What is social awkwardness?
Whether you define it as people who talk too much about a subject no one else is interested in, someone who says inappropriate things, or laughs at things you don’t find funny, awkwardness is something that we all try to avoid because of how uncomfortable it can be.
But I want to take a moment to give credit to everyone who has ever felt awkward – awkwardness comes from trying to make a connection with others but failing because of a lack of overlapping interests, social norms, or personality traits.
If someone is awkward, they’re looking for connection, but there’s just a mismatch occurring. So while it’s tempting to write off someone because they’re awkward, perhaps it’s more of an environmental or structural issue at play than a personal one.
If you’re in the majority culture and someone is awkward, what might you gain from considering centering other norms, interests, or personality traits that are different than your own?