I said “no” many times, but this guy seemed to really like me and he just didn‘t want to go away! So I was forced to agree.
But this time I didn‘t get nervous and I didn‘t try to impress him. I decided to do a complete opposite. I acted like a bitch on purpose. I know, it doesn‘t sound like me, I‘m usually very nice to people and I‘m never mean to anyone.
But this time, all I wanted was to be left alone. So I did everything I could that made me look like horrible person. I didn‘t talk to him very much and when I did, I made sure that I say something rude or offensive. I played the role of a cold hearted self centered narcissist very well and I think that at the end of the evening, this guy was so freaked out, that he never spoke to me again.
Well, now I feel bad for that poor guy that I treated so badly for my own selfish reasons…
I hope he didn‘t take it personally. I can go very far from who I truly am if I don‘t get my alone time and if you overstimulate me with too much social interaction. So which lesson did you get from this story? Never force an introvert to socially interact with you if they are low on energy and need some time to recharge. Never underestimate the things we can do when you force us to go out!
I made a complete fool out of myself when I was getting my haircut a few years ago. Hair salons make me nervous as there are people everywhere and there are mirrors everywhere. The lighting in that salon made my face look really terrible and I just felt like I looked a mess compared to the hair stylists.
When I get nervous and socially anxious I become really inarticulate and have a stutter. I didn’t have much to say to the girl who was cutting my hair and there were some points when I literally sounded retarded.
Why do these things always happen to me?!!
We all experience socially awkward situations. We all have had moments where we wish the floor would swallow us up. It’s perfectly normal from time to time. But when I look back at my life, my life is a series of awkward moments. I’ve had so many of these awkward situations that I can call myself the master of social awkwardness.
Today I’m going to share some of my most embarrassing moments and stories with you. All of these situations come from my past and early teenage years when I used to be the walking and talking embodiment of social awkwardness itself. I should get an award considering with how many socially awkward situations I had to deal with during my relatively short lifetime.
I’m not that socially awkward anymore. As I’m getting more comfortable with myself, it’s becoming easier for me to act like a proper human being. The fact that I can now laugh at my failures and embarrassing moments is a sign of recovery. I can assure you it wasn’t funny at all when I was experiencing them. In the middle of these situations I felt like the worst person on the planet that doesn’t deserve to be here. But now when I look back at all of my embarrassing moments, I find them quite amusing. Sure, I acted like a complete fool but at least I have now interesting stories to tell people. As horrible as it feels when these things are happening, laughing at the situation later is inevitable!
I warn you, this post is going to be very awkward. I have taken social awkwardness to a whole new level. If at the end of the article you think that I’m absolutely crazy and you don’t want to have anything to do with me, it’s perfectly understandable.
I use gifs and images to better illustrate the awkwardness of each situation. Because:
Here is a list of socially awkward moments I used to experience on a daily basis (I do some of them until this day, therefore the present tense):
These were just random socially awkward moments I deal with regularly. Now here is a collection of some majorly awkward stories that actually happened to me. I hope I won’t get in trouble for posting them publicly on the internet. The reason I’m doing this is because I want to encourage other people that might think they are socially awkward, but in comparison to me, they’re pretty normal. And you can probably laugh at my stupid failures. Seriously, if you don’t think I’m weird already, this is going to convince you:
One day I was walking on a street and spotted a person in a distance that I know but I wanted to avoid her. I was trying so hard not to be noticed that I suddenly lost all my motor skills. I tripped and fell down epicly on the floor. Not only the person I tried to avoid noticed me but the entire street saw it. It looked kind of similar to this:
I hate parties. I’ve been to a party only a few times in my life and regretted it later every single time. I remember very well what was it like for the first time. To begin with I didn’t wanted to attend the party at all. It was a regular Friday night after a long week of school and I just wanted to have a nice evening by myself lying curled up in bed with my laptop as usual. It could have been such a great night… But no, my friend was trying to convince me to attend this party for days. I said “no” maybe hundred times, but on the 101th time I’ve heard a small voice in my head saying: “What if it’s actually fun? You won’t know unless you try.” And then I agreed to come. The party felt like hell to me. So many people everywhere, strangers, uncomfortable small talk, no interesting conversations, no fascinating people… Soo energy draining for me. There were drunk people everywhere, awful music was playing too loudly, I couldn’t breathe in that smoke. I seriously don’t understand how can someone enjoy it. My friends weren’t even noticing me. I was just standing by myself in a corner wishing a black hole would swallow me up.
