The Art of Being Awkward


Being invited to more social events as part of my blog is extremely flattering and is further proof that physical people are actually reading my words (which I still find hard to comprehend). Though these experiences are exciting they also shine a light on some of the issues I struggle with including social anxiety and how truly awkward I am.

I have never really understood social interaction. When I was a child I was wild and would pounce on anyone that looked a similar age to me or that I found intriguing. Once I clocked my target I would skip over and introduce myself with the super speedy and scripted “Hi my name’s Emma, what is yours? Do you want to play?” I am an only child so hanging with anyone was exhilarating to me, unfortunately, my over zealous approach didn’t always go down well and often scared people away.

Even at a young age I was headstrong and did not let these negative reactions deter me from my abrupt friend mission, that was until I hit high school. I thought going up to big school was going to be the best experience of my life, I felt like my pool of friends at primary was ready to be expanded and couldn’t wait to be introduced to people beyond my own little bubble. By the age of 12 I had already established myself as different from my classmates but thought high school would give me the opportunity to meet similar minds.

The transition from my small pool to the scary sea was harsher than I anticipated.  My enthusiasm to make new friends was met with far more hostility than I was prepared for and though I did make some friends, overtime the cruel jibes and taunts of my other peers got so overwhelming that I lost confidence. Not being accepted by my classmates was a mystery that I was desperate to solve so I became quiet and observed in an effort to work out my mistakes.

Being quiet, I made more friends but although I seemed ‘semi-popular’ I became almost silent and withdrawn. This came with a whole new repertoire of genus quips such as “shut up Emma you’re being too loud” after hours of sitting in a room for hours without speaking. I had been hushed for so long I had forgotten how to use my words, I  didn’t know what they wanted me to say, everything seemed amiss when it came out of my mouth.

Gradually I found my voice again through a solid group of actual friends (and perhaps alcohol). Being a teenager is a learning experience for everyone, without my quieter periods I may not have developed my taste in music, drawing skills or strong personal style as a way of expressing myself so it was not all negative yet is still something that plays on my mind.

Though I am no longer mute, or a teenager, I am still entirely awkward, too loud, too quiet, have bad timing and also physically as graceful as Bridget Jones on skis.

This is something that is hugely frustrating and brings me to how I came to write this post. I was heading out to an event and complained to my boyfriend that I was really nervous about going as all the other bloggers seemed so together and I was always just SO awkward. He didn’t try to appease me but instead said “It would be weird if you were all polished and knew exactly what to say, it wouldn’t be you at all and would be pretty boring” then got back to his pint.

The statement was so blasé to him, but the comments really struck a chord with me – maybe it was time to give up on all the negatives of being naturally awkward and embrace it as quirk instead.

I am trying to be more positive in my life in general so instead of moaning about my unique way of dealing with social situations I am instead going to try and think of myself as being memorable.

How do you guys appear cool when you don’t feel it?

13 comments

  1. Milly Y says:

    Love this post. I feel like this too – outwardly, I think I come across as quite chatty and friendly but on the inside I often feel awkward, especially at blogger events. Luckily, meeting nice people who actually seem interested in me helps. And I’d rather meet someone ‘memorable’ than someone completely polished and rehearsed in what they were saying!

  2. Laura says:

    Oh I don’t think I’ve ever managed to be cool, I get all nervous and start blabbering and probably come across as very ditzy! Men are great for putting things in perspective though, when I start stressing out mine always manages to say something logical and grounding (& 50% of the time I do listen!!) x

  3. themayfairy says:

    Yes, I know this feeling! It can be scary going to blogger events alone, when you don’t know anyone. Especially fashion bloggers, because they all seem like magical unicorns to me! I’ve just made peace with being the weirdo. Hey, every room needs one!

  4. I adore this post. I too went through school a little (lot) awkward and never really grew out of it. I have just accepted it and embraced. When people tell me I’m weird/awkward/whatever I just say “yeah, like I’ve ever tried to deny it?” I’d rather be myself and a little quirky than a cookie cutter barbie, or someone trying to be something they aren’t. Be awkward and rock it <3

  5. Emma says:

    Sorry for the lack of replies I had a small issue with my comments but its all fixed now. Thanks for all you encouraging words it is nice to know that I am not the only awkward blogger out there and that we are proud to rock our weirdness

  6. Ralph Marion says:

    I can relate to this post to a tee. For me, I get very shocked and surprised when people say they actually read my blog(and enjoy it at that). Makes me feel like what I’m doing is actually a good thing. Then when people wanna have me around, I get that “Oh Shit!” thought in my head. Like why would they want someone like me around them. I’m nowhere near as fashionable nor can I come up with a great conversation. Then I think about it. I have my style to everything. It makes me different, and I think that’s why people like to be around me. So I know how you feel completely.

    1. Emma says:

      I always get so sacred that they have emailed the person but you are right we all have our own unique qualities to give and I think I need to remember that.

  7. Before becoming a stay at home mom, I used to attend events all the time – as I did a lot of journalism and PR. I totally had a lot of awkward moments, or times in rooms full of strangers that you cant relate to. However, Ive always been confident and learned throughout the years that everyone’s opinion of me doesn’t matter – and Ill do things the way I want anyways.

    1. Emma says:

      I think that going to event and realising that I can get through the awkward moments is helping me gain more confidence, hopefully with some more practice I will get to the point when I don’t care about what other think of me. x

  8. Such a great post and a brilliant way of looking at things. So many of us get caught up worrying about what others think and think too hard about trying to say and do the right thing, myself included. Yet everyone else is usually so busy worrying the same things about themselves that they don’t have time to notice the mistakes we think we might be making. So ironic really – so I really like your take on this. Embrace our individuality and go with it – like your boyfriend said, life would be very boring if we were all perfectly polished and on cue all the time. Great post and I too will be embracing my quirks the next time I’m nervous about meeting a new group of people! Lou

    1. Emma says:

      Thanks Louise, I am really glad that you liked it. Sometimes it is so hard to remember that most people feel the same in social situations because we have such good game faces!

  9. […] of my personal style became more intense during my previously mentioned Silent Bob impressionist phase as makeup and clothing were the only ways I had to express […]

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