By: Kristen Joseph
Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation and noticed you were rambling? Or you said something that you immediately wished you could take back? Communication is definitely not the easiest skill to master. Whether you’re in a professional situation, giving a speech, or just having a casual conversation with friends, you’re bound to experience moments where you feel incredibly awkward. I know I have. But don’t worry, life goes on; you likely won’t feel that awkward forever. If you’d like to start getting rid of that awkwardness now, take a peek at the case study below to begin embracing the embarrassment.
Let’s face it—you’re awkward. You’re going through puberty, discovering yourself, and finding out who you want to be friends with. High school is a time of difficult change. But you don’t have to let your awkwardness inhibit you from making friends and being a great communicator. Everyone is awkward, so you don’t need to be embarrassed.
Meet Anna—she wears thick glasses, tends to be shy, and never knows when to say the right thing. Overcoming her awkwardness has always been a struggle. It’s her junior year, and she’s determined to make a change; but how?
Here are a few tips for combating your awkwardness:
- Accept your awkwardness: It’s going to happen either way, so just accept it. Who cares if your voice cracks, you tend to stutter, or blurt out the wrong thing. Those blunders last momentarily, and everyone does them. Instead of being afraid of messing up while talking to people, be comfortable with yourself and accept your mistakes. Don’t let fear hold you back from potential opportunities.
- Laugh it off: If you make a mistake, laugh it off. People around you will take it better, and so will you. It’s better to make light of a situation instead of stressing about it.
- Know that your social skills will get better: It’s going to get better, that’s the great thing. This is only high school; you have college and your career ahead of you. No one will remember how awkward you were 10 years from now. Embrace your personality, and be yourself.
Instead of letting her awkwardness continue to get the best of her, Anna accepted her social blunders gracefully and continued to meet new friends. After this acceptance, she soon grew confident and bettered her social situations, making new friends along the way. You can do this, too, with time and being true to yourself.
For even more tips on how to communicate like a pro, check out our book The Young Adults Survival Guide to Communication.