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These 30 Mistakes Are Accidentally Making You Come Across As Socially Awkward

A socially awkward woman
Unsplash /
Allan Ferreira

1. You apologize when you don’t need to apologize

“I used to be socially awkward imo, now I get told quite often I’m socially adept and outgoing. Here’s what I changed that I haven’t seen mentioned yet.

-Apologizing for things you don’t need to apologize for. If you walk in your own house and your roommates are watching TV, you don’t need to say “sorry” if you made a little bit of noise coming in. Same with if you sidewalk-shuffle a person. Be comfortable in your own skin, find the humor in it and move on. The world will turn whether or not the others are offended.

-Tangentially, being overly diplomatic. It’s cool to be easygoing and agreeable, but you don’t need to pretend you’re someone you’re not to accommodate others’ views and preferences. It just makes you seem like a rug.

-The final one is laughing too loud and often. I’m still pretty guilty of this tbh. Be conscious of your laughter. People will feel like they have to work to impress you, making you a formidable entity in their eyes.

Don’t take any of this to mean that you shouldn’t be fun and easygoing if that’s your personality. IRL I’m the most happy go lucky person I know. Just be aware of the difference between appearing like a yes-man and like an individual who can think for themselves.” — thirtiethst

2. You choose the wrong moment to speak

“Not choosing the right moment to speak while in a group.

If you have something to say, don’t say it when other people are mid conversation. Instead, wait it out. Every group conversion has a few moments when there’s nothing to speak. When all go quiet. That’s when you say what you have to say.

If you can’t do that, then what you say it’s just gonna drown unnoticed.” — UserSM

3. You are too pessimistic

“In general don’t have a negative outlook. Seriously. Talking to someone who talks or even looks like they are down in the dumps is never fun. It’s an uphill battle that you are putting people in.” — the2ndandnotonly

4. You have the same conversations over and over again

“When conversing with people they see periodically, they ask them the same questions every time they greet each other. Normally it’s about the only thing that connects the two people, like where they met or where they worked together. A conversation ends up being:

‘Hey man, how’s the bank?’

‘Still, the same old shit.’

‘Cool, cool.’

Then it’s just awkwardness. Of course a conversation isn’t going to develop this way; it’s the same routine every time you meet. You’re trying too hard. I normally greet people with something like, ‘How’s life?’ Really simple. If there’s anything they feel like talking about, they’ll segue into that. If not, they’ll turn the question back to you.

If you have nothing interesting to say, throw in something like “Did you do anything cool over the weekend?” The important thing is to not limit their responses. If you are always asking specific questions at the beginning of the conversation, it usually ends up being boring as fuck because the odds are that nothing new happened at work, nothing is new with Aunt Cindy, nothing is new at school, etc.” — bucknut4

5. You get distracted easily

“Not paying attention. Socially awkward people tend to zone out often, stop looking at people in the eye, keep on thinking about stuff, stare at their phone while others are talking and when someone mentions them they suddenly wake up not knowing how to react. Staying awake even though you don’t give a shit of the current topic is a critical skill.” — chic_luke

6. You never take initiative

“Not taking the initiative. I hear a lot of people complain that they don’t have friends and, particularly, that nobody wants to hang out with them. But they’re always waiting for someone else to ask them to hang out or grab a bite to eat. It sucks and is scary, and sure, the other person could say no, but if you take the initiative you’re more likely to make friends.” — Ayzmo

7. You draw negative attention to yourself

“Stop drawing negative attention to yourself. If you feel insecure about having a pimple on your chin don’t open a conversation with a person, ‘Can you believe this gross zit on my chin?’ The rest of us are people too, we get gross zits from time to time, we’re all human. We want to ignore it and interact with the other 99.9% of you, so please let us.

Don’t take people hostage. People give signals that they want to end an interaction. They start looking away, looking at their watch, moving away, saying things like, ‘Well I need to go and do X now…’. Take the hint. Be polite. End it when the other person wants to end it. Don’t continue talking, don’t begin to close the distance as they move away from you. People are much more likely to interact with you if you know how to end a conversation and they don’t fear having to escape from you if they interact with you.

Bathe. I was out dancing with friends recently. A guy tried to wiggle his way into our circle to dance. One of the other women told him, ‘I wouldn’t mind letting you dance with us if you didn’t smell like an open sewer. If you want to be around other people, wash! It’s where I draw the line.’ It’s where almost everybody draws the line. Nobody wants to endure that.” — NZT-48Rules

8. You don’t pick up on body language

“This is big.

