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How to stop being so socially awkward

Some of us are naturally more socially awkward than others, often without even realizing it. Here are 7 ways to combat social awkwardness so your next networking event is as smooth as… something smooth.

We’re all a little bit awkward

I would like to think that I can do anything that I set my mind to. Though, as I have traveled down this road called life, I’ve learned that there are some things that I will just never be 100 percent confident with doing.

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Among these things is having a great set of social skills in any situation. I, like many others I know, can sometimes struggle with being socially awkward.

For the first 20 years of my life, I would always give people a closed-lip smile in passing. In my mind, I thought this smile was kind and warm. This was until one day I decided to flash the smile to myself in the mirror and the result was…well, awkward.

7 ways to reduce your awkwardness

I can often be quite shy and quiet, and this discovery of an odd smile was doing me no favors. So, I sought out advice on becoming less socially awkward. Shana Lebowitz at Business Insider had the answers.

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1. She recommends that you be present at all times. In a world where we all have our hands glued to our phones, this can be a difficult task. Though if we take steps to consciously remind ourselves that we should be more “in the moment”, we will begin to see what’s in front of us. We may be able to make new friends as a result.

2. With this, focusing on the other person is key. Actively listening to them and maintaining (non-overbearing) eye contact will help to make the person feel important. This will likely enhance the conversation. Also paying attention to how they feel will give you cues on how to continue the flow of the conversation.

3. Taking a casual approach to equally casual conversations/situations will help you to feel more comfortable with others. If you act blasé and offer a smile and a “hello”, this can alleviate awkwardness and increase comfort.

4. Make sure that you keep yourself in social situations. Feeling discouraged from social awkwardness can inhibit you from seeking out social situations. However, if you take this route, you will never improve. Try talking to as many people as possible throughout the day. Each conversation you have will help with social comfort.

5. Seek out creative ways to become more social. This can be done through partaking in something such as an improv class. I once took an acting class to help, not only hone my acting skills, but to also improve on diction and conversational skills.

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6. We all have that one friend who is a natural social butterfly – use that person. By going to social gatherings with someone who is comfortable with talking to others, you are likely to take a cue from them.

7. The easiest way you can keep a conversation going is to ask questions. It makes you seem interested, while taking most of the heat off of you for needing to talk about yourself.

#Awkward

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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