Does it always seem like people feel awkward around you? Maybe you feel this way because you think that you never say or do the right thing. However, you can’t just assume that people feel awkward around you. Before you conclude that you make people feel awkward, you need to look out for some signs that may indicate this. These signs may be subtle but you can’t make miss them if you observe your environment.
Some of the indications that will let you know you make people feel awkward are when they laugh nervously, give minimal replies, look away while you are talking to them, tap their feet, and so on. The good news is that you can stop making others feel awkward around you and this article will show you how to do this.
Signs That You Make People Feel Awkward
As early said, you should not assume that you make everyone feel awkward. The truth is, even though you are certain that you do this, it may just be your imagination playing tricks on you. However, if you notice that people tend to exhibit the same type of behavior when you are holding a conversation with them, then you most likely do make people feel awkward. These behaviors should indicate to you that you are creating an awkward atmosphere.
Knowing these signs will not just help you see that you are making people feel awkward, but it will also help you avoid doing the things that make people feel awkward. The following are some of the things people would do when you make them feel awkward:
- Laugh nervously
- Continuously tap their foot
- Give minimal and/or vague replies
- Change their facial expression; they may frown, furrow their brows, or purse their lips
- Fold their arms
- Look or turn away while you are talking to them
The above list isn’t absolute as these are just some of the things people do when they feel awkward around someone. The people around you may show their discomfort in another way other than what has been listed. This is why you need to observe closely for these signs. Watch out for anything that indicates that the person you are speaking with would rather be doing something else than speaking with you.
Things You Might Do That Makes People Feel Awkward
if you have observed and are sure that you make everyone feel awkward, then you need to do something about this. The first step you have to take is to understand the things you do that make people feel awkward. Below, some things people do that make others feel awkward will be discussed.
1. Sitting Very Close to Others
Everyone like their personal space. And it can be very uncomfortable and awkward for others when you fail to respect their space. You may not think much of it when you sit very close to other people, but the other person may feel uncomfortable and they may not know how to tell you how they feel. Instead, they may start to act awkward and things may get quite awkward for the both of you in a short while.
2. Leaning in Close When Talking to Someone
This falls in the same category as sitting very close to someone. When you lean in or stand too close to someone when having a conversation with them, it will feel like you are invading their personal space. This is especially true if the person you are talking to is a stranger.
When they feel this way, they may try to put a distance between you and them. How they do this will depend on how much space they have to put the distance.
If they are in a tight position, they may try to give you distance by holding their bag in front of them; creating a physical barrier to keep you out of their space. If there is enough space for them to walk back, they will do so. If you notice any of these behaviors or something similar to this from someone you are talking to, then you need to move back and give them their space.
3. Being Cold
If you are socially awkward or you often get nervous or anxious around people, you most likely never try to start up a conversation or even know what to say during one. In this case, it is not your intention to be cold or aloof, but that may be the idea people have about you. This is not your fault because people tend to make assumptions about others.
If people think you are cold, they may start to feel awkward around you because they won’t know what to say to you.
When you share too much information about your personal life with people who have no business knowing about it, they may start to feel uncomfortable. They may be wondering why you are telling them these things and this will cause them to feel awkward.
Also, there are so many downsides to oversharing. One of the biggest downsides is a lack of respect and trust. Everyone knows that overfamiliarity breeds contempt. When a person knows too much about you, they may start to feel like they know you well enough to act in ways you do not appreciate. They may even start to tell others about your business, which can cause issues that can lead to awkwardness between you.
5. Touching Others
Some people do not like to be touched anyhow, especially by strangers or people they are not close with. Also, touching people in some parts of their bodies like their shoulders or arm may be considered acceptable. But then, touching people in other areas like their face or back can easily be frowned upon.
If you are a touchy person, you need to make a conscious effort not to touch people anyhow. If you want to hug someone (especially someone you are not so close to), make sure you ask for their permission first.
if you on the flip side don’t like getting touched, while people around you are touchy people, it may also make them feel awkward. In this case, you need to politely tell these people that you do not like being touched. Communicating your feelings to them will make them understand you better and reduce the chances of any awkwardness between you people.
How to Stop Making People Feel Awkward?
Apart from not doing all the things listed in the section above, you can also stop making people feel awkward by doing these things:
Avoid Asking Too Many Questions
When you keep asking questions during a conversation, other people involved in the conversation may start feeling like they are being interrogated rather than simply having a conversation. So, when talking to others, try to make sure you do not keep asking questions.
When you ask a question, allow others to reply, and then let them also ask their questions. This will make the conservation balanced so nobody feels left out and awkward.
Take Cues from People’s Body Language
Remember, when people are uncomfortable, they give signs. These signs are mostly in body language, like crossing the arms, changing facial expressions, and so on. You need to be able to watch out for these somewhat subtle signs and use them to guide yourself accordingly.
If someone is feeling awkward, try to identify the reason why they feel this way. Once you know what you are doing that is making them feel uncomfortable, stop doing that thing.
Do Not Use Inappropriate Language and Humor?
You can make people uncomfortable around you if you keep using vulgar/inappropriate language and/or telling vulgar/inappropriate jokes.
Some people may like the use of a certain type of language, while other people may be offended or feel uncomfortable. So, before you use some type of language or tell certain jokes, be sure you know your crowd first. If using such language or telling such jokes will make them uncomfortable, you should not do it.
Learn to Respect the Opinions of Others
People will always have a different opinion than your opinion. This is normal. What isn’t normal, however, is forcing your opinions on others. This is disrespectful and rude and it can make other people feel uncomfortable around you.
So, next time someone’s opinion is different from yours, do not try to force your opinion on them. Rather, get to understand their POV and respect it.
If you feel like you make people feel awkward, then you need to find out the things you do that make people feel this way. Then, you need to stop doing those things. It may not be easy at first, especially if you are naturally that way, however, with determination and consciousness, you should be able to stop making people feel awkward.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Am I Shy or am I an Introvert?
Being shy and being introverted is not the same although they have certain similarities. An introvert like being with themself and would often feel drained emotionally when they have to spend too much time with other people. Shy people on the other hand may not want to be alone; however, they tend to be alone because they are scared of interacting with other people.
2. Why Do I Feel Awkward Around Everyone?
A likely reason why you feel awkward around other people is that you are socially awkward. Another reason why people tend to feel awkward around others is social anxiety. This is otherwise known as social phobia and it is a mental illness that affects how those suffering from it relate to others.