The Surprising Potential of Being Socially Awkward

Are you that kind of person who feels uneasy when being around with people? Do you always find pleasure on doing and accomplishing things when working alone?

In Psychology, there is an interesting study showing that people who are socially awkward are also more likely to demonstrate what psychologists call “striking talent”. It means that they have a great ability in a specific area they are interested in. It’s not always the case that people are usually smart across the boards. There are people who are really smart in one or two areas and they might be average or even below average in other areas.

There are two scenarios that we can see here. One is that if someone is really smart in a certain area, he is less likely to be socially skilled or be a good communicator. On the other hand, people who are socially awkward have this obsessive interest on a specific area. They have the tendency to focus really intensely and really narrowly, sometimes, on a certain topic.

That may sound something positive about them but the thing is, that can work against them as well. Sometimes, they’re overly rigid and they have set standards that they don’t wan’t to break. For them, that can be a real strength as well because someone with great focus and energy is more likely to persist through hard times. They are more likely to persist when tasks could get boring to other people.

This attitude towards work manifests in what psychologists call “deliberate practice”. This is the idea that you practice the same thing over and over until you reach a point of mastery. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao spends extensive training on repetitive exercises and body mechanics for long periods of time before each match. It takes consistency to master an area. The key to deliberate practice is the idea that you are willing to work the hardest on the parts that you are worst at.

potential of socially awkward

Socially awkward people seem to enjoy the kind of persistence and long hours that go into mastering a certain area or certain topic. We often have to say that people are “nerding out” about something. That’s actually an awkward kind of characteristic. We often label them as introverts and being one, they really love and enjoy their own personal time.

Having this characteristic serves a good purpose that you might be focused on something you are really good at to achieve something. You’re super enthusiastic about it. You’re putting so much concentration on it. But all these focus and energy can sometimes result in expertise and can even result in times when they reach groundbreaking innovations. History speaks a lot about this…that persistent minds create great ideas. Who knows? Your being socially awkward might lead you to be the next Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs.

Vinz Eusala

A travel enthusiast, adventurer, wander thinker, and photographer wannabe who wakes up every morning and thinks everyday above ground is a great day. Offer him pizza and milk tea and you're friends for life!