Believe it or not most people feel awkward around other people at one time or another. There are so many things that can cause anyone of us to experience this feeling. And that’s exactly what awkwardness is: a feeling.
You may think you are awkward because you spilled that drink down the front of your shirt or tripped over your untied shoelace, but that may not be how others perceive you.
This brings us to the most important point of how to be less awkward around other people.
1. Stop thinking of yourself as being awkward
Instead think confidently of yourself and when that drink does dribble down your shirt have fun with it by saying something like “there must be a hole in my lip”. Reacting to a blunder by laughing at yourself can actually turn an embarrassing, awkward moment into a conversational icebreaker.
2. Assume Rapport
Assuming rapport is about thinking how good a meeting or conversation will go rather than thinking of any negative possibilities. Assuming rapport will help you to relax and not worry so much about how you might fail but more about just having a conversation.
To assume rapport, approach the interaction like you would if you were going to talk to a good friend.
3. First Impressions
Having a good mental attitude from the beginning of an interaction will result in you making a good first impression on people. Regardless of how awkward you might feel inside, smile when first meeting someone and then slowly ease yourself into talking with them. That is, do a lot of listening to find out what the other person’s interests are.
Also, make short statements to ease yourself into further dialog. An awkward person should never just start rambling about anything under the sun because this will only worsen the awkward feeling and maybe even cause you to feel like you are stupid, neither of which will help you to be less awkward around people.
4. Be Yourself
When you are around friends you generally don’t worry about what to say next, but usually live in the moment, letting the interaction take a life of its own. This is the moment when you are relaxed and yourself.
This same idea can be applied as a strategy to help you be less awkward around people. Moreover, when you are being yourself you are more apt to enjoy any interaction that you might become involved with. Also, think of each interaction as an adventure of discovery because that is exactly what it is and not a means to expose you as being an awkward individual.
Remember, being awkward is a mindset, a thought process, but it’s not something you are.
5. Have Confidence
Being yourself entails having confidence in yourself and your abilities. People who think they are awkward lack confidence in themselves so much that they think people think of them like they think of themselves.
Does it really matter what other people think about you? No. So why should you focus on what people might think? It’s actually vanity if you do.
Instead, focus on the fact that you are a human being just like everyone else, each with their own idiosyncrasies as well as desirable qualities.
How to be less awkward around people is more about your thinking than it is anything else. Everyone has made silly blunders in their interactions with others at one time or other. Read the newspapers and see that even important and famous personalities can sometimes be awkward. But this doesn’t stop them from being who they are or cause them to develop a complex about interacting with others. It should not affect you this way, either.