Sadie Says …
Got a question? Send it to me at [email protected]! My name’s Sadie Samson, and I’m an undergraduate student here at Drexel University. I love to write, listen and give my opinion, so ask away!
I am completely and totally socially awkward to the point where I avoid meeting new people because I know I’m going to say something that I shouldn’t. Talking to people is a nightmare — I constantly say things I wish I could take back, and awkward silences are kind of my life. Something about my sense of humor just seems to put people off — whenever I say something funny, it feels like everyone always breaks into this awkward mix of silence and uncomfortable laughter. I really don’t mean to make people feel uncomfortable all the time — it just happens! I don’t know what to say or do to change it. Any advice? I just want to make friends and not be awkward anymore — help!
Socially Awkward Penguin
Dear Socially Awkward Penguin,
It sounds to me like your so-called awkwardness is simply a problem of impulsiveness. You mention constantly saying things and wishing you could take them back, and that your humor is often taken in ways other than what you intended, suggesting that perhaps you are speaking quicker than you can form complete responses to people. One way that this pattern might be remedied is to think thoroughly before you speak. I don’t just mean to formulate a response before you give it: I mean to think about your audience and how they might react to what you’re going to say. Is what you’re about to say offensive to anyone, even potentially? Are you with a group that doesn’t necessarily appreciate offensive humor? Taking into account your audience and becoming more aware of what makes people uncomfortable or not will make your “awkwardness” seem that much less apparent.
Also, taking the audience into account is important. Things that aren’t awkward when out with friends might be completely awkward at the dinner table. Being aware of this will most assuredly keep the awkward silences fewer.
On the subjects of meeting new people and making new friends, my advice is to be yourself and have confidence. Love your awkwardness, and don’t let it debilitate you. It is a way you choose to define yourself, so embrace it! I’m not saying become super-mega awkward; I’m just saying to feel at ease with yourself, however awkward you think you are. Talking and making friends becomes that much easier with just a bit of confidence.
So, in all, being mindful of where you are and who you’re with (and how things you say might be taken) will surely help in combating the awkwardness you seek to change. Accepting yourself for who you are will give you the sense of confidence that everyone else will see, and will make talking to new people and making new friends much simpler and easier.
Best of luck!
I’m always curious as to any techniques to get rid of the hiccups that I haven’t heard of (Who hasn’t heard the “scare them away” trick?), to try out when I actually do get them. So just curious, Sadie: How would you advise getting rid of the hiccups?
I love this question! And I’m also often curious about how folks get rid of them, since there are so very many different ways to do it. While I personally tend to wait out hiccups until they’re gone (100 percent failproof, if tragically unexciting), I’ve heard a variety of other things that may or may not work. One I’ve heard people swear by is having a friend cover your ears tightly while you drink water slowly. I have no idea what this does, but people say it works like a charm.
Another trick is drinking water slowly, past a hiccup — that is, drink water from a cup, and don’t stop until after you’ve hiccupped while drinking. Sounds complicated, I know, but people swear by it! They also swear by holding your breath past a hiccup, so if you’ve got the lung capacity of a rhino, go for it. A spoonful of sugar is said to help as well, though I can’t say I’d think this one would work as well as ones where you breathe slowly.
One last trick is to breathe slowly with your head hanging upside down off of something like a bed. I honestly can say I have no idea what the upside-down thing does, but it might be worth a shot!
So, Chris, I hope you’ve found these suggestions interesting. I must note, however, that I am not a medical professional by any means, and that if your hiccups are lasting particularly long or hurt when they happen or are otherwise alarming (in all the ways hiccups can be particularly alarming), please get yourself to a real medical doctor. They’ll be able to help you far more than I ever could. Also, I can’t guarantee that any of these hiccup-busting techniques will give you any success, so try them at your own risk of not getting rid of the hiccups. If any do happen to work exceptionally well, though, write back and let me know!
Best of luck!