My brother is really socially awkward in some subtle ways, and this is his biggest issue. He doesn’t pick up on body language when someone isn’t interested in what he is saying. So, as a result, he’ll just keep talking about whatever random thing that no one understands. I’ve learned to just tell him to shut up because I’m not interested. But, I’m his brother, and it took me 20 years to realize this is what needed to happen.

This is consistent too. Too many people will start conversations that other people can’t keep up with, so it kills the mood and socially awkward people seem to notice THAT, but they don’t understand WHY.

Keep the conversation to stuff you have in common, or something that others can converse about.

Stop bringing up the obscure anime that you found last week.” — Twilicerralia

9. You aren’t paying attention to your audience

“Know your audience. Mutual friendly insults with your buddies is fine. In the office, not so much.

Listening is an important skill – but there is a difference between parroting back what you just heard and asking insightful followup questions that demonstrate you were paying attention.

Active listening itself is really important. Don’t equate ‘having the perfect thing to say every time’ with ‘socially adept’. A conversation requires both people have a chance to both talk and listen, and it’s a bad idea to focus on only half of that

To clarify, I am ‘socially adept’ because I have forced myself to be, because it’s a critical skill in my job. That doesn’t mean it comes easily or naturally” — YourBlogSucksToo

10. You care a little too much

“There’s not as much pressure on you as you think. If you’re in some smalltalk with someone and you accidentally say something weird, or don’t respond the way they expected, well chances are they won’t notice or won’t care, so don’t let it get to you too much.” — TheCostlyCrocodile

11. You talk a little too much

“Learn when to stop. If you make a joke and it doesn’t land, don’t double down.

Just… stop. Take a step back and try again next time.” — themasquerade07

12. You are too stubborn

“Being stubborn, or pretending to know things that you don’t.

If you disagree with someone’s opinion, say why, it will keep the conversation going and start a discussion (hopefully not an argument though). Falsely Agreeing with someone all the time can make you look needy and people see through it.

There’s nothing wrong with admitting you don’t know something, it’s actually a respected trait to have, and again will further the conversation you’re having. Trying to push your ‘false facts’ onto someone is frustrating AF especially if you won’t listen to the other person and be open to the fact that you might be wrong. For example, try beginning the sentence with ‘I’ve heard this…’ or ‘I think this is the difference between A and B’, people will be more open to discussing the topic.” — Alemlelmle

13. You look like you are trying to one-up everyone

“Trying to tell somebody a short story to show they relate to what that person has said, end up sounding like they are trying to one-up that person.” — masterofpuppies1989

14. Your stories are too long

“Telling what should be a short story, but you end up giving way too much detail about unimportant aspects of the story, and now the story is long and uninteresting.” — Vigilantius

15. You keep correcting other people

“Essentials:

  • If someone mispronounces something, don’t interrupt them in order to make a correction.

  • Listen, don’t just wait for them to finish talking so you can speak. (I am guilty of this, and need to work on it).

  • Don’t make big deals out of insignificant instances. For example, if someone makes a general comment about the weather, don’t say anything like ‘that’s a strange thing to say’, because that shit is stupid.” — ArchiboldReesMogg

16. You assume silences are a bad thing

“Silences aren’t necessarily awkward and you don’t need to point it out. Silences can reinforce something you say and gives everybody the time to clear their heads. Real conversations have pauses and they are good, not awkward.” — GiraffeBagz

17. You give answers that are way too short

“Conversations need to go two ways. Answer questions then ask some, listen, comment, repeat. Too many times people excuse themselves when they’re doing all the talking, pulling teeth for a decent conversation.” — but-I-dontunderstand

18. You never laugh at yourself

“A big mistake is not knowing how to laugh at yourself, and be too easily made uncomfortable or embarrassed if others give you a little good natured ribbing or you make a mistake in front of other people.

