“That’s me!” if this crossed your mind after reading this headline, you probably are not a social animal and curious to know if it is social awkwardness bothering me? or is it concerning social psychology? You might be thinking you are a lovely home to both, just because you are not aware of the differences and think that it’s the same. People tend to care less about such differences, but it’s important to know them as these differences affect our daily life and mainly us. Knowing the differences between social awkwardness and social psychology helps us to recognize and understand ourselves better. Let’s hop in there and learn that is social awkwardness and social psychology are the same?
First, Let’s Understand Social Awkwardness
We all have been there, during birthdays when your friends and family are singing the happy birthday song for you while cutting your birthday cake, now you are done cutting the cake before them finishing the song, now you are just standing and waiting for them to finish or when everyone your friend ditches you at an unknown party with a bunch of strangers, and you stand there clueless what to do? How do I talk to everyone? And most importantly, where is my friend? Because you now want to hold them and not let them go and maybe throw a few kicks for leaving your introvert friend alone.(Jankowiak, J., 2005)
The feeling we experience in such situations and our desire to get acknowledged by others in the room gets us to turn inward and change the way we behave to the behavior we think other might like, to fit in with the group. That is what we call social awkwardness. Which is a Part of Behavioural psychology.
Few Symptoms Of Social Awkwardness
- Failing to analyze what is going around in that situation.
- Showing behavior different from original to fit in a group and feel accepted.
- Failing to understand non-vocal expressions and communication.
- Losing the interest to socialize with anyone and, if doing to not being able to speak confidently and fluently.
- Less intuitive when it comes to social graces.
- Find daily social interactions difficult.
Now Let’s Understand Social Psychology
Dr. Sheldon Cooper, this name rings a bell to everyone. Yes, this character from the American sitcom, namely “The Bing Band Theory,” was a physicist and the smartest one in almost every room but had a bunch of social psychological issues. Such as, Sheldon did not understand sarcasm, he could not understand being in love, tense situations would startle him, was not a fan of social gatherings, but would want for his friends to have parties and outings, as he was comfortable around them and much more.
You can now get a clearer picture of the difference between social psychology and social awkwardness, and you realize there is a vast difference between birthdays and relating to Sheldon cooper.
Social psychology studies and examines how groups or situations affect one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. For instance, a noisy social situation can get one frustrated and angry and the other shy and inverted. Social psychology helps to learn about human behavior in different situations, their feelings, and how it affects their personal life, including their interpersonal relations like friends or family and professional ties.
Symptoms Of Social Psychology
- Social anxiety is one of the most found symptoms in social psychology. People suffering from social anxiety are plagued with negative thoughts.
- Self-doubts are at their peak, questions like
- Do I look okay?
- Am I sound stupid?
- Am I boring everyone in the room?
- Should I shut my mouth?
- What If I am too quiet?
Questions like these can be hell for anyone, especially when you are out with many people, and this is all you can think of.
- Increased heart rate, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, or too much sweating are also panic disorders.
- Avoid participation in activities and talking to people out of fear of embarrassment.
- Always expecting the worst out of every situation, even when there’s nothing to worry about.
- Feeling uncomfortable or even a desire to run away when one becomes the center of attention.
It’s Not The End Of The World
Though it feels like the end of the world, it isn’t for people going through social-psychological troubles. Human interaction is undoubtedly a complex curious phenomenon, and humans are naturally social creatures, but the ability to interact with others doesn’t come easily. Most of us have experienced social awkwardness in our lives, and most of us have also experienced social psychological issues in our lives and may have thought that both are the same.
But as we all know, social psychology is the study of our reactions to other people and understanding of our thoughts and feelings along with many other concepts. In contrast, social awkwardness is the desire to feel accepted and behave the way we think others might demand. Professional help must be considered if you feel it’s needed.(Corrigan, P.W. and Penn, D.L., 1999)
In the end, we all must remember one thing that life begins at the end of our comfort zone, and humans thrive best there, and people are just people; there is no need to be nervous about them.