Universal traits aren’t exceptional
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
You hear it all the time, especially from vulnerable or attention-seeking people on social media. “I’m so awkward!” or describing a common, slightly embarrassing situation, “LOL, only My Awkward Self would get into this everyday situation we all experience sometimes!”
Awkwardness should never be celebrated or glorified. We all experience moments of social anxiety. Some of us have disorders that cause us to not function well in social situations, leading to difficulty in life. Such conditions should never be understated or trivialized—and as such, they aren’t things that should be celebrated.
We all want to function effectively in society. We all want to fit in, and not feel worried when interacting with other people. We all have momentary lapses of reason that cause us to do embarrassing things in social situations. You know when you see someone waving so you wave back, and then you realize they were waving behind you? That’s universal. That sort of thing is something we all experience from time to time.
You’re also not necessarily a total introvert because you value company but also enjoy spending time alone. With the rise of social media and popular mass websites such as Buzzfeed, ideals of how to behave socially have become tainted.
It may seem rude to tell others they should work on being more social, but it’s the truth. Working on developing social skills will not only help you feel better in everyday situations, but will lead to you becoming more likeable to others. Learn to have a full conversation with a stranger. Learn to be alone with someone you don’t know very well. Work on communicating effectively and describing yourself in a positive manner. If someone asks about your life and interests, don’t downplay yourself in your answers. Celebrate good interactions you have, and strive to continue having them.
Nobody wants to be awkward, but a lot of people fall into a loop of negative thoughts and behaviour. Whether you really are a socially anxious and awkward person, or just have those thoughts sometimes, it’s not who you want to be, is it?
The internet, social media, and our own reshaped society all contribute to this negativity. In some ways, the art of functioning like a normal human being has become lost. We are turning into a culture of forever introverts who panic at the thought of normal social interaction. It’s not healthy, and it’s very detrimental to creating happier people.