Social Anxiety: Being less awkward in social situations

If you have ever happened upon my blog and wondered to yourself, “Why did he title his blog, the Nerdy Lion?” Then asked yourself, “Wait, Lions can be nerdy?” Don’t worry, you are in good company and will be happy to know I am the very first of my kind. Moreover, it’s because, well – I am a nerd. A nerd who hasn’t always been successful in social situations. Let me rephrase. A nerd who has single-handedly redefined the term “awkward” and learned how to mitigate enough of his odd tendencies in order to exist in the world we live in. Even now, deep within the recesses of my mind still remain memories that make me cringe, memories of times when I was so very awkward that even now, as an old lion, I am filled with regret.

For some context, if there was a Richter scale of strange, originally, I would have been Sheldon of big bang theory level odd. Now, I’m more like J. D from Scrubs. Clearly still white and nerdy, but with a twinge of awesome and oh so lovable…oh who am I kidding, the levels of awesome are damn near unbearable.

As the lord of all that is awkward, I bid thee fair welcome my gawky malcontent child. You have spent most of your years in wonderland, and if you are beginning to feel a bit like Alice, please let me give you safe passage to the realm of the living – you know, the place where everyone else lives.

So from the cute girl with the Iron Maiden shirt (your awesome by the way), to the guy with the thick glasses and the Norman Bates hairdo,(less awesome) if you want to acclimate to society as best as you can and learn a few of the normalities that (up to this point) have clearly evaded you, then maybe just maybe you too will feel the warm embrace of the opposite sex (and or same). Or not.

Warning: This advice will most definitely not fix your perpetual single-hood, however being less awkward will at the very least open the door to potential engagements and most likely opportunities, where you can feel free to mess up at any time.

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No dad, you are weird.

Self-fulfilling prophecy of awkward:

If you say to yourself, “Gosh, gee willikers batman, I am as awkward as a duck. I bet I can’t say one thing that won’t be received in a strange way.” Guess what, that’s exactly what will happen. Now, don’t get me wrong, you are awkward, but that doesn’t mean people can’t believe you are less awkward than you are.

Be positive about your inner strange, you can even go so far as calling it “stranger things.” And instead of the aforementioned negativity, use positive affirmations like this, “You’re going to love this.” Or “I know the droids they are looking for.” And the best one. “I deserve a pizza and you know what my butt does look good today.”

Even if they don’t positively fall in love with you right away, you will eventually come across someone (probably drugged) who will enjoy the vibe you are putting off. Use that and continue down the path of righteous awkwardness.

Joker said it best, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stranger.”

From my personal experience, it’s all about the energy that you exude. If it’s positive, good things will happen (most of the time) If its negative bad things will happen (most of the time.) This is because we create our own destiny and you can impact the way other people receive based off the energy you emit. Something to think about the next time you ask a girl/guy on a date.

 

awkward jess

Its Jess!!

Be yourself and don’t be afraid to shine

 

Wear your weird on your sleeve – literally!  Some people get tattoos or wear boisterous clothes (Like me) Don’t be afraid to go outside and embrace all the things you like, even if it is deemed strange. Listen, your bug collection is every bit as awesome as you think it is and honestly, other people’s opinions don’t really matter.

If it makes you happy, then do it! When it all boils down into a hot steamy soup of noodles and vegetables, some people will like that stuff and others won’t. If you are lucky enough to find friends who are equally as awkward as you are, don’t let them go, these people may just be your soul mates. If anything, create a soul bond with them and tether them to your existence forever. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.

awkward level Lando

Han is clever, especially because he is underhan-ded get it?

Repeat encounters with women and men:

For normal people, talking to others is easy – just as simple as breathing. You, on the other hand are diametrically opposed to normality, so, you need practice.

Find reasons to talk to others. Look for things you might have in common and create conversation about things like clothes, tattoos and other tangible objects. Then proceed to give compliments. Sure, they will be awkward at first, but after some practice you will be able to generate conversation without sweating like you just ran a 5k. After every successful encounter when you manage to forgo the Vulcan salute, be sure to pat yourself on the back.

I personally like to award myself ratings on certain encounters ranging from “awkward guy on the bus” to “Lando Calrissian.”

