| October 12, 2017

Podcast, Relationships & Family, Social Skills

Podcast #347: The Science of Social Awkwardness

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. 

Show Highlights

  • 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

awkward book cover ty tashiro

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

Ty’s website

Ty on Twitter

Ty on Instagram

Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)






Listen to the episode on a separate page.

Download this episode.

Subscribe to the podcast in the media player of your choice.

Podcast Sponsors

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.

Proper Cloth. Stop wearing shirts that don’t fit. Start looking your best with a custom fitted shirt. Go to propercloth.com/MANLINESS and enter gift code MANLINESS to save $20 on your first shirt.

Squarespace. Start your free trial today at Squarespace.com and enter code “manliness” at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.

Click here to see a full list of our podcast sponsors.

Recorded with ClearCast.io.

Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

Last updated: October 13, 2017

Continue the Conversation ...

Want to share your thoughts on this article? Send us a tweet or join the discussion on Facebook!