Originally Answered: How to be less socially awkward?
How to Avoid Being Socially Awkward
1. Realize that you're not alone because most of us worry about exactly the same things when in public. However, if you're feeling like this all of the time, it could be because you're over-analyzing any social situation, which can make it seem much worse than it actually is.
2. Try to source your feelings of social awkwardness. Many people who experience intense social awkwardness, the feelings stem from anxiety, fear, insecurity or low self-confidence. Each of these sources can be tackled if you're willing to push your boundaries a little at a time and to find ways to build your confidence.
3. By being more aware of your own bodily sensations when you're feeling awkward and anxious, you can consciously recognize that your adrenalin is flooding you and causing you to want to run or hide. When this happens, learn to tell yourself: "I am having an anxiety reaction, I am going to be okay. I will act calmly." The more self talk that recognizes the anxiety, the more you will start to get it under control.
4. Increase your confidence. Even if you don't feel confident, you can either fake it until it grows on you or you can remind yourself to be friendly as much as possible. It is definitely hard to find confidence in situations that bring up fears, anxiety, panic and a desire to hide or run away. However, asking yourself "what's the worst that could happen?" and trying to do at least one thing to engage with others around you is a good start.
5. Be friendly. Assuming that someone else wants to connect with you and assuming the best about them from the start allows you to be more open and friendly toward other people. If you're not used to being friendly, try it. It will grow on you as you realize that it's a lot easier than maintaining a wary, cautious and non-trusting front all the time.
6. Be less concerned about what other people think of you. Most people are worrying what others think of them, which is something worth reminding yourself when you start to worry about what other people think of you. Regardless of who you are, some people will be nasty. Such negative behavior is often a defense mechanism they use to get over their own feelings of insecurity. So, don't take it to heart; do continue to share the best of yourself without worrying what others think.
7. Lighten up. Random unpleasant and embarrassing things happen. Often we don't have control over awkward situations. To deal with this fact, lighten up and see the funnier side of awkward moments. Not only will doing so help you to place such occurrences into better perspective but humor will often break tension among all present, allowing people to laugh with you, not at you, and to pass the awkward moment without further ado.
8. Focus on the positives. While socially awkward moments can tend to make us focus on everything that is going wrong at that time, it is helpful to deliberately make yourself focus on the positives. Pinpointing some positives can help restore your perspective about how minimal the awkward occurrence is in the greater scheme of things.
9. Use self talk to move through feeling socially awkward. Self talk will help you to shift the focus from worrying about what others are thinking of you and back onto calming yourself so that you can project a sense of ease with yourself.
10. Learn to relax. Relaxation is not a one-off; it's a lifelong practice. In particular, breathing deeply and slowly can help to keep you calm whenever you feel assaulted by too much social input and anxiety. Being mindful about situations will eventually help you to feel more socially at ease.
11. Give yourself recovery space. Not all socially awkward situations will be resolved with a laugh and some deep breathing. There may be times when the embarrassment, pain or fraught emotions are just too much to deal with in the public sphere and for your own sake and possibly that of others, it is best to simply exit. By giving yourself space to recover, you can cool down and get over being flooded by anxiety.
12. Be kind to yourself. Being socially awkward is not a state of being, it's a temporary phase. Everyone stuffs up now and then and everyone has at least one mortifying experience they can recount. Realize that socializing involves learning skills; don't be hard on yourself if for any reason you missed learning those skills somewhere along the line. They can be learned at any time in life, provided you're willing to give them a go:
13. Rather than hiding, be bold and get out and socialize more often. Start off with people you trust and like and slowly expand your socializing to include people you're less familiar with.