You’ve likely experienced an awkward moment or two in your life. You say or do something that’s out of social sync, leaving the person you’re interacting with bemused, and you feeling like running and hiding under a rock.
While awkwardness is an uncomfortable feeling and can hurt us socially, my guest today argues that there is some upside to it too. His name is Ty Tashiro. He’s a psychologist and the author of Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome. Today on the show Ty highlights his research on awkwardness. He explains what exactly we feel when we feel awkward and what triggers the feeling. He then digs into why some people are more awkward than others and the detriments that come with being socially awkward. Ty then shares things chronically awkward people can do to be less so, like developing social algorithms and studying manners. We end our conversation discussing the upsides of awkwardness and how to balance it with the downsides.
If you struggle with awkwardness or know someone who does, this episode will provide you a lot of actionable advice and insights on both embracing and mitigating your social propensities.
- How does a researcher get into studying awkwardness
- The many names of social awkwardness
- What defines being socially awkward?
- The old Norse root of the word “awkward,” and what it can tell us about the state
- Why do humans even feel awkwardness? What purpose does it serve?
- Why social awkwardness is more common in the modern day
- How do awkward people see the world differently?
- Is awkwardness simply something on the autism spectrum?
- Do awkward people know they’re awkward?
- Ty’s own experience being awkward
- Why making friends in adulthood is especially hard, and awkward
- Why it’s okay to actually have enthusiasm about things!
- Why are millennials really into manners?
- Why dating is more awkward today than ever before
- The benefits — yes, benefits! — of being socially awkward
- The “rage for mastery”
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- AoM’s Social Briefing series
- AoM’s social skills archives
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Podcast: The Forgotten History of Autism
- How to Enter a Room Like a Boss
- How to Make Friends in a New City
- Podcast: Building Your Band of Brothers
- Making and Keeping Man Friendships
- How to Make Invitations Without Being Awkward
- Emily Post
- Essential Etiquette for Young Men
- How to Text a Woman
- Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
- Podcast: Mastery
- Podcast: Reach Your Peak
Awkward is not only packed with useful insights about social awkwardness, but it’s funny too. I laughed out loud at several points in the book when Ty shared his awkward moments from middle school. Grab your copy today.
Connect With Ty
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
The Strenuous Life. The Strenuous Life is a platform for those who wish to revolt against our age of ease, comfort, and existential weightlessness. It is a base of operations for those who are dissatisfied with the status quo and want to connect with the real world through the acquisition of skills that increase their sense of autonomy and mastery. Sign up for email updates, and be the first to know when the next enrollment opens up.
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Read the Transcript
Last updated: October 13, 2017