Hello today. I am an internet writer. I talk to people via words on the internet and not face-to-face. Why? Because it is hard. This is easier. 

I do not need to look people in the eyes, or read body language, or speak confidently in this form. If I want to illustrate a point I can just put an explanation mark. Like this! Or if I want to shout I can WRITE IN ALL CAPS! 

So what will happen the next time I have to speak face-to-face. I will print out a list of instructions. That’s not awkward, right? 

  1. Look me in the eye!

    Not making eye contact! It shows engagement and confidence when you do!

    kardog

  2. You can't tell but I am nailing this right now.

    Body language. It’s very easy to see if a person is uncomfortable and by nature it makes other people uncomfortable.

    Relax your shoulders

    Lift your chin a little so your chest and neck open

    Let your eyes relax a bit (no scared wide eye please)

    Smile just a little, the kind of smile you make when you take a big sip of something warm like hot cocoa

    Look in the mirror – that is how you look when you exude “approachable and easy to engage with”

    Mind your voice tone too, nerves come through in a voice.

    Bodymindisoneword

  3. I do this all the time because I can't do anything right.

    I’ve met a lot of people who speak in very self-deprecating ways to an uncomfortable extent. I understand not wanting to appear vain and opting to humble oneself, demonstrating self-awareness. However, some people will take this a bit too far. When speaking about yourself, do so with confident modesty; don’t reduce yourself to only your flaws.

    shadowedpaths

  4. Just one for quick story for you...

    keeping conversations going when no one else is into it. conversations naturally die off, usually within a minute or two. it’s ok to say ‘see ya later’ and walk away.

    doodledoodledee

  5. Listen to me, ya jerk!

    Letting themselves be spoken over or ignored.

    Stand up for yourself. If anyone takes offense, they were probably the asshole talking over you.

    SheaRVA

  6. Let me know when it is your chance to speak.

    I don’t consider myself amazingly socially fluent, but I work with a lot of engineers who make me feel like I am in comparison. The biggest mistake that I see them making is talking about themselves (or their work) nonstop without acknowledging that there’s another person in the conversation. It’s like . . . dude, you’re in a conversation. Pause sometimes. Gauge the other person’s interest. Ask a question of them occasionally!

    PM_ME_OLD_PM2_5_DATA

  7. HAHHAHAHAHA So true

    Laughing while speaking, especially if you’re not saying anything humorous.

    MikhailRasputin

  8. Don't make it worse

    Taking their mistakes too seriously. Being an anxious person myself, I get that fucking up and saying “You too” to the waiter or the ticket person is embarrassing, but you’re literally one face of thousands they have to deal with everyday.

    What I usually do after fucking up like that to avoid that dark, memory filled shame-hole in my brain is to just explain my fuck up in an amused tone, laugh at myself, and move on. I bet you any money they’ll remember you more for your flustered behaviour afterwards rather than the initial fuck up.

    Mal-Capone

  9. Never reveal your weakness

    Don’t tell the other people/person that you think you’re socially awkward.

    b8le

  10. If you liked that last tale, you will LOVE this one.

    Not noticing when they are telling an irrelevant story to a service worker or stranger. The amount of waiters/waitresses that I see dancing on the spot while waiting for a customer to stop talking is astounding.

    lepraphobia

  11. I want you to know I am funny too.

    If someone tells a joke, bask in it. Don’t repeat what they said and then laugh at it, that’s just weird; we all just heard it, too.

    MarinertheRaccoon

  12. Roll with the punches

    Often times, socially awkward people go into a conversation with the intention of asking about two or three specific topics with nothing else is mind. Typically those topics run out fast and they have no idea how to respond to something that doesn’t fit in with what they were planning to mention. It takes practice I guess, but just being ready to roll with whatever topic arises will help you immensely.

    ComradeWard43

  13. Yay!

    Enthusiasm.Be curious and intrested in what other people are saying

    Aleksis111

  14. People have more than one interest.

    I’ve noticed they stick to topics they know you have in common, I have one friend who ONLY talks about weed with me, never tries to find out what else we have in common. Another friend ONLY talks about video games, he never switches topics.

    Basically once in a while you need to switch it up, find more common ground to keep it interesting.

    Pyro_drummer

  15. I don't understand why this is weird which may be a problem

    Sitting down at a table and saying nothing.

    justinnkls

  16. Blah gaba goo womp womp

    Being purposefully weird and random is off putting to those who don’t know you.

    Mutt1223

  17. Didn't hear that. Can you get closer?

    Don’t be a close-talker. That shit is weird.

    Ted_Denslow

  18. Go Team Talking!

    Sometimes you need to be a cheerleader in a conversation.

    “I did this.” “You did that! Hey, great. Did you hear he did that?!”

    If its sincere, it goes along way.

    Jpal123

  19. Hey! Why y'all making out?

    Not knowing when you’re not wanted – like interrupting a conversation between two people who are ‘closed off’ to the outside world (leaning towards each other, 100% engaged in conversation), and not knowing when someone isn’t interested in talking to you (feet pointing away, polite smile).

    sharkfoood

  20. It hurts to be sure

    If you tell a joke and no one laughs, don’t repeat it again immediately to make sure everyone heard. Hell, don’t repeat it again for the next 10 years.

    daltonthecooler

  21. Life is not a binary

    asking closed questions: Is this your first time here? no Do you like the music? yes Is your vodka alright? yes You’re not gonna get anywhere with that.

    jizaho

  22. Mmm.

    Mono syllabic responses or single word responses to questions. If I say “hi how are you” don’t just say “fine” it’s infuriating. One way conversation it’s like chatting with teenage me!

    granal03

  23. This exact scenario happens to me all the time.

    90% of the time, embarrassing situations are only embarrassing because you act embarrassed and freeze up. Just play it off with a laugh, like you’re not concerned.

    “Ha ha, my bag of sex toys spilled out in the middle of class LOL so embarrassing.” People will buy your confidence, they won’t feel embarrassed for you, it won’t be awkward. Just keep on keeping on.

    Chili_Maggot

  24. Take a stand, you coward!

    Insisting that you’re neutral on many subjects because the person you’re talking too might have strong opinions that don’t line up perfectly with your own.

    N2O_Hero

  25. I wish you told me this a long time ago.

    Relax. Stop over analyzing everything you do and say around other people. Even though feel awkward, you are normal.

    RedEyedChile