People like it when you show you are imperfect and can laugh about it. Also, many people tend to socialize by casually joking around without giving it much thought, and this can include poking a bit of fun as someone there or about something the another person thinks is important. Give people the benefit of the doubt that they don’t mean anything bad by it, just joshing around. If you show you can take it (and better yet that you can dish it out, too) people will like hanging around with you much more.” — zazzlekdazzle

19. Your eye contact is too intense

“Misunderstanding the importance of eye contact and literally staring at me in the eyes for the whole conversation. Eye contact is important but it’s nice to take a break and glance at your surroundings periodically.” — Grateanswer

20. You always want to be the center of attention

“Not recognizing physical queues that someone is not interested in the conversation / wants to be somewhere else

Misunderstanding someone because they cut them off mid-sentence

Always trying to be the center of a group conversation

Generally, treating other people like they’re just NPCs in your own personal world.” — TedTheViking

21. Your humor is too dark

“Try not to be edgy in a group of strangers. You have no idea if they’ll laugh at your dark humor, think you’re a jerk, or be reminded of something traumatic that happened to them. There’s a difference between ‘obsessing about being liked’ and  ‘being mindful of whether you might hurt someone or make them uncomfortable.’” — BrightestHeart

22. You don’t know when to leave a conversation

“Not leaving a situation when the time is right. The secret to life is always knowing when to leave. I know everyone has experienced this to some degree, but don’t be the last one at a party. Don’t hang around the fringes of a conversation when you have nothing left to say. It makes you seem more confident when you know when to leave and not quite so clingy or awkward.” — brickwallwaterfall

23. You never smile

“Facial expression. I have a few socially awkward friends, but unless you know them they always look like they want to murder you or are extremely bored with you. Don’t squint, and while you don’t need to have a giant smile, practice in the mirror on making a very comfortable smile.” — Gummyia

24. You let yourself get walked over

“Don’t EVER let yourself be denigrated or humiliated. Far too often have I seen weak people just let themselves get treated like shit by their so called ‘friends.’” — i_fuck_for_breakfast

25. You overexplain

“Overexplaining.

For many people, 75-85% of the details you give are painfully unnecessary, and make people tune out of whatever you are saying.

Nobody cares what the EXACT distant-familial relationship is between two people in your story; so don’t make me wait while you try to remember before continuing. I don’t need to listen to you to wrestle back-and-forth with whether it was before or after dinner. I don’t need a complete recounting of every statement and gesture from a previous conversation you are recounting.

There’s nothing more painful than trying to patiently and not-rudely wait for you to get to the point I figured out you were making 10-15 unnecessary details ago, which is ultimately very mundane and should have been a quick conversation.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for advice or telling a story. Just don’t make it impossible to listen to you.” — Nice-GuyJon

26. You only talk about yourself

“Forgetting to ask open questions of people to get to know them. I’ve been to a lot of social events where the more awkward people talk and talk about themselves, as if finally having the chance, but it quickly becomes dull and one-sided.” — XInsects

27. You tell stories that make you look bad

“Had a friend who would tell stories that cast him in a negative light around girls he liked. Stories that ended with him getting rejected, messing something up, things like that. It worked out about as well as you’d think. Pick your best moments in life and present yourself that way, it works wonders.” — tarkovskystrut

28. You keep confusing ‘introverted‘ with ‘socially awkward’

“Thinking that being an introvert is the same thing as being socially awkward. The introvert-extrovert scale runs on the X-axis and social skills run on the Y-axis. It is entirely possible to be a socially skilled introvert just like you can have a socially awkward extrovert.

One of the biggest mistakes I see socially awkward introverts make is conflating those two issues and thinking, ‘well my personality is introverted, therefore I am socially awkward’. Social skills are SKILLS and they can be improved. Thinking, ‘I’m an introvert’, gives people an excuse to not work on or practice those skills.” — minamunu

29. You come across as insecure

“Some people care too much what people think of them. Confidence goes a long way, and a big part of being confident is knowing you’ll be alright whether or not people like you. If you do this, people will notice and want you to like them. It’s a subtle change but it really changes a lot.” — DoubleUnderscore

30. You take all of the blame

“You take on all the blame. Sometimes when a conversation doesn’t go well you will start to think this is happening because you are a shit conversationalist, but the thing is, a conversation is a two way street. If that person is not interested in talking to you, it’s not your fault. You might be thinking, if only I’m more interesting or less socially awkward, then this conversation will go somewhere. But think of your other friends, you are interesting enough for them. You just gotta realize that not everyone will like you or get your humor. So if you meet someone like that, just move on and try the next one.” — rain_and_hurricane TC mark

Originally posted at ThoughtCatalogue.com

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