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15 social butterflies share common mistakes socially awkward people make.

15 social butterflies share common mistakes socially awkward people make.


Going to a party either sounds like the best time or the worst time ever, it all comes down to how comfortable you are socializing.

If you find yourself overanalyzing social exchanges and fumbling to connect with new people, it can feel nearly infuriating to watch people who seem to easily float from new person to new person.

Luckily, socializing is a skill that can be practiced, and there are plenty of ways to stretch those muscles and get less awkward in group settings.

In a popular Reddit thread, people who are 'socially fluent' shared the common mistakes they see socially awkward people make, and there are a lot of helpful gems in here.

1. From DarkNFullOfSpoilers:

I heard a quote once that helps me whenever I talk to strangers: 'Confidence is when you walk into a room and assume everyone already likes you.'

Obviously, this isn't true for every case, but in my experience, if you start off every interaction by imagining that good feelings exist, good feelings WILL actually exist. Everyone just wants to be liked.

So if you pretend they already like you, you'll like them, and then they'll be happy that you already like them. It's a warm, fuzzy cycle. A mistake I see that socially awkward people make is assuming that everyone DOESN'T like them.

And then the cycle becomes awkward, rather than warm and inviting.

2. From Notdannytamberelli:

Not being able to pick up when someone else is completely disinterested in what you are talking about.

3. From PM_ME_OLD_PM2_5_DATA:

I don't consider myself amazingly socially fluent, but I work with a lot of engineers who make me feel like I am in comparison.

The biggest mistake that I see them making is talking about themselves (or their work) nonstop without acknowledging that there's another person in the conversation.

It's like...dude, you're in a conversation. Pause sometimes. Gauge the other person's interest. Ask a question of them occasionally!

I feel like I should have noted that I'm also an engineer (well, more of a scientist in terms of my job now), so I have nothing against engineers! It's just something that I've noticed frequently among my colleagues.

4. From Mal-Capone:

Taking their mistakes too seriously. Being an anxious person myself, I get that f*cking up and saying 'You too' to the waiter or the ticket person is embarrassing, but you're literally one face of thousands they have to deal with everyday.

What I usually do after f**king up like that to avoid that dark, memory-filled shame-hole in my brain is to just explain my f**k up in an amused tone, laugh at myself, and move on.

I bet you any money they'll remember you more for your flustered behaviour afterwards rather than the initial f**k up.

5. From shadowedpaths:

I've met a lot of people who speak in very self-deprecating ways to an uncomfortable extent. I understand not wanting to appear vain and opting to humble oneself, demonstrating self-awareness.

However, some people will take this a bit too far. When speaking about yourself, do so with confident modesty; don't reduce yourself to only your flaws.

6. From kmoneyrecords:

One of the most important things is to understand who you're talking to and make the conversation match the relationship. How you talk to a stranger, service worker, close friend, SO, and family, are all different.

Context is everything and what's perfectly acceptable or even amicable to say to one person is not acceptable to say to another.

I've met people who are friends of friends, work acquaintances, or strangers who think they can get away with saying something only a close friend or relative could do.

Such as a ball-busting joke or overly honest opinion, and come off as a total a*s and usually turn the entire group off.

Just because I've called my best friend of nine years a silly, drunken ape at a bar, doesn't necessarily mean you can do the same if you just met him.

These things require a certain amount of social currency - if you haven't built up a wealth of it - you can't afford it!

7. From lepraphobia:

Not noticing when they are telling an irrelevant story to a service worker or stranger. The number of waiters/waitresses that I see dancing on the spot while waiting for a customer to stop talking is astounding.

8. From Jpal123:

Sometimes you need to be a cheerleader in a conversation.

'I did this.' 'You did that! Hey, great. Did you hear he did that?!'

If it's sincere, it goes along way.

9. From ComradeWard43:

Often times, socially awkward people go into a conversation with the intention of asking about two or three specific topics with nothing else is mind.

Typically those topics run out fast and they have no idea how to respond to something that doesn't fit in with what they were planning to mention.

It takes practice I guess, but just being ready to roll with whatever topic arises will help you immensely.

10. From BrokenHeadset:

Thinking that being an introvert is the same thing as being socially awkward. The introvert-extrovert scale runs on the X-axis and social skills run on the Y-axis.

It is entirely possible to be a socially skilled introvert just like you can have a socially awkward extrovert.

One of the biggest mistakes I see socially awkward introverts make is conflating those two issues and thinking, 'well my personality is introverted, therefore I am socially awkward'. Social skills are SKILLS and they can be improved.

Thinking, 'I'm an introvert', gives people an excuse to not work on or practice those skills.

EDIT: Really cool that this is getting a lot of positive responses! Great to see all these socially skilled introverts represent! The responses have made one thing really clear - no matter how introverted you are, you absolutely can improve your social skills.

And the mistake (to address the original question in this thread) is to let 'I'm introverted' stop you from practicing/improving your social skills.

11. From Mutt1223:

Being purposefully weird and random is off putting to those who don't know you.


Stop talking about super personal stuff to strangers. It doesn't make anyone know you better it just makes them really uncomfortable.

13. From kardog:

Not making eye contact! It shows engagement and confidence when you do!

14. From Ted_Denslow:

Don't be a close-talker. That sh*t is weird.

15. From Sastrugi:

Adopting an affected voice. I've noticed that many 'awkward' people put on a goofy/sarcastic tone when they're nervous.

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