15 Mortifying Feelings Every Socially Awkward Person Has Experienced

15 Mortifying Feelings Every Socially Awkward Person Has Experienced

Socially awkward people know all too well how much of a nightmare interacting with other people can be. It’s not that they don’t want to be naturally charismatic and engaging, it’s just that despite their best efforts, things rarely go according to plan. As a result, socially awkward people tend to experience these very specific feelings that most people wouldn’t be able to relate to.

1. The “why did I say that?!” regret

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Every socially awkward person knows this one well. You’re in a conversation, you say something, and as soon as the words leave your mouth, regret floods in. You replay the moment over and over in your head, each time cringing a bit more. It’s like your brain becomes a highlight reel of every awkward thing you’ve ever said. This feeling haunts you, sometimes for days, making you wish you could invent a time machine just for small-talk do-overs.

2. The “everyone’s watching me” panic

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Walking into a room full of people and feeling like every eye is on you – that’s classic social awkwardness. Your mind tells you that everyone is judging your every move, from the way you walk to how you’re standing. Your hands don’t know where to go, and suddenly, even breathing feels weird. It’s as if you’re on a stage with a spotlight following your every step, except you never wanted to be in the show in the first place.

3. The “delayed reaction” dilemma

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Sometimes, you only think of the perfect response or witty comeback long after the moment has passed. It’s like your brain is on a time delay, always a few steps behind in the conversation race. These ‘should have said’ moments pile up in your mind, a collection of missed opportunities and late-blooming wit.

4. The “I’m invisible” loneliness

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This one’s a real paradox. You’re in a group, but you feel utterly invisible. You try to chime in, but it’s like your words evaporate before reaching anyone’s ears. You start questioning your existence – are you really there, or did you turn into a ghost overnight? It’s a lonely feeling, being surrounded by people yet feeling completely alone, like you’re in a bubble while the world goes on outside.

5. The “third wheel” discomfort

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Ah, the eternal third wheel. You’re hanging out with a couple or a group of friends who are all in sync, and there you are, feeling like a spare part. They’re all laughing about something you don’t get, and you smile awkwardly, trying to look like you belong. You wonder if they even wanted you there or if you’re just tagging along, unnoticed and unnecessary.

6. The “did I offend them?” worry

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You make a comment or a joke, and someone’s expression shifts – oh no, did you offend them? This worry kicks your brain into overdrive, analyzing that one moment from every possible angle. You think about apologizing, but what if they didn’t even notice and you end up making it weird? So, you sit there, stewing in a pot of worry, unsure of what to do next.

7. The “endless conversation loop” trap

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There you are, stuck in a conversation that seems to have no end. You want to leave, but how? Every pause feels like an opportunity, but you just can’t find the right moment to make your exit. You nod and smile, while internally screaming for an escape. It’s a never-ending loop of small talk, and you’re trapped in the middle, desperately looking for the exit sign in a maze of words.

8. The “frozen spotlight” moment

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You’re suddenly the center of attention, and it feels like you’ve been thrown into icy waters – shock and panic. Everyone’s looking at you, waiting for a response, a witty remark, anything. But your mind’s a blank slate, and words just won’t come. You muster a nervous laugh, hoping it’ll buy you time, but it just echoes awkwardly in the silence.

9. The “misunderstood joke” embarrassment

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So you try to crack a joke, aiming for a light-hearted moment. But it lands with a thud, misunderstood or worse, taken seriously. The room either goes silent or erupts in confused chatter, and you wish the floor would swallow you up. You promise yourself to stick to nodding and smiling next time, swearing off your career as a comedian.

10. The “overthinking every interaction” exhaustion

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After any social event, your mind becomes a relentless replay machine. You analyze every interaction, every reaction, every word you said. It’s exhausting, like running a marathon in your mind. You overthink to the point of exhaustion, creating problems that probably never existed in the first place.

11. The “accidental eavesdropper” guilt

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In a group, you often find yourself listening to others’ conversations because you’re not actively involved in one. Then comes the guilt of feeling like an eavesdropper, even though it’s unintentional. You’re not trying to be nosy; you’re just caught in the crossfire of dialogue, wishing you could contribute but not knowing how.

12. The “nervous babbling” overload

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When you finally get a word in, nerves take over, and you start babbling. It’s like a dam has broken, and words just keep pouring out, often not making much sense. You’re aware you’re doing it, but can’t seem to stop. It’s a verbal flood, and you’re powerless against the current, hoping someone will mercifully cut you off.

13. The “awkward silence filler” frenzy

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There’s a lull in the conversation, and you feel an overwhelming urge to fill it. So you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, which is usually something random or off-topic. It’s like hitting a panic button and watching confetti explode – colorful but chaotic. This frenzied attempt to avoid silence often leaves you wondering why you couldn’t just enjoy the quiet moment like everyone else.

14. The “misinterpreted enthusiasm” confusion

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When you do feel comfortable enough to show excitement, it sometimes comes across as overly intense or misdirected. Your enthusiasm, though genuine, seems to confuse people, as if they’re trying to figure out why you’re so amped up about something seemingly trivial. It’s a delicate balance between showing your true feelings and not overwhelming your audience, one that you often find yourself tipping.

15. The “social scripting” strategy

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Before any social event, you find yourself scripting possible conversations in your head. You rehearse greetings, topics to talk about, even potential jokes. It’s like writing a screenplay for a movie where you’re the uncertain star. But once you’re in the actual situation, the script often gets tossed out the window, leaving you improvising in a genre you’re not comfortable with.

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Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.