High school is an important time in a person's life; however, it can also be an incredibly stressful time, especially if you are shy in crowds or have trouble fitting in. These situations can make you feel nervous and uncomfortable around other teens. Luckily, you can get over being socially awkward by focusing on a few simple tips.
Most high schools have a wide variety of activities for students. From sports teams to trivia teams to newspaper to band, there are enough different clubs to appeal to everyone’s interests -- school administrators know that students who are involved in extracurricular activities are more well-rounded, both academically and socially. The first step in overcoming social awkwardness can be joining a club or team that interests you. This will give you experience talking and interacting with peers who share your interest, which may help you feel more comfortable -- and less awkward.
Most people in high school feel gawky at one point or another; some are just better at hiding it. They exude confidence, even when they don’t feel it, and this draws other people to them. This is why confidence is one of the key elements to ridding yourself of social awkwardness. Keep your head up, make eye contact, smile and try not to let your nerves show on your face; this creates a positive cycle. The more confident you act, the more confident you’ll feel -- and when you feel confident, you’ll be less socially awkward.
Sometimes the best way to learn is by watching others. Therefore, if you feel uncomfortable in social situations, it may help to observe others who seem to interact with ease. Pay attention to how they instigate and maintain conversations. Watch their body language as they’re speaking. Note how they use humor or kindness when dealing with other people. While you want to remain true to your own personality, learning how to adapt your behavior to different situations can help you interact more comfortably.
High school is about discovering who you really are and what your strengths and interests are. It's natural to experiment with different activities and pursuits during these years. It's important, though, to stay true to yourself. Don't join a group or adopt new interests just to fit in. If you do, your behavior will automatically become fake. Instead, stay true to your own personality, morals and beliefs. If you do, you will always be more natural and less anxious.
Kimberly Yates has been both writing and teaching since 1997. She has been published in a variety of magazines, including "The Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine" and "Woman's World." She has a Bachelor's degree in English and a Masters in English education.