If you were awkward, shy, always saying the wrong things, didn’t have many friends and hated it, then we may as well be best friends and share stories of how we absolutely loathed being alone most days.
I hated being socially awkward in high school. I hated it so much I wish I can erase all the moments I was awkward. Back then I felt so alone that I was sure I would die alone, that there was no way for me to change that fact and I kept wishing I would miraculously become extroverted one day, and that someone would be kind enough to approach me.
Then I realised that would never happen. I kept dreaming someone would approach me, all by my lonesome, like the movies, but then I realised no one ever will if I didn’t put the effort in myself. That was the first thing I learnt: I had to actually put in the work.
I hated being socially awkward so much that I wanted to become as extroverted as I can. Before coming to university, I set a goal for myself to become extroverted, to say “fuck it” to any opportunity or thought that came by and just do it. I lost count of the number of times I embarrassed myself because of that, but I would never be this comfortable with speaking to others if I hadn’t trained myself.
Of course there’s more to it than that. Figuring out social cues by watching extroverted people or TV shows, mentally listing out interesting topics before heading into a conversation, reading up on news/gossip (depending on the people you want to hang out with). It’s a lot, but it becomes second nature over time.
But the main part is always the scariest one: actually talking to others. It was hard, even now I sometimes get nervous and I won’t call myself socially elegant (far from it), but it pays off well.
So to all those socially awkward: it does get better over time if you put in the work, even if you fuck up a lot in the process. And if you do give up along the way, then just wait until you’re terrified of dying alone so that you’re motivated enough to give it a second go.