Being socially awkward is tough. It limits your options and gives you unneeded stress while in normal situations. Luckily, there are people out there who have successfully overcome the pains of social awkwardness and are ready to give useful advice on how to overcome these stressful social struggles.
Meet Dan. He’s been socially awkward all his life. As a sufferer of Asperger’s (a conditions that makes it difficult for people to socially interact with others), he grew up shy, bullied and awkward. Luckily, with hard work and perseverance, he was able to overcome his social struggles and come out of his shell. Today, he gets invited to speak on TedX and other speaking platforms to talk about how he overcame his social awkwardness. He also runs ImproveYourSocialSkills.com, a website that aims to help those who are struggling with their lack of social life.
Today, Dan visited Reddit to discuss his life as a sufferer of Asperger’s. He also talked about how he managed to work his way out of being socially awkward and offered some advice on how to feel less shy and more socially empowered in everyday situations.
One question asked was “What are some little things you can do to make yourself less shy?”
- Every time you talk to a cashier, ask them one question about their day or their life.
- Go to one meetup or social event every week
- Take a theater class or join Toastmasters
- Try to volunteer for a leadership role that requires you to be in front of people.
Redditor haechunlee asked, “I’m wondering if there are any life lessons you have learned through your hardships concerning your lack of social skills?”
Dan, who used the handle Cookiemobsta, answered,
Honestly, I think there were two big lessons that I learned from my lack of social skills.
- First, social skills are a skill, and like any other skill, they can be learned. If you want to cook and you go to a cooking class or just practice in the kitchen a bunch, you’ll get better at cooking. The same thing is true for social skills. Connecting with other people isn’t magical. You can learn how to make conversation, read body language, and see the world from the other person’s perspective. So if you are struggling socially, don’t give up! Try to improve a little bit every day, and you’ll get way better over time.
- Second, some of the best people you’ll ever meet are pretty awkward. Even if someone has poor social skills, they might still be generous and caring and awesome to be around. I think it’s really sad how many socially awkward people are isolated and alone, and it’s a double tragedy because they could be such awesome friends to people if others would just reach out to them! So basically the life lesson is don’t judge people based on their social skills — judge them based on their heart.
Redditor Love_Battery asked, “How do you tell if a person has Asperger’s, vs. if they are just socially awkward/nervous?”
Dan said advice from a professional can help you distinguish. “Unless you’re a licensed professional, you can’t. So if you think you might have Asperger’s (or if you just struggle socially in general) I highly recommend that you book an appointment with a therapist.”
[Image from Twentyfourstudents/Flickr]