How Socially Awkward Kids Grow Up

amelie (1)

We were weird kids. Those kids you would see as clumsy weirdos who stand alone in the corner when the party has started, holding their plastic glass of cola in an uncomfortable manner and secretly miss their room and warm blanket that definitely would not judge them for being aliens. Those who are lack of social norms. Those who have no idea what social contract is. Those who talk in math. Those who are so awkward with people in general they feel like God has misplaced them to the wrong planet. Those who walk like stoned Stormtroopers. Those who are just completely unaware of what normal people would act in certain circumstances.

Some of us are willing to change to fit the social rules. Because society, job and responsibility as adults have forced us to do so. We have different ways to cope it. Some of us silence ourselves. Some of us copy other human’s behavior. Some of us has made our awkwardness as a social glue by acknowledging and proclaiming it. How do we do those? By forcing ourselves entering uncomfortable situation, and observing people.

By observing people, we take notes in mind of what would be inappropriate for a society, so that we could just shut ourselves up to avoid getting called as jerks because of our comments that actually sound pretty normal for us. By observing people, we’re positioning ourselves as monkeys. Monkeys see, monkeys do. We copy people’s talk, attitude and voice tone just to have people accept us. By observing people, we understand that our awkwardness is no longer unattractive if we are confident enough to proclaim it. Because Jennifer Lawrence has awkwardly tripped on the way accepting her Best Actress Oscar and still looked charming anyway not because she is Jennifer Lawrence. But because she acknowledged her awkwardness, she owned it and confidently admitted it.

As those who were socially awkward when we were kids, social skills we have gained and been developing while we’re growing up is a product of studying. Observing. It’s not something that’s naturally built like the ability what others luckily have to seemingly get every social rule instinctively. We learn people.

But, have we really changed? Well. We might successfully survive a dating by holding off our mouths from creepily talking about how many fingers we have. We might survive finishing dinner without accidentally splashing a glass of water on a stranger. We might survive not ruining a wedding party without accidentally shocking the bride’s parents by telling them the bride is currently pregnant. We might survive our jobs, friendships and relationships.

But it’s not that smooth. You know what we would do after you see us look happy and chatty and manage to get along with people in a social event? Locking ourselves up in our rooms for the next 48 hours feeding ourselves with carbs, warm tea, comfortable blanket and nerd TV series and sometimes crying and hugging our knees under the shower asking the universe why life cannot be easy. Because human interaction is just that exhausting and has wasted our energy to the point that we secretly hate ourselves for not being human enough as a human. Because the more we feel comfortable being in crowd, the more we think we are just fake superficial souls that still do not belong there.

Society is still a mystery and a puzzle for us. Like, how could people start a conversation with a stranger and still look good and flawless and natural and most importantly, still manage to have normal pulse rate without even trying?

It’s not that easy burying anxiety down in a deep ocean. We’re still fans of anything that tries to replace actual human contacts.