Now unless you’re awkward you can’t fully grasp how much of a burden it can be when fought. Simple routine things are massive, anxiety inducing tasks for many. Instead of holding a casual conversation you’ll be tongue-tied. After stumbling over your words you get so nervous that your body feels hot, flushed with embarrassment as you blurt out all the wrong things. This leads to an uncomfortable silence – one that you will unintentionally fill with more of the wrong phrases that’ll only make things worse.
It can be a constant battle trying to recreate the normalness we see around us. It sometimes seem like the harder you fight your social awkwardness, the more it rears its ugly head. As one of the least smooth individuals on the planet (especially when I try to be), I can vouch for my fellow awkward folks and say that it’s not as amusing or embraced as television and films make it. Not in a self-loathing, poor me way, but it can be somewhat draining. Not to mention the fact that it could be fun to be the person who flourishes in social environments for a change.
It seems to come so easily, so natural for others. What’s it like, we wonder? To be the quick, witty person instead of the poorly timed joke maker. To walk with a swagger and not with an unconfident slouch. To run like a gazelle instead of an ostrich on medication. To be like the cool guys Channing Tatum plays in his movies instead of the characters Michael Cera does. To be smooth.
For the longest time I’d fight it. And sure enough it’d throw blows back. If I tried to strut coolly down the street, I’d trip. I’d try to have the charisma of Will Smith; end up with the charm of McLovin. It just didn’t work. It was forced. Unauthentic. Unnatural. After doing this off and on we, the awkward people, must realize that there’s another solution. No, it’s not to study Hitch and emulate everything you see. Not we shouldn’t become cookie cutter carbon copies or others. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite.
We’ve got to recognize that we can’t change the person we naturally are. Would it be good times to have an epic personality oozing out of your butt? Absolutely. But since our habits, tendencies and general ways aren’t always embraced by society, we must do it for ourselves. Metaphorically open your arms, hug yourself and squeeze tightly. Since you’re awkward you’ll probably hold it longer than you should and give a strange number of back pats or an uncomfortable rub. Don’t worry, it’s just you hugging yourself – things can only get so weird.
Really embracing the awkward means being whoever you are in social environments with no regard for how it’s perceived. If you dance with flailing arms and zero coordination, go for it. If you lean in for hugs when others extend for handshakes creating a strange exchange, oh well! If you’re nervous and shy around people you don’t know, be shy until you’re comfortable. Whatever feels natural.
It can be a matter of having different interests, clumsy ways, taboo habits or anything else that led you to a point where you considered your awkwardness a bad thing. It’s not. In fact it’s pretty freakin’ cool to be different from common folks. Having that one-of-a-kind, extra terrestrial feel that gives you the uniqueness of a martian is badass in it’s own right. Don’t try to fit a mold because of the critics, naysayers and haters. Embrace your awkward and unite with the rest of the world’s martians. One of these days we’ll make our uncoordinated, stumbling, stuttering, anxious rise to the top.