So the evening ended up being a total disaster. I felt so awkward standing there in the corner just observing and I didn’t know what to do.
‘So what did I do? I ran away. Exactly like you would see it in a movie. I ran all the way home. That’s probably the best thing I could do for my well being anyway. But I could have made it less awkward if I actually told someone. Because my friends spent the rest of the night looking for me. They were so afraid, they thought someone kidnapped me or something horrible must have happened to me. They almost called the police. When they saw me the next day, they almost killed me. Thankfully I was not invited to any party since then :D.
I’m especially awkward in buses or any kind of public transport. One of my many awkward moments happened one day when I was casually sitting on a bus going to school. Suddenly an old lady came and she stood right next to me. Any normal person with a brain would say: “Please take my seat!”. But what did I do?! Instead of letting her take my seat like social norms dictate, I was too scared to open my mouth and say something! So I was just sitting there awkwardly trying to act like I didn’t notice her. I’m not a mean person, I would let her take my seat, but it was my extreme level of social awkwardness that stopped me from acting like a normal human being. It got even more awkward after some time. The old lady was showing me with her gestures that she would like to sit. Even an idiot would get it. After a few minutes of total awkwardness I stood up and ran away from the bus a few bus stops earlier I would normally, just because I couldn’t take the awkwardness of that situation anymore. Then I came late for school because I had to walk there all the way… And I bet that the old lady must have lost her faith in humanity and young people in general. Well done…
Picture this: Your first really important exam, in a dead silent room with twenty+ people all waiting for the same thing you are: to get called up for the greatest challenge of your life. I had been waiting for like a half an hour and I was starting to get very nervous. Finally, they called my name. I got up, adjusting my professional clothing. I try to be all cool, calm and collected, because well… Anyways, ALL OF A SUDDEN: Everything slips out of my hands like:
All of my important papers, my phone and my wallet hit the floor with literally the loudest crash I have ever heard. So I try to recover myself with this stupid blush on my face and slowly bent over, scraping up my things from the floor as everyone decides to start giggling, even the director of school who is now covering his face with my application. In my head I was just like:
But I haven’t failed the exam! 😀 And this story became quite popular among our teachers. Looks like I made them laugh in the middle of such a boring day. I became famous in my school for my special power to drop things…
I came home and I felt like I want to end my life… Why do these things always happen to me?!!
Okay this one is really weird… I have a very bad habit. I talk to myself. Not at all the times of course. That would look like I’m totally crazy. Usually I do it when I’m home alone and nobody can see me. I don’t know why am I doing it. Probably because my inner life is so rich and so much interesting stuff is going on inside my head that I feel the need to express it. And when I have no one to talk to, I just argue with myself. Out loud. I know it’s creepy and you’re probably thinking right now that I should get help. Well, probably I should because it’s getting out of hand. The other day I was shopping at a grocery store. You know, I’m just walking around looking for some things and I’m having a very interesting conversation with myself inside my head. In that moment I completely forgot that I’m at a public place and there are people around me. I suddenly said what I was thinking out loud! It was an inside joke and I laughed at myself afterwards! But then I came back to reality and realized what happened. Every single person was staring at me like I’m completely crazy. Like this:
I’m thinking to myself: “There’s no way back. They’ve seen it. I’m screwed.” Probably the worst few seconds in my life. In that moment I wished the universe ended. After a few seconds I turned around and walked away. In hope that I will never see these people again. I can only hope…
The following story is one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. This situation was so awkward that it gives me shivers when I think about it… And I’m not kidding you, this really happened: So the thing is my parents thought I was gay. Like SERIOUSLY! I have nothing against gay people at all. But it was the strangest thing ever to hear my parents tell me that it’s OK when I admit to them that I’m gay. (And I’m not!) I was just sitting there staring at them thinking to myself: “WHAT THE HELL?!! How did you even come up with that?!!! What makes me look like a gay person?!!”. Well, according to my mom it was the only logical explanation. She thought so because I have never dated anyone and I’m not obsessing over boy bands or actors like other typical teenage girls do, so there must be something different about me. And so she came to the conclusion that I’m gay. She must have been thinking about it for quite some time because otherwise she wouldn’t have planned such a serious conversation. I felt so awkward during that conversation like never before. I had to explain to my parents why I never dated anyone and it’s not easy to explain it to them especially when it’s so hard for me to be open to them. After that conversation, I wasn’t able to look my parents in the eyes for days… Soo awkward.
