I think it's safe for me to admit that I honestly have no idea what I'm doing yet when it comes to interacting with other people. However, there is a certain excitement experienced in social confrontations. There truly is nothing like bringing joy to someone's otherwise gloomy day or telling someone that they are loved unconditionally by God and seeing hope and excitement spark in their eyes.

Unfortunately, there have been several instances where a person's "I'm so sorry" has been met with my ever-enthusiastic "You're welcome!" I am then left thinking, "Did I really just say that?"

Startrek Facepalm

Yeah. I definitely still have some work to do in the area of social interaction.

Thankfully, I am always learning something new as a go from one awkward conversation to the next, each time having a few less "facepalm" moments than the last. Here are some of the very useful things I have learned through my time as the socially awkward butterfly:

1. Don't be afraid of making a mistake.
Mistakes happen to everyone, and making a mistake is nothing but a part of the learning process—a beautiful and necessary part at that. When mistakes happen, opportunities to learn and grow immediately follow.

2. Embrace your uniqueness.
I have learned that several of the awkward moments I used to experience in social confrontations had a lot to do with my desire to conform to what other people wanted—with trying to be a "people pleaser". Although being who I am didn't stop me from the occasional awkward statement in the middle of a conversation, it did help me realize that being who I am is a lot more fun than trying to be someone I'm not.

3. Never let anything keep you from trying.
It can seem so easy to be discouraged, but never stop trying. With each moment of wishing you didn't say something, there is a moment where someone else's day may have been made just a little brighter because of you. Plus, there is very little to be lost but an abundance to be gained from trying again. There is always a chance to grow more and express who you are, to make new friends and encourage old ones. Don't worry about a little slip-up, and don't let something as small as saying the wrong thing at the wrong time keep you from making a big impact.

4. Take a moment to reflect on your progress.
Look back at where you came from and how far you've come. Let it encourage you to keep pushing forward. You can even take it a step farther and let it be a source of encouragement to others. After all, you and I are not the only socially awkward butterflies around.

5. Laugh.
Life is a lot better when laughter is thrown into the mix. Having a story to tell that could even potentially make another person laugh is always a great story to have. Never be ashamed of who you are, what you've done, or where you've come from. Laugh at the silly things you've said and let someone else laugh about it, too. What you have to say could be exactly what that person needs to hear to make their day better. 

And finally,

6. Enjoy your time as the socially awkward butterfly.
Or maybe you're just a caterpillar? Who knows. The only thing that's certain is that being a socially awkward butterfly is not only a time to learn and to grow, but it is also a time to laugh, to try, to push yourself farther than you have ever gone, and to enjoy every moment—including the awkward "facepalm" ones.

Published by Amber Oglesby