There are many people in this world who can command the attention of an entire room just by the confidence that radiates off of them. Then, there are those who receive the attention of the room for less than stellar reasons—whether they are wearing a garish outfit, they bump into something and it breaks, or they are just extremely awkward.
Don’t get us wrong, there are instances where your awkwardness can be charming, but for most situations, that awkwardness can actually be a hindrance and make your life so much more difficult; and maybe even a bit lonelier.
Fortunately simply because you are awkward or a bit quirky now, does not mean you have to stay that way forever. If you’re ready to shed that awkward behavior that’s been holding you back and become more assertive and ooze confidence, here’s how.
1. Be sure of who you are.
Much of a person’s awkward behavior stems from the problem that they aren’t entirely positive of the person they are. This results in them being shy and second-guessing almost every move they make and everything they say. One way around this is to think before you do anything. If you’re going to comment on something, make sure you’re educated enough on that topic so that you can engage in a conversation.
2. Don’t jump into a conversation blindly.
Expanding on what we previously said, you don’t want to jump into a conversation you’ve walked in on without listening to what is being said first. For one thing, it is rude to interrupt someone while they’re talking, but you’re making it obvious that you are new to the conversation—especially if you touch on a point that has already been discussed.
3. Show up to an engagement early.
Forget what people say about being fashionably late—this is usually reserved for those who can pull it off without making a scene. You can easily avoid being the center of attention by arriving at an event on time or maybe even 10 minutes early. This is a great way to ensure that you will be starting the evening on a positive note.
4. Don’t break the ice with someone new with a joke.
When you’re meeting someone new, you might think that the best way to break the ice is to tell a joke. In truth, this could make an awkward situation that much more awkward because you don’t know their sense of humor or your nerves could cause you to bubble the joke. Either way, you’re left standing there looking peculiar.
5. Ask questions to prevent yourself from rambling.
One of the most common mistakes awkward folks make is to ramble on and on about obscure topics that no one really cares about. Instead of falling into this problem, listen to what is being said by the group (or individual) and then ask them a question pertaining to what was said. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about them, but it will also give you a chance to come up with a common ground to build a conversation about.
Your awkwardness is very much part of who you are. In social situations, it could work against you at times, while in other situations it can work for you. You just have to know when it is okay to be charmingly awkward.