When I saw this socially awkward penguin meme I was very surprised that someone may have experienced a similar thing:
Like I’ve already said earlier, I’m the human embodiment of socially awkward penguin. Maybe after all it’s not that weird that your parents assume you’re gay when you aren’t… Or is it? Please tell me I’m not the only one.
And here’s one case I dealt with in the absolute wrongest way humanly possible: last year I was sitting at a bar and talking with a complete stranger sitting next to me for about 10 seconds. I accidentally spilled my drink all over him. And what did I do then? I backed away slowly without saying a word! I backed up all the way to the door and left. I couldn’t even get out an apology! Probably not the best way to deal with that one… Poor guy.
So, you’ve seen some of my most embarrassing moments… Now you’re probably thinking I’m the most awkward person on the planet. And maybe you’re right… If someone ever comes up with a TV show about a socially awkward girl, I should be playing the leading role. No one can beat me in this.
In the previous article I was talking about social awkwardness from its fun side. This time I’m going to take a more serious approach to this topic because it really isn’t very funny for a person that is suffering from social anxiety.
I’m going to share with you my own experience:
Most people get anxious about social situations from time to time. But with me, anxiety took control and kept me from living.
I’ve felt afraid of people from the time I was a kid, and this continued to get worse as I got older. I had bucked teeth and a speech problem. I felt very different from other kids. My peers physically and verbally attacked me for years. I felt ashamed and humiliated because I was unable to defend myself, so I didn’t tell anybody what was happening to me. I felt safe nowhere and I trusted no one. I became afraid to go outside. I often pretended to be sick so I wouldn’t have to face the kids at school. I avoided situations that I thought might cause me anxiety. Because I was isolated, I didn’t know what normal was.
I sat in class frozen, afraid to attract attention. I saw people participating in social activities I found impossible and I couldn’t understand where they found the courage, so I thought I was a weak willed coward. I was crippled by feelings of dread that jabbed at me out of nowhere. I was afraid I’d melt if I left my emotions be seen by other people.
I dissociated from my feelings and memories to cope with the fear and anger buried deep inside. I insulated myself by isolating in my room and rocking to music for hours on end. I found this comforting, but I couldn’t stop and it consumed my time. I couldn’t get my homework done and my character growth was stunted.
I came to the point where I thought that living my life, every day worrying about what others thought of me and every day feeling humiliated and embarrassed for no good reason, and not doing what I wanted to do because of this embarrassment, was not a good way to live.
So I decided that I want to change it. I started to read a lot of books on self help, self acceptance and self love. I discovered that the main reason why I hated to socialize was because my lack of confidence. I believed that there must be something wrong with me. I hated myself and believed I was a completely worthless human being.
It took a few years but thing started to change. I made friends for the first time in my life. What we all had in common was our social awkwardness. For the first time in my life I had a feeling like someone can understand me. We all felt uncomfortable making small talk, doing group projects, meeting new people. We all loved to read, walk in nature, write and we also enjoyed talking to each other about deep interesting topics. It made me feel so much better when I found out I’m not alone in this and it definitely helped me to recover from social anxiety.
Over the years of practice, I am now much better at handling social situations before. Surely, I’m not a social butterfly. I’m still introverted and I prefer to have a few close friends, my ideal Saturday evening is spending time alone reading a book, writing or watching my favorite TV show. But I no longer feel so stressed during conversations, I actually enjoy meeting new people, I can talk to people more easily and effortlessly and people no longer make fun of me or think I am a weirdo.
For me, the cure for social anxiety was self acceptance. Once I stopped believing in my worthlessness, things started to change. I gained self confidence and I was no longer so afraid of what other people thought of me. I started to express my opinions, I started to talk to people and I was surprised when other people finally began treating me as a normal and valuable person.
I want everyone struggling with social anxiety, social awkwardness and extreme shyness to know that it is perfectly curable. If I did it, you can do it too. Remember, you are not alone!!!
Lots of love to you all:)