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Why am I so socially awkward

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:59 pm
by Chrisjg
It’s strange as I notice the actions I do but I can’t stop them, I’ve never been good with socialising in any sense at all I was diagnosed with dyspraxia at a late age and I personally feel that didn’t help as I’ve had to learn things by myself and I’ve never learned how to socialise well. I’ve got friends and I’ve had girlfriends but usually I can’t think of what to say to people I’ve never spoken to unless if I give myself time to think or unless if they are talkative and they make the conversation for me. I go into a shop and awkwardly look around when talking to the till worker and rub my face or head when talking and I always struggle to know what to say I relation to what they are talking about. I just don’t know how to articulate a conversation with people very well at all and it doesn’t help that I’ve got social anxiety either. So what I’m trying to ask is how can I articulate a conversation as I usually just come across as not approachable cause I can’t talk or if I try a bit weird and very socially awkward

Re: Why am I so socially awkward

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:35 am
by Tom fod
Hi Chris and welcome.

It all comes down to the dreaded C word - Confidence.
I’m not one for small talk and typical conversation openers such as: What do you think about x sport? Or What car do you drive? Or Tell me about yourself? (Aaaarrrghhh Eek!) are closed topics or conversation killers to/for me. I”m more a listener and I have to also be mindful of what I say where I say it and how I introduce it into the conversation.
I think a lot of people not just ourselves struggle to know what to say to strangers while others can happily chat away without a care.

I guess my advice is be careful not to overthink what you say. Plenty of people are just as nervous and will try to fill silence with utter tripe IMHO
Try not to compare yourself to others but do listen and consider whether you might emulate any of their conversational skills or opening gambits.
Seek out people who you have shared interests with.

Hope this is somewhat helpful but do say if it isn’t and I’ll try to come up with something more useful.

Re: Why am I so socially awkward

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:09 am
by Chrisjg
Thank you I will try this in future I can try to use this advice if the situation comes up at college in the next few weeks

Re: Why am I so socially awkward

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:13 pm
by Lucy
Hi Chris,

I can relate to a lot of what you describe - especially thinking of things to say to people I've not met before (or even have met before!) and how to articulate a conversation. Often I'll realise later that I accidentally said something rude or shut the conversation down, or worry that I came across as strange, rude or uninterested when actually I just needed more time to process what was said and formulate a response. I guess there are a couple of things I find helpful:

1) If I'm not sure what to say, I might say "pardon?" or "can you say more?" to give myself time to process what they said.
2) I remind myself that if I'm focusing on how I'm coming across, I will a) interpret how I come across as more negative because I'll notice things that actually don't matter/the other person won't have noticed and b) have less headspace for listening to the other person so it will be harder to engage with the conversation. So if I try to focus my attention on the other person rather than on me, usually I find I feel less self-conscious and conversation flows better.

If you feel you want to tackle the social anxiety part of your struggles, you might want to look into cognitive behaviour therapy; if you do that, it might be helpful to ask your therapist how much they know about dyspraxia/give them some info or a link to eg the Dyspraxia Foundation so they can understand how dyspraxia (eg slow processing speeds) might interact with anxiety and support you in a way that's more tailored to you.

I also echo Tom's advice!

Hope some of that might be helpful to you :)

Re: Why am I so socially awkward

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:21 pm
by lubellasquee
I’ve noticed I’m socially awkward as well but I’m aware of it nowadays whereas in the past I wasn’t. I normally wait to be approached because I feel awkward approaching people