Have you ever waved back at someone who wasn’t waving at you? Do you often say the wrong things? Do you turn tomato red and get super warm when speaking in public sometimes?
If yes, you just might be awkward.
And I’m here to tell you, that’s okay. And you’re not alone. I’m awkward too. I mean, I’m basically queen of the awkward people. I’ve been like this my entire life, and try as hard as I might, the awkwardness never seems to go away.
Before I dive into talking about loving who you are, I want to level with you. Being awkward can suck. Plain and simple. It can make you feel weird; it can make you feel divided from everyone else. You hang out with a group of people, but you don’t quite seem to fit in, and at first, you think that’s okay because maybe you just don’t fit in with that specific group of people. But then it persists. And eventually, it begins to take a toll on your self-esteem, or at least it did for me.
By the time I was in high school, my self-esteem had plummeted so low that I would barely even speak to other people. It wasn’t because I didn’t like others, but because I didn’t feel like I belonged. Like I’ve written previously, I felt less than. I felt weird. So I stayed silent. But of course, silence and being shy only makes you seem more awkward. Simple questions from people in the hallway will make your face burn bright red. And the most dreaded question of all is: why are you so quiet? I mean, honestly, how does one answer that?
However, as time goes on, things seem to get better. You grow. You mature. By college, I was a bit less shy. Don’t get me wrong, I was still shy. But I was less shy, and I was happy about that. I had joined a sorority and college courses pretty much make you speak in front of others. As the years progressed, I became less and less shy. But one thing always remained: my awkwardness.
So the question is: how do we combat our awkwardness? And the only answer I can offer you is that we don’t. I’m still kind of young; I’m only twenty-three, so I may simply not be wise enough yet to know the answer to how one overcomes their awkwardness, but to me, it seems that being awkward is just a part of who you are. And you have two options: you can let it destroy you or you can embrace it.
So how do you embrace it? You learn to at laugh at yourself! Instead of getting angry with yourself or embarrassed about doing something weird, just laugh. Instead of calling yourself awkward, simply say you’re quirky. And always remember that there are plenty of people out there like you! Although you may feel alone sometimes, like in groups of people who seem to understand all the social cues and know exactly what to say every single time, you aren’t alone. You never are.
Always remember that you only have one life to live. And if you are a follower of Jesus, keep in mind that God made you exactly how He wanted you to be; He does not make mistakes. Go out and live your best life, regardless of any awkward tendencies that you may have. Be yourself and live the life that you love! And who knows, maybe you’ll be able to use your awkward moments to add a little laughter to the world.
So to all my fellow awkward people out there, I’m waving back at you even though I don’t know you and you’re actually waving at your friend who is standing behind me. Stay strong. Stay weird.