Feeling Socially Awkward and Insecure? Here’s What to Do
Because much of the struggle of feeling socially awkward or insecure happens in the mind, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one having a tough time.
You’d likely be shocked to see how many people around you wrestle with the same thing. One thing’s for sure. You certainly wouldn’t feel so isolated in your difficulty if you could see those around you grappling with the same problem!
While there’s no “magic pill” you can take to cause your low self-esteem struggles to immediately vaporize, there are some ways to gradually feel more comfortable with yourself and others. Here are a few thoughts.
Remember Awkwardness Isn’t Always a Bad Thing Although It Feels Uncomfortable
As shared in another recent article, our culture is so consumed with being “successful” that it often can’t accept the many disappointments and failures necessary to pave the way for success. In light of that, it’s quite possible your feelings of awkwardness and insecurity are a good sign.
Those feelings may be an indicator you’re exercising the courage to step outside of your comfort zone. Maybe that means getting further education, trying a new job, going on a date, public speaking, or any number of other possibilities.
In these situations, the fact you feel vulnerable and insecure means you’re on the right track. It’s proof you’re taking the steps to grow as a person. Often, there’s more cause for concern if you’re not willing to leave your comfort zone and take risks that could benefit you in the long run.
David Braucher, L.C.S.W., Ph.D. shares the following about the positives of social awkwardness in his Psychology Today article entitled, “Why Do I Feel So Awkward?”
“Awkward moments can draw our attention to something important. Feelings of embarrassment and discomfort may be the harbingers of discovery and change.”
When Being Socially Awkward and Insecure Holds You Back
If you’re regularly concerned about how to stop being socially awkward, it could be it’s holding you back. Perhaps you’re dealing with more than just discomfort at this point. It’s keeping you from excelling in life the way you want. If so, here are a few additional ideas to help you on your way.
Avoid Self-Judgment: If you want to know how to stop being insecure, listen to your internal dialogue. Is it self-sabotaging and overly critical during your awkward moments? Too often, that’s the case, only adding to your discomfort, especially in social settings. Learn to replace that internal script with something much more compassionate and watch your confidence soar!
Practice Basic Social Etiquette: Although it may sound hokey, research the rules of proper social etiquette and get back to the basics. A surprising number of people aren’t taught how to practice basic etiquette such as a firm handshake, making eye contact, and smiling. This is often a simple solution when wondering how to deal with insecurity.
Focus More on Others than Yourself: Wondering how to be less awkward? Practice focusing on others around you instead of yourself. By losing yourself, you also lose the constant fear of what others will think of you. Most people are far too busy to spend their time judging you. And, even if they do, their judgments don’t have to define you. Focusing on others will turn you into an approachable, sincere and likable person. Others will go out of their way to be around you.
Avoid Isolating: It’s human nature to want to avoid situations that make us uncomfortable. However, the more you avoid potentially awkward situations, the more insecure and awkward you’ll feel when you finally enter them. For that reason, resist the urge of avoidance. Although it may feel good at the moment, in the long run, it is not your friend.
Just Have Fun: Sometimes the answer to your question of, “Why am I so awkward,” could be as simple as you’re taking yourself too seriously. Make a point to smile and joke (when appropriate) and let those natural endorphins do the relaxing of your physical body and mental faculties for you.
Wondering How to Build Confidence and Stop Feeling Insecure? Consider Counseling
Dealing with insecurity is a common challenge but, thankfully, overcoming insecurity is possible. If you’re worried about how to overcome insecurity, that isn’t a struggle you have to handle alone. Sometimes all you need to “crack the code” is a trusted professional to help you with evidence-based methods to overcome your feelings of awkwardness and insecurity.
The OC Relationship Center is highly skilled at helping individuals with life struggles similar to yours. With counseling in Mission Viejo and Newport Beach, we are a trusted and valued resource in the Orange County, California region and beyond. Would you like to set up an appointment with us? Doing so only takes a moment!