Why am I so socially incapable

3 signs that indicate social incompetence

illustrated by Norah Stone.
Accidentally say mom to the teacher. Fart in the yoga class. Like a post from the ex who is 13 weeks old. Wave to someone who was looking at someone other than you. We have all experienced an embarrassing moment when we wanted to sink into the ground. For some, this actually happens very often; so often that they feel like they are stumbling from one uncomfortable situation to another. Whether something or someone is perceived as embarrassing or uncomfortable is completely subjective.
Generally speaking, we perceive the moments as cringeworthy or awkward, in which there are "deviations from social expectations", according to psychologist and author Dr. Ty Tashiro. It is important to know that there is a difference between a social phobia and socially incompetent or clumsy behavior - even if one can cause the other.
One of the main symptoms of social anxiety is a fear of judgment or judgment, says Dr. Debra Pillow, clinical director of Light on Anxiety, a treatment center for cognitive behavioral therapy in Chicago. The consequence of this is that those affected often avoid certain situations or develop a phobia, i.e. a pathological fear of embarrassing experiences. A person who is socially incompetent, on the other hand, simply has a hard time assessing situations correctly, perceiving the mood in a room and meeting the expectations of society, according to Dr. Tashiro. But that doesn't mean that this person no longer dares to socialize with people. Before I reveal anything to you about how to deal with social awkwardness, I will first give you three signs that indicate that you are “affected” by it.

1. You find it difficult to interpret situations

As already mentioned, socially incompetent people often do not have the ability to assess a situation. "And even if they are theoretically aware of how to behave, it is difficult for them to put it into practice," explains Dr. Tashiro. When you walk into a café, for example, you only see the counter, but don't realize that there is a long line of people at the checkout and you can't just go ahead and place your order. Or they go to a party and forget to introduce themselves to the hostess. “Behaviors like this can be perceived as rude, malicious, or aloof. In fact, those affected do not act deliberately. "

2. You have trouble communicating with others

"Socially incompetent people often have the feeling that they are confronted with foreign languages ​​during normal social interactions," says Dr. Tashiro. They cannot read between the lines or cannot recognize or interpret the melody, intonations, and non-verbal communication. "This can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication very quickly". Many also do not notice the wink with the fence post and do not know, for example, when to bring a story to a close because the audience has lost interest.
It can take some time, but with a bit of practice, even socially awkward people can learn to spot clues. Dr. Pillow, for example, sometimes deliberately takes long breaks in conversations with patients so that they can learn to get used to the uncomfortable feeling (in this case the silence).

3. You tend to get into topics

Socially incompetent people love what they do - sometimes so much that they overdo it and become obsessed with it, warns Dr. Tashiro. Although it is of course great to have interests or a passion for something, unpleasant situations can arise if, for example, you talk about your hobby for too long, although the people you are talking to are not as enthusiastic as you and model railways are not as exciting as they are you.
We humans want to be understood and to be part of a community. Very few of us want to attract attention, which is why it is actually helpful to be aware of embarrassing situations can. It helps us behave properly, says Dr. Pillow. However, there are people who worry too much about looking awkward or embarrassing to others. She advises you not to worry too much. Then people don't laugh at one of your jokes. So what? The world will not end because of this. The next one will definitely be better. So try to check the situation off and not be too strict with yourself or give the matter too much importance.
Conclusion: In principle, awkwardness is not a bad thing at first and in some cases it can even be very helpful. However, if you feel that embarrassing situations rule your life and you want to change something about it, you can do that with a little practice. If you would like to appear more confident and no longer want to step into every faux pas, you can, for example, look for a role model that you respect and whose social skills you admire and copy them from him or her. It may feel a bit strange in the beginning to imitate the person, but it gets better over time. "It's like a new language: the more you practice, the more comfortable you feel speaking it, and at some point it's actually really fun," says Dr. Tashiro. He used to be an "extremely clumsy child" himself. If he has managed to develop that much and not only accept the awkwardness but embrace it, then you will too.