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I think I will be awkward til I die.

But I have improved a lot in the past couple of years. The most helpful thing was probably just observing other people and mimicking their behavior. And it's nice to have someone give you feedback, if possible.

I would also note that you can be socially awkward and still get by pretty well, for all intents and purposes.

I like this passage from 'War and Peace':

Pierre was ungainly. Stout, about the average height, broad, with huge red hands; he did not know, as the saying is, how to enter a drawing room and still less how to leave one; that is, how to say something particularly agreeable before going away. Besides this he was absent-minded. When he rose to go, he took up instead of his own, the general's three-cornered hat, and held it, pulling at the plume, till the general asked him to restore it. All his absent-mindedness and inability to enter a room and converse in it was, however, redeemed by his kindly, simple, and modest expression. Anna Pavlovna turned toward him and, with a Christian mildness that expressed forgiveness of his indiscretion, nodded and said: "I hope to see you again, but I also hope you will change your opinions, my dear Monsieur Pierre."

When she said this, he did not reply and only bowed, but again everybody saw his smile, which said nothing, unless perhaps, "Opinions are opinions, but you see what a capital, good-natured fellow I am." And everyone, including Anna Pavlovna, felt this.


I don't make great first impressions, but most people I've interacted with over long periods of time seem to like me. They respect me and treat me well, at least. Mainly, they just need to see that you're trying and that you have good qualities that make up for the awkwardness.
 

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Has anyone here been socially retarded / awkward and managed to overcome it for a significant period of time?

If so, how did you do it, sir or ma'am?

I am struggling at work a bit. The job I have is a very social office job.
Change your focus on what constitutes social retardation, and you will feel more competent about your social experiences.
 

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A bit, yes. It just happened with age. I still feel often really awkward, but when I look back I realize I'm no where near as socially retarded as I used to be. Or maybe I am, but I care less.
 

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I've got two tips:

- Drink alcohol, but this might not help for work

- When you talk to people, ask them questions about themselves. People love to hear the sound of their own voice, try to ask questions on "How do they feel about...?". They love it and think you care.
So at work:
"I've seen you in the coffee room before, what service do you work for?" "XYZ" - right now the person thinks you are only asking plain questions and is bored.
"Ah... how do you like it? I've heard it's pretty stressful out there" - right now the person is thinking "WOW! He cares about me and my feelings, he is such a lovely chap". Exaggerated but you get the gist.

This helped me become a social butterfly in no time.

The huge problem is people will want to talk to you from then on and be acknowledged as human beings - even if you just want to hide in your hole on a particular day. Just have a few crappy canned answers on you being on a "slow day", "needing coffee", "having tons of works", "worries at your job" even though it's mostly BS that means: leave me alone.
 
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Nope, my most dominant trait is introversion. As soon as I walk into a public place I find the only place where I can be alone. I have tried to do be more social however; this causes me severe anxiety.
I am now an extreme introvert also, but not because I can't be among other people. I just don't desire it. I can't stand the games anymore that comes along with socializing... the masks... So I stay to myself or among a few select people that are candid.
 

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I think there's no cure, so I've given up trying.
Just from my perspective, I'm not sure there's anything wrong with not being social. I'm not sure it is a goal one must force upon themselves. There's no law of man or moral that says we have to be social. People can argue the pros and cons all they want. But bottom line is, if you don't want to be there, why should you?

Now if I were to hide away in the corner of my room, with the lights off, under the bed, looking for a contractor to build me a secret panic room with a hidden escape hatch? Yeah. I might have a problem that needs to be addressed.

But staying away from people because you want to? I see nothing wrong with that. Anytime I'm within a larger group of people, I people watch... and I wonder how I was placed on the wrong planet. 🤣

There was a good part of my young life I was a part of the social thing. I could have paid rent and lived on a barstool. Being in honky tonks and that whole atmosphere was something I loved more than almost anything... But in 1993 I gave all of that up and haven't desired to be in one since. In sailing the seas of life, I've withdrawn simply because I have little really in common with most people I meet face to face. So.......

I think if you don't want to be around other people, there's nothing wrong with it. If you want to be around people and find it impossible to do, you're just shy... Nothing wrong with that either. I find shyness admirable. It indicates a lack of callous and corruption by this world that's just out to take and take until you have nothing left to give.
 

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No. I am getting worse, and I'm not sure I care anymore since it all feels like a rigged game. I'm torn between wanting to connect, and finding the nearby prospects reprehensible.
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
O.O

I almost replied to my own thread with advice before I checked the OPs post.

In any case, 4 years later, some of the advice in this thread did indeed help me and I am much better than I used to be due to practice and exposure, trying to get better etc. and mainly just trying to accept people for how they are and trying to understand them and just doing what I have to.
 

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Has anyone here been socially retarded / awkward and managed to overcome it for a significant period of time?

If so, how did you do it, sir or ma'am?

I am struggling at work a bit. The job I have is a very social office job.
I think you mean socially awkward. When I do/did care I created a system to analyze peoples behavior and followed it always.
 

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I'm really socially inept and far too confident for my level of akwardness. I've never actually changed it.

I've tried to change it, but I never really could. At some point, I just embraced it instead of trying to fight it.

To my surprise I've found that people find it endeering and overall think it's more interesting to talk about humolt squid or whatever the fuck I'm interested in at the time than the weather.

It's one of those things that I've really had to grow into because when I was in highschool and younger social pressure said the way I interacted was bad, and it was bad that I didn't fit the mold. Now that I'm an adult though, I find that suddenly people are really bored and burned out with everyone fitting the mold and like my weirdness.

So I guess lean into it and just accept it and own it?
 

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See, I should be embarrassed for answering a thread from 2015 after just noticing it, but am I? Really not as much as I should be.

Try my method, it works :p
1.) Have severe ADHD.
2.) Try and fail to hide your personality and disorder for years.
3.) Become funny. It's probably all you really have to cope.
4.) Assume your friends actually hate you from a life time of being told to shut up (but also, never actually shut up. This is important.)
5.) Come out the other end with your lack of shutting up.
6.) Talk to people on the bus about what ever.
7.) Go to therapy to deal with the aftermath.


I like how my advice is "embrace it" because I've given up on trying to fix it. Apathy, it works!
 

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The only problem I have is initiating, which is something I rarely do. When someone decides to talk to me, they seem to like me. I almost never encounter conflicts with others, and many people seem to find me helpful. People seem to be surprised that I know something about their rare interests, or that I'm competent in a number of things.

One thing that might be awkward is that I don't do physical contact. I find that many people can be touchy, and I don't reciprocate the touching. This includes family members and close friends. I don't know why physical contacts startle me. My body seems to enjoy hugs, but I've never gotten over the hump to initiate one except in a romantic relationship.

I feel bad that I never initiate relationships, except for something necessary like finding a job. There seem to be so many implicit social rules to keep track of. The way a man interacts with a male friend, is different from a female friend, is different from a friend's parents, is different from a friend's child, is different from a friend's wife, etc. It's so incredibly confusing that I end up doing nothing. And doing nothing leads to awkwardness.
 
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