It's hard to act normal. Graphic by Janie Maitland

5 perks of being socially awkward

Being socially awkward is one of my many specialties, although I’ve grown into, not quite a social butterfly, but perhaps a caterpillar that’s turned into a butterfly but I’m just peeking my head out of the cocoon. I’ve been pretty awkward since I can remember. When I moved to Florida in the 3rd grade, my way of making friends was asking their favorite color or how they felt about sea horses.

Although I’ve learned more appropriate ways to interact with strangers, I still find myself wracking my brain for a good way to keep a conversation going as I sit in awkward silence. There are often nights when I’m out and about and all I’m thinking about is how much I want to go home, put my hair up and watch Netflix.

It's hard to act normal. Graphic by Janie Maitland
It’s hard to act normal. Graphic by Janie Maitland

Many may view being socially awkward as a curse, but I think there are a lot of perks to being socially awkward.

1. You never feel guilty about staying in.

If you ever find yourself having a night where going out sounds unbearable, you won’t feel the least bit guilty about making an excuse to stay in. Your friends may drunk call you and tell you what an amazing night they’re having and you’ll be happy for them, but not as happy as you are binge-watching Gossip Girl.

2. You don’t have to fight for beer

We’ve all been there. Girls, you’re usually up against the bar staring whoever is working the keg in the eye wondering, “am I not pretty enough for your Natty Light?” Guys, you’re going to be standing in the back being pushed out of the way by drunk girls. If you’re lucky enough to make it to the bar, you’re probably not getting a beer until all of the ladies have a cup in their hand.

This is a scenario us socially awkward people don’t typically have to deal with. There isn’t a crowd I have to push through to get to my fridge.

3. Food

They don’t serve food at parties, at least most of the time. Us awkward turtles have a short adventure to get whatever snacks we find ourselves feigning for. If we go out, however, that walk to Benny’s or Jimmy John’s can seem like an adventure through Middle Earth, which is sometimes fun. Let’s be honest, though. Sitting at home and watching your favorite show on Netflix while munching always beats staring at drunk girls dig through their purse as they hold up the line.

4. Not having to dress up

My favorite part of going out is usually getting ready. Nowadays, though, I’m usually exhausted by the time I look party-worthy. Putting on leggings and a big t-shirt takes no time at all and I still have energy to do important things like make chicken nuggets and spoon with my dog.

5. Not having to awkward your way out of a conversation with a drunk person

Staying in and avoiding people means not having to awkwardly explain to that drunk guy -who’s talking a little too close- that you’re not interested. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten trapped in lengthy, slow conversations with a drunk male party-goer who couldn’t read my signals that I was in no way interested in him. Body language doesn’t phase the intoxicated and being as awkward as I am, I don’t have the social skills to talk my way out of it. Typically I wind up flagging down one of my friends and “going to the bathroom,” when we really just sneak to the other side of the room and give the guy about 30 seconds to forget his interest in me.

Being socially awkward isn’t as bad as many make it out to be. Although it’s difficult when I actually want to be social, I’m usually thankful that my awkwardness renders me incapable of going out and making bad decisions.