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Starlight and moonbeams
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is something that's eluding me. I feel like I come off as incredibly socially awkward, to the point where people dislike me even before they get to know me.

How in the world do you change this? I know I don't smile a lot...is that it? Is it in my body movements, eye contact, what?

If anybody has any tips on how to come across as more natural and less scared/nervous, I'd really appreciate it.
 

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Finding my way
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Aww darn, I thought someone had responded. I'd like some advice on that too.
 

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Definitely if your not smiling and looking closed off then youll come off as not wanting to be talked to. So my advice is to look relaxed and open and smile. A lot of people tell me when they first meet me it seems like I don't like them because I'm not smiling.
 

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roarrrr
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How come when one is not smiling they are immediately angry or something?

It's just our resting faces! A face without any current emotion.

I think it would be creepy if we walked around with a constant smile.

:)
 

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Yeah, I mean I'm aware that not smiling and avoiding eye contact makes me seem stuck up or like I don't want anyone to approach me. But I feel like if I initiate the first smile they'll think I'm weird or that I'm trying to become their best friend or something. like, 'what gives you the right to smile at me?' I even did initiate a smile yesterday, at a boy and girl standing outside of my GED class smoking cigarettes and talking. Neither of them smiled back, they just looked away and stopped talking until I passed by. Made me feel so ridiculous. Now I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to do that again, lol.

If someone smiles at me first, I still feel like smiling at them would make me come off as trying too hard, or too desperate for friends, or whatever.. so all I am able to muster up is a quick closed-mouth smile before I hurry and look away. It's stupid, I know, but.. I just feel dumb smiling at people.

and, I'm aware of the fact that my mutual face makes me look incredibly angry. So when I'm sitting in class at the computers I'll be thinking to myself, "someone might want to talk to me if I'm smiling or appearing more friendly somehow." but then I think, well, I'm sitting here doing math work.. won't it be weird if I'm smiling the whole time?

anyways, needless to say I don't have any help on this as acting confident has never been something I understand. just thought I'd give my two cents and hopefully someone can help =)
 

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bored to death
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It must be universal that us folks with social anxiety don't smile much. All my life I have been told I need to smile more- I am always asked what's wrong with me even when I'm in a pretty good mood because of this. I guess I'm just not going to be a fake a** and go around smiling all the time when I don't feel like it , even if it means people get a negative impression of me. That's just me, maybe all this is my fault. But to answer the question, when I want to not appear socially awkward I just get pretty drunk.
 

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I don't think you have to be smiling to look friendly and confident. But if your annoyed or uninterested looking, like you don't want to be where you are, then it won't seem like you WANT to talk to anyone. So I just have to think about how im coming off in public and make sure I have a friendly facial expression on and that usually helps to make people feel confortable talking to me or smiling at me.
 

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Starlight and moonbeams
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think you have to be smiling to look friendly and confident. But if your annoyed or uninterested looking, like you don't want to be where you are, then it won't seem like you WANT to talk to anyone. So I just have to think about how im coming off in public and make sure I have a friendly facial expression on and that usually helps to make people feel confortable talking to me or smiling at me.
But what if you just naturally look depressed? I have that problem, my neutral face looks like I'm sad, and a lot of people seem to think I'm sad, even when I'm very happy and cheerful.

I just don't smile a lot, unless I'm posing for photos or someone tells a joke.
 

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With me - right now on job interviews - fake it ... show them what they want to see and get the hell out fast. Hit and run. The only problem then is that you have to live up to what you have dished out - if you get the job. I haven't figured that out yet except that once they hire you and you get settled in and they get to know you hopefully you are good at your job enough that they get past it. Relationships are trickier... so are friendships -

I'm good for about an hour (two max) and then I have to be headed out for somewhere else I need to be.... another appointment, another task, so much to do and so little time.
 

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Honestly, I started to think about my facial expression in public and practicing to make it more friendly. So the more I thought about it, the more I did it naturally. And if you don't know how to make it look more friendly, then practice in the mirror. It may sound dumb, but I really think your expression makes a difference.

