I am socially awkward. If you’re like me, you know that being socially awkward is never commendable, but being a social butterfly is. It doesn't help when you have a resting bitch face and when you exude more (false) confidence compared to your peers (aka me).
I always find it amazing that my friends can befriend a stranger instantly only after exchanging a few sentences or even words. I was quite envious of it too.
However, after living alone for two years, I can’t count the number of times being socially awkward has saved me from unwanted conversations or dramas. So being socially awkward is pretty beneficial too.
How? Well, let’s get right into it.
You’ll Have the Greatest People as Your Friends
To have many friends, you need to be able to make small talks. But when you’re socially awkward, this is next to impossible. I’m terrible at it. Therefore, I don’t have many friends. But the people I befriended has always been extraordinary in their own ways.
From my observation, a lot of people don’t have the will to overlook the awkwardness of the first, and maybe til the third encounters. I don’t blame them because awkwardness is uncomfortable at times. But those who do, they’re the ones you want to keep.
Giving you a chance is one proof of why they’re great people.
Now, the people that have passed the first level of screening, they’ve earned themselves your appreciation.
Socially awkward people “may struggle with small talk, but they’re often great at diving deep into topics they’re passionate about.”
What McKenzie said is true, and because of that, it gives the people who see pass through your awkward exterior a reason to stay.
For me, as I started appreciating them, I would also begin to care about them, even in the slightest bit. I would love to get to know them and their stories to tell me more about what kind of person they are and how they’ve lived their lives thus far.
Once, I was left alone with one of my juniors who seemed to be the happy-go-lucky guy of the university. We worked together a couple of times, and he likes teasing me, which always breaks the ice. But I didn’t really know him as a person.
I wanted to get to know him more, so I kept on asking him questions. We ended up diving deep into our pasts, uncertainties, and also about the present. We gave each other encouragement as well as advice. As I thought, he‘s the most real person ever, and I’m glad I earned myself a great friend.
On the other hand, if you have the same passion as those who passed the first level, I’m pretty sure you’ll get along well too.
You Have the Superpower to Dodge Bullets
I’ve made it clear that I only have a small group of close friends hell — I only have one friend that I consistently text. But this also means that unnecessary dramas, gossips, and problems, which I like to call bullets, are barely existent in my life.
The superpower activates in different timings depending on the situation:
1. During the unspoken screening test
With the screening test, you’ve unknowingly filtered out the people that won’t be in your favor. Although it’s not 100% accurate, it is good enough.
With this, the chances of getting into a toxic relationship or dramas have lessened down as the relationships you currently have, were mostly built with mutual genuineness. Of course, there would still be problems with the friends you’ve made, but that is just a part of growing.
2. Before any dramas could happen
For instance, I was hit on by a guy two years ago through my Instagram account. I didn’t know him. We only met the night before during a university event as we were on the same team.
He asked me for a lunch date, and when I saw the notification, I froze on the spot. The alarm in my head was shouting, “ABORT! ABORT!”
I didn’t want to go because I was already thinking about how awkward it would be as I wouldn’t be able to make or carry the conversation. Or, I would be talking about something that I liked too much, and possibly bore him to death. Also, I didn’t think it would go well by seeing the few texts we exchanged.
So, I replied with not today.
Later that night, I told my housemate about what happened as it turned out that the guy was her classmate. Being the nice friend that she is, she warned me against him as he has a history of spreading false rumors about his last partner.
Although I knew not to judge a person before getting to know them, I trust my friend’s judgment. So, if I wasn’t socially awkward, I might have been involved in a drama I didn’t want.
You Have Free Passes
Being socially awkward is not enough to keep you away from talking to strangers or going to social places sometimes. It’s harder if you have sociable people as your friends.
However, not to worry, you can always make use of the free passes when it gets too much.
Since I started running in the mornings, I’ve come to know one girl in my tiny residency. I can say that she’s a social butterfly as I currently have a small group consisting of five people because of her. But I’m only comfortable with her and one other person.
Once, I was running, and I bumped into the two people I wasn’t comfortable with yet. Usually, after running, I would go and talk with the group for a little while before going home. However, I felt weird with them, so I went home directly even when they were right there.
It was awkward because before I went into my house, we made eye contact. But everything was back to normal the next day.
Those who know how you are will understand your actions.
My friends don’t even bat an eye anymore if I leave them to talk with their acquaintances I do not know of, they just accept it.
Having the greatest people as my friends, superpowers saving me from the unnecessaries, and having free passes are awesome. I mean, I have a superpower, so what more do I want?
Nevertheless, whether you want to stay socially awkward or not, it all depends on you. Both sides have their own pros and cons. However, as both a socially awkward person and an introvert, I like the pros of being socially awkward slightly more than not.
But if you’re thinking of going on a journey to becoming more sociable, good luck! A tip I can give you is sometimes you have to fake it until you make it.