Have you felt like the “introvert” label doesn’t fit you exactly?
Perhaps you do enjoy social interactions, but just have a difficult time steering it in the right direction.
If that’s so, you may not be introverted per se, just a bit socially awkward. Let’s look at 6 signs that you may actually just be more socially awkward rather than introverted.
1. You avoid social interactions out of a fear of failure, not because it’s draining.
Do you always think about the worst-case scenario in conversations, even though it may realistically not even happen?
If you do, you’re likely acting out of fear of coming across as awkward or uninteresting, which is something that socially awkward people know all too well. Introverts are more than able to relax and enjoy social settings – the only difference they have between extroverts is that they’d need some time to themselves afterward.
Socially awkward people, on the other hand, may tense up and find it difficult to navigate past social situations. While it may be common in introverts, this feeling isn’t mutually exclusive to introverts – extroverts can have bouts of social awkwardness too.
2. You feel anxious and uncomfortable in social situations.
Do you feel anxious or uncomfortable during social situations?
Introverts might not always enjoy big groups of people, but they don’t typically feel suffocated by them either. Introverts can be genuinely themselves in the right company; they’d just need solitude to recharge their batteries afterward..
Socially awkward people, on the other hand, are more likely to feel uneasy at the moment. Their mind tricks them into believing that everything they do is getting judged by others – causing them to feel uneasy and defensive the whole time.
3. You find it difficult to make conversation with others.
Are you a natural conversationalist?
While introverts can come across as reserved and quiet, they often have a lot to say if given the chance. They’re oftentimes more attuned to reflecting than speaking, but that doesn’t stop them from being great public speakers or performing well in interviews.
Socially awkward people, on the other hand, find it excruciatingly difficult to make small talk. They sometimes struggle to keep a conversation going, so much so that they avoid it altogether.
4. You’re not as verbally articulate as you’d like.
Do you stutter a lot? Do you sometimes fail to find the right words to use in specific situations?
If so, you may be socially awkward. Introverts can certainly struggle with verbal articulation, but they’re more than capable of speaking eloquently when they need to – especially if the topic is about something that they’re well-versed in.
Socially awkward people often find it more difficult to articulate since they have to take into account various external stimuli, including the other person’s reaction, their body language, and how they come across. Socially awkward people have a tendency to overwhelm themselves with all these factors; whereas non-socially-awkward people can glide past them effortlessly to get their point across.
5. Alone time makes you feel more lonely.
Do you feel more lonely when you’re by yourself?
Introverts often enjoy their own company and find peace in being alone at times. They might use this time to reflect, recharge, or do the things that they enjoy with themselves.
Socially awkward people can also enjoy it in certain instances, but they’re not always content in doing so, especially if their being alone is a result of circumstance rather than choice.
6. You have tells in your body language.
Do you often catch yourself doing quick, repetitive movements, such as twirling your hair or bouncing a leg?
People who are socially awkward often have involuntary physical tells that can be seen when they’re placed in an uncomfortable situation. Body language is something we mostly do unconsciously but is still a significant component in how we come across to people.
Awkward mannerisms typically include things such as looking down when talking, fidgeting, and awkward and forced smiles. Introverts with social awkwardness may also have these dilemmas – but it should be said that not all of them do.
Did you relate to any of the signs above? Are there any more that we may have missed? Let us know in the comment section below.
That’s all for now, Psych2Goers!
- Cuncic, A. (May 28, 2021). Understanding and Improving Body Language When You Have Social Anxiety. VeryWellMind. Retrieved at https://www.verywellmind.com/an-overview-of-body-language-3024872
- Pauker, L. (Oct 15, 2013). 21 Signs You’re Even More Socially Awkward Than You Thought You Were. Thought Catalog Retrieved at https://thoughtcatalog.com/lance-pauker/2013/10/21-signs-youre-even-more-socially-awkward-than-you-thought-you-were/
- Grant, Eva. (Feb, 20 2019) . 11 Signs You Aren’t An Introvert, You May Have Social Anxiety. Bustle. Retrieved at https://www.bustle.com/p/11-signs-you-arent-introvert-you-may-have-social-anxiety-15962265