How to Turn Your Awkwardness Into Charm

It seems like everyone has gained their confidence and ability to move smoothly through conversation, everyone but me. If you get anxious with having conversations with new people because of bad experiences with past conversations, let me guide you through how I have trained myself to turn my awkwardness into a more charming characteristic. These are a few tips and tricks that are tried, tested, and have worked well for me. Like everything, it will require practice but it is a general outline of how to move forward with the awkwardness that has been presented in conversation.

1. Call out when you are being awkward 

Allow yourself to lean into the awkwardness, but if the awkwardness was caused by someone else, do not call out the other person or get uncomfortable when things get awkward. It shows that you are able to take control of the situation and in-turn could also make the other person feel better as well. It’s better to make a joke out of it, or double down on the awkwardness and in-turn make a joke about yourself. It’ll not only show that you are confident, and highlight your leadership skills of handling friendly teasing.  

2. When caught in an awkward silence 

Something to remember is that it’s easy for people to talk about themselves, or what they’re interested in so you can ask the person you’re caught in awkward silence with to expand on the subject, or to explain something in more detail. A good note to add is to be relaxed if and when silence does come up. It could take social practice, but just remember that pauses in conversation are normal. When a new topic is introduced, conversation will start back up like usual. Also keeping in mind that straining to keep the conversation going could also lead to more awkwardness, so just feel out each conversation and adjust and adapt. 

3. Act like it was planned, or just explain yourself

Awkwardness is inevitable when you’re someone like me, so what you could do is play it off like it was planned. Laughing at yourself exudes confidence, and it shows that you do not take things too seriously. No one likes a negative Nancy, so the more positive or enthusiastic the subtext, the more likely you will be able to get laughs with whom you are speaking to. Explaining yourself, but doing it in an unconfident way will make things more awkward, but remember this takes practice. So don’t worry if you bomb itthe first few times. Learning the hard way is still a good way to learn; just keep working at it! 

4. Stop managing other people’s perception

Like Marie Kondo said, "By acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order.” Awkwardness typically stems from caring too much about other people’s opinion about you. Once you let that go you can take control of your life and live life awkward-free! I am not saying awkward situations happen solely because of your confidence, but I am saying that if you take control of the situation and confidently own what you say people will be enlightened by how you handle things.