Most people are guilty of being a little socially awkward now and again. Whether it’s accidentally thanking the ATM machine when it spits out your twenty euro note, or pushing on a door clearly marked ‘PULL’, such events will always succeed in leaving us feeling red-faced and ashamed.
However, for many unfortunate souls, social awkwardness is an everyday problem.
It’s not quite as extreme as social anxiety. Engaging in social events doesn’t make us feel nervous or panicky- it just eradicates all knowledge we ever had of functioning like a normal human being.
Here are four relatively normal situations that get a helluva lot trickier when you are super awkward…
Going to the shops is just one example. The friendly cashier strikes up some chit-chat while bagging up your purchases, and you literally forget how to hold a conversation. They say something simple like “Lovely day out, isn’t it?” and you reply by telling them about that one time you went to Malta on a family holiday in 2006.
“Would you like a bag?” is a question that is dreaded by socially awkward people.
Here’s how the thought process goes: ‘Yes, I really would like a bag but I am also ridiculously scared of not being able to pack my items away at the rate you scan stuff. But if I decline, then I have to try haul all of this back home in my arms. OH MY GOD WHAT DO I DO?! Will I just leave? How does my mom DO this?’
(Eventually we accept the bag and sweat as we try get everything in as swiftly as possible.)
Nightclubs are another form of torture for those with extreme SA.
Queuing for the bar is a major challenge, and we marvel at those who are brave enough to force their way to the front and try grab the attention of the bartender. We are regularly skipped in the line and are too self-conscious to call anyone out on it. Instead we just give evils to the hun that just pushed in, silently judging their shit eyebrows and the full-on camel toe they have in those faux-leather leggings.
By the time we get served, the lights have come on and everyone is making their way to the chipper.
Eating out at restaurants is also a chore when you are a socially awkward individual. We panic about what we are going to order for about three hours, and then just stick to the same thing we always get for fear of mispronouncing the meal we’d really like to try.
Fancy restaurants are the worst for making you feel about as sophisticated as a baked potato.
WHY DO THEY HAVE ALL OF THIS CUTLERY? WHEN DO I USE THE LITTLE FORK? OH WAIT IT DOESN’T MATTER BECAUSE I BLOODY DROPPED IT ON THE FLOOR HA.
There’s nothing like group work and/or presentations for making you feel like a bleedin’ dzope.
You have loads of great ideas but won’t speak up because…what if they are actually terrible ideas? What if your group think you are really stupid and talk about you and your stupidity behind your back?! You can’t let that happen. Best just say nothing.
Speaking in front of a crowd is daunting at the best of times, but even worse when you are pretty much GUARANTEED to make a balls of it. Whether it’s tripping as you walk up to the podium, or coming down with a chronic case of verbal diarrhoea as soon as you open your mouth, you just know it’s going to be a horrendously awkward situation.