If You’re Terrible At Socializing, These 20 Tips Will Help You Be Less Awkward

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By Darryl Henderson

Some people are naturally social, while others find it difficult to keep a conversation going. Social skills can always be improved to eliminate that awkward atmosphere. We’ve listed 20 of the best tips to help you feel less awkward when socializing.

Pay Attention to Social Cues

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Body language and facial expressions will help immensely in understanding the other people in the room. Learning more about social cues ahead of time will help you better understand if someone is feeling positive about your interactions or if they want to leave.

Practice Empathy

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Being empathetic makes it easier to talk to people by helping you see things from their point of view. This leads to better conversations and stronger connections, and people will respond well when they see you’re truly interested in their experiences.

Improve Your Communication Skills

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If you lack clear communication or don’t know how to keep a conversation flowing, you’ll inevitably feel more awkward. According to PsychCentral, this can result in feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Ask open-ended questions to encourage better conversations.

Grow Your Confidence

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Being less awkward socially comes from having more confidence in yourself. If you focus more on your strengths, you’ll know that you have something worthwhile to say. Practicing positive self-talk is a great way to boost your self-esteem and tackle social situations more effectively.

Manage Anxiety

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Social anxiety is going to make spending time with others that much more difficult. A good first step is to manage that anxiety by practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing. Gradual exposure to social situations can also help to alleviate anxiety and desensitize you to worry.

Find Common Ground

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Finding common ground means you can discover shared interests and experiences in order to connect with others socially. To reduce awkwardness, NBC News advises avoiding asking too personal questions with people you’ve only just met. Instead, ask broad questions to discover what you have in common.

Be Authentic

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Being authentic means that you don’t have to worry about keeping up with exaggerations or even lies when you’re trying to impress people. Share genuine thoughts and viewpoints during conversations. Embracing your true self means people will respect you more during interactions.

Practice Social Skills

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Spending more time with people you trust, like friends and family, can help you to develop in a social situation. It’s a good idea to also ask for feedback from trusted people regarding how you come across in a social situation. Or, you can ask to practice conversations with them.

Use Sense of Humor To Break the Ice

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Developing a sense of humor during conversations is a great way to break the tension and allow them to flow. If the conversation is too serious, it might increase awkwardness. A good start is learning to laugh at yourself and make harmless jokes. Avoiding inappropriate jokes is key.

Respect Boundaries

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Respecting other people’s personal space during an interaction is key to social success. You should pay attention to verbal and nonverbal cues that might tell you the other person is feeling uncomfortable. In terms of physical contact, like handshaking or even hugging, always ask for consent.

Be Mindful of Your Own Body Language

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Understanding other people’s body language is key, but it’s just as important to be mindful of your own. Keep an open and relaxed posture so that you appear approachable. Make a comfortable amount of eye contact to seem engaged. Healthnews explains that mirroring body language can help to build trust.

Practice Active Listening

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Active listening leads to better conversations and mutual respect. It requires you to focus on what the speaker is saying and take it in without formulating a response too quickly. You can also ask clarifying questions to show them that you’re engaged.

Prepare for Social Events

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It’s a good idea to prepare for social interactions ahead of time. You can do this by planning questions or thinking of topics. You can also familiarize yourself with an event location and who is going to be there. If you’re anxious, arriving early can also help you to settle in.

Manage Awkward Moments

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Some awkward moments are okay—they’re bound to happen. Managing them with grace makes everything more palatable. Acknowledging the awkwardness for a start will help instead of pretending it didn’t happen. Be light-hearted, don’t dwell on it, and move forward.

Practice Gratitude

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Practicing gratitude within a social setting means respecting the time shared and the company of others. Show your appreciation by thanking people for their time or even sending thank you messages after an event. Focus on the positive aspects that you’re personally grateful for.

Be Patient with Yourself

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Eliminating awkwardness isn’t going to happen overnight, so it’s important to be patient with yourself. Accept that better social skills take time to develop. What’s important is to celebrate the small victories of positive interactions and don’t punish yourself for anything that goes wrong.

Seek Professional Help

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Social skills can most definitely be learned, so you can always enlist in social training or workshops. Furthermore, if anxiety is stopping you from feeling less awkward, consider therapy to address those issues. Life coaches and mentors can also help with a more positive outlook.

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

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Social success isn’t about how many people you interact with; it’s about fostering quality connections. It’s much better to prioritize a small number of people you have a connection with than chase after large groups of people you have nothing in common with. Nurturing meaningful connections is key.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

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According to the Huffington Post, “a little anxiety” can help you perform at your best. Therefore, stepping out of your comfort zone can yield better results. Embrace new social opportunities instead of avoiding them. Challenge yourself to start a conversation with strangers.

Reflect and Learn After Every Social Interaction

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Finally, take the time to stop and reflect on social events. Think about what went right, what made you feel most awkward, and any areas for improvement. Learn from the mistakes and avoid them next time. React to feedback to continually adapt your social outlook.