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  • 1 Pro-Tip For Your Socially Awkward Self: Be Still and Go with the Flow
Guide

1 Pro-Tip For Your Socially Awkward Self: Be Still and Go with the Flow

September 13, 2023

socially

Socially awkward, I think all of us at some point in our lives have felt this way.

When we feel awkward at social gatherings, it is usually because of the dynamic.

Chances are, a large chunk of the people at the party are talking, whereas we have no one to talk to.

It is then that social anxiety comes up. We start thinking about how everyone but us is talking, how we have no one to talk to.

This thought turns into an emotion and for some of us, can entirely ruin what was supposed to be a fun experience or event.

Forced conversations are unnatural vicious cycles for a socially awkward person

conversation

People illustrations by Storyset

Some of you who find yourselves in this situation might take the approach of actively trying to talk to others.

You could be doing this by walking up to someone and initiating conversation: “How are you doing?”, “Are you having a good time?”

What inevitably happens is, though the other person will be polite and answer your question, the conversation will not get very far:

“I’m doing good!”

is just one of the very few sentences you will get to hear before the conversation comes to a screeching halt in a few minutes. 

Especially if you’re socially awkward, initiating these artificial conversations with others will feel like you’re struggling.

You may even start counting successful conversations as a victory and awkward conversations as a loss.

Sooner than later, you may find yourself in the deep end of a vicious cycle of social awkwardness. 

This cycle goes like this: we feel awkward, so we initiate an unnatural conversation with other people (who are possibly having the time of their life, by the way, or at least look like they are), inevitably fail these unnatural conversations, feel more awkward, and then initiate more unnatural conversations to win what we think are “victories” against our social awkwardness.

Don’t lie, this sounds like you, doesn’t it?

Enter, and go with the flow

people in an office

Work illustrations by Storyset

What if we told you that there is a way to break out of this cycle?

When you observe others talking at these gatherings, they appear super-human to you.

You see them having smooth and organic, engaging conversations without forcing a smile or breaking a sweat.

They can talk about practically anything that comes into their minds.

You wish to be like them, but alas, you are there by yourself, not talking to anyone.

You might be thinking, why am I here by myself? Why is everyone talking to each other but not me?

The most common explanation for this is that these people are already friends or have met previously.

They will naturally converse with each other, and without even thinking about it, stay in their comfort zone.

Even if this is not the case, these people you suddenly think of so highly are simply talking. It’s just a conversation.

They’re in the present moment, going with the flow, “a state of mind in which a person becomes fully immersed in an activity.”  

So, when you are wandering around the party, desperately trying to talk to people, you are very far from your own flow and that of the event.

All your lines of conversation, no matter how well-planned they are, will fail in comparison to a conversation that stems naturally. This only happens when you go with the flow.

But how do I go with the flow if you feel socially awkward?!

socially awkward

Idea illustrations by Storyset

But how do you do that? You can’t see the flow, you can’t hold it. So how do you go with it? We’ll explain. Your pathway to the flow is stillness. Yup, being still. 

When you are still, you stop constantly moving in a desperate search of someone to talk to.

Being composed comes from stillness, and it helps you embrace the situation you’re in.

Stand in place if you have to, or sit comfortably. Don’t fidget, squirm, or wave at people.

Do not try to combat the negative thoughts about your social awkwardness; let the thoughts flow.

By the way, not fidgeting also means not grabbing your phone and sitting in a corner reading the comments under your favorite Instagram or Twitter account.

Doing this just continues the cycle. In trying to look busy on your phone to avoid looking awkward, you stop yourself from entering the flow.

Why does going with the flow matter?

people around a table

People illustrations by Storyset

When you are still, you attract people to come towards you. The stillness, your calmness, invites others in. Perhaps at some social gatherings, everyone will be busy talking to those they know.

But in being still, you will break out of the toxic cycle of unnatural and forced conversations and actually enjoy the moment.

When is the next party you’re going to? Try being still.

Ariel Shalev Former VisitMind Intern

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