Another thing that makes you seem unconfident is posture and body language. If your slouching then you can seem sad, so I always make sure I'm not slouching. And if your body language makes you seem closed off, like if your arms are crossed, then it makes you look like you don't want to be talked to.
 

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Yeah i've been having a few conversations in college (just started) and although i'm doing pretty well i still feel like i'm sending out an awkward vibe to people. I wish i could see how i'm acting. Am i not smiling enough? Am i smiling too much? Am i looking around awkwardly? Am i avoiding eye contact or giving too much? Is it my body language? Or is it something else?
 

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wtf
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i just let myself look and be awkward around people. i've tried to let myself feel less ashamed of my awkwardness. shame is my biggest obstacle to being social. if i get a chance to talk longer with certain people or if a topic comes up that piques my interest, i naturally become more open and "happy". i don't like to force it though. if i'm depressed i'm depressed. i don't like to fake happiness because i often times resent it afterwards. i have found that most people don't appear to mind and more people appear neutral rather than happy themselves in many daily settings. it's just that we tend to notice the giddy people more because they stand out.
 

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That's a tough one, if you ever figure it out, please share it with the rest of us! As someone else said earlier, I've noticed I do tend to be less awkward as well after a couple of drinks, but I've yet to be able to duplicate that really relaxed, confident, non awkward vibe except sporadically. Occasionally after telling someone about my SA I'll get a comment where they are genuinely surprised and said they thought I was relaxed and not awkward at all. Go figure, it's a mystery to me. In general it seems like we tend to magnify any feelings of awkwardness and most of the time its probably no where near as bad as you think, but then other times it definitely is, judging by other peoples reactions lol. I just shrug it off, I can't help it. If I obsess over it too much I'll drive myself even crazier.
 

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wtf
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You've made rather too many assumptions with this one: that you're doing one thing or many things wrong, that there's a problem, that people judge you and that people dislike you before they meet you.

What if you're not doing anything wrong? What if you are coming across as confident and sociable? Ever considered entertaining those positive ideas?

Trying to correct imaginary faults only serves to make you feel self conscious about yourself and stops you from relaxing and having fun in social situations. Believe me, I know. It's not about smiling all the time. It's about having the confidence to be yourself but be open to other people too.

You'll get where you want to be so don't worry about doing this or this wrong or right. All that matters is that you work on any issues or problems you have, take time to connect with yourself and take the opportunities to socialise as much as possible/as is right for you.
true dat
 

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Geese
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You've made rather too many assumptions with this one: that you're doing one thing or many things wrong, that there's a problem, that people judge you and that people dislike you before they meet you.

What if you're not doing anything wrong? What if you are coming across as confident and sociable? Ever considered entertaining those positive ideas?

Trying to correct imaginary faults only serves to make you feel self conscious about yourself and stops you from relaxing and having fun in social situations. Believe me, I know. It's not about smiling all the time. It's about having the confidence to be yourself but be open to other people too.

You'll get where you want to be so don't worry about doing this or this wrong or right. All that matters is that you work on any issues or problems you have, take time to connect with yourself and take the opportunities to socialise as much as possible/as is right for you.
Yep, this is one of the biggest mistakes I make as well. I try to change the way I act to what I think others want to see but all I am really doing is not only changing the quirks which make me ME but also spend all my time and energy thinking about these things and not actually enjoying the time I am spending out.
 

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How come when one is not smiling they are immediately angry or something?

It's just our resting faces! A face without any current emotion.

I think it would be creepy if we walked around with a constant smile.

:)
because sociable people expect that when meeting, smiles are given. It's actually very natural to expect the other person to go through some formality of meeting and greeting.

Look at dogs, they wag their tails to express the same thing. It's not like a dog is sayingn "wow, you're just such a great dog that I'm meeting that I really, really like you as an individual" :)
 

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I learned long ago to put on a mask for people. If they are friendly with me, I put on my mask, give them a big smile, and try my best to be polite. I always try to make eye contact too. Then I come off as just quiet instead of a nervous, anti-social wreck.
 

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Because its not just the neutral face its how people with SA appear frozen and uptight in their body language.
 
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