By now, I have acquired enough data to foresee a plethora of situations and because of this, have a running script of things I normally say and variations I can work from – kind of like a robot. So, when approached I seem damn near normal these days, but the truth is, it’s just all going to plan!

If you want to get into pathological levels of OCD you can try to imagine every potential scenario and literally plan a response to that possibility, however, since your name is not Spock, it is not logical nor necessary to do so.

awkward to fit

Fit fam confirmed #bootygoals #squatforlife #longhair #20daysout #mymirrorisdirty #didIpoutenough? #makeupgameonpoint #gymtanlifestyle

Working out and vanity

Working out is great physically, mentally and financially….

Hey, you’re still awkward but at least you look good right? Working out should give you mental discipline and a bit of confidence. If you’re a guy, you might start getting compliments from other men (never women).

As a woman –  well, side effects include but are not limited too: heightened potentiality of catcalling, looking good in yoga pants and gym apparel, increased likelihood of getting stares, sudden Instagram stardom and well, you will probably get hit on more than a game of whack-a-mole.

News flash! Working out and looking better won’t make you less awkward, however at least you won’t look it (sometimes). Who knows, maybe if you are lucky people won’t notice.

 

Caring less and going out more

If something makes you anxious don’t simply do it once and then quit. Keep at it. Remember, you are socially inept, go out multiple times and try to have fun. (Or at least die trying.) There might be some nights where you won’t enjoy the doldrums of humanity, but sometimes life can literally be like a music video with all the fixings of beautiful people, bright lights and people talking to you. My trick is to go out with a small group of friends (whom you already feel comfortable being yourself around) and have them introduce you to other people, it takes the edge off and makes you appear less like a serial killer.

awkward friends make life better

Challenge accepted! – Barney “For what? There was no challenge Barney?” – Ted “For life ted. I am always challenging myself.”

Meaningful friendships

Strive to have friends that love you for who you are. When you can be yourself around other people and they still manage to like you, it emboldens you to be a better version of yourself. What this means is that in social situations you become more comfortable being who you are because you already know that other people “like” that person so why wouldn’t these new people? This reinforces who you are, increasing your sense of identity and instead of folding to social norms you create your most authentic self.

Show me someone who is shy and then show me that same person when they are around their best friend.

 

lonely-island-t-pain-boat

How did I end up on a boat? – Tpain Blame it on the Alchohol baby! – Also Tpain

Blame it on the alcohol

Have you ever walked into a club and witness the grinding bodies dripping in sweat, the bright lights and loud music with obscenely attractive people swapping spit all over the dance floor and wonder, “how do people do this?”

Some very impressive individuals just love to dance and are highly sociable, the other 85% of humanity, well, they drink alcohol.

I am in no way advocating to dance with the devil, but if you do, please drink wisely. It can take the edge off, lower your inhibitions and most likely, lead you to read my blog. It can also help you break out of your shell and have a bit of fun.

Most people suffer from social anxiety and alcohol can be a major coping mechanism, so whilst I say it can be a great way to take the edge off it can be very problematic if you hinge on it’s effects too much.

Who knows? Maybe now you’ll be able to ask that girl to dance, and when she scoffs and rejects you at least the sting won’t feel as bad.

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Look away, look back….now I’m on a horse.

And now, a message from our sponsor. But since we don’t have one, I guess it’s just…a message.


The Nerdy Lion’s quick tips for effective social engagements

 

For Men:

Learn traditional social ques

Repeat what people say, but say it in your own way, then add to it.

Reflect their body language

Be yourself, unless you are a child predator

Don’t be afraid to touch the opposite sex…never mind, ask first.

Do smell good

Smile when necessary, or when the other person does because lord knows you’re clueless.

Don’t stare unless……better yet just don’t.

Learn what a firm handshake is

Treat eye contact like you do your parents, not too much, but just enough to squeeze some money out of them.

No always means no, even if it means yes.

 

For Women:

Its ok if you are awkward, men will still like you if you smell acceptable.

If you do not smell acceptable, there will be some into that as well. Just use your words.

awkward unicorn

Dap if you agree.

Acceptance

So yeah, you are still awkward. There’s no taking the weird out of someone, but when you embrace just how different you are, you become this wonderful unicorn of awesome skating across the stars with rainbows erupting from your feet. Or not, most likely not.

Yay for unicorns.

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