Hey NTBRO, I know that you're not a therapist or any thing, but you give good advice. I'm so awkward in social situations. Like, some cute girl will go up to me and want to talk to me: but I won't know what to say. I feel like I've bored all of my friends away. How do I become a better conversationalist?
Why, “be yourself,” of course! People have been swearing by this little mantra since the dawn of time, but I’m here to tell you that that’s a crock of shit.
Simply put, you can’t truly “be yourself” if you are always thinking “shit, I gotta be myself.” On top of that, sometimes people dislike themselves so much they couldn’t even fathom putting that person on display, especially for strangers (and even more especially for strangers to whom they are attracted). Instead, I offer you two alternative pieces of advice: (1) in the event that you like the person into which you have developed in your time on this planet, stop thinking so hard about it, pretty much completely, to the point where you are on autopilot, and (2) if you can’t stand the face that you see in the mirror, evolve.
Growing up a fist pumping, eyebrow waxing, velour suit wearing, Cadillac driving, Jagermeister drinking, creatine consuming, self-entitled guido from Staten Island, I was forced to choose the latter. It was a long and arduous road, but very rewarding in the end. If this is the scenario with which you are confronted, it is of paramount importance that you completely let your guard down—meet new people, engage in new hobbies, read new books, travel (alone)—so that you can truly immerse yourself in the journey to find a new you.
If you are faced with the former, however, instead of getting off the highway, you need to change lanes and throw it in cruise control. Have something absurd on your mind? SAY IT. Want to push your friend into the pool while he’s holding his new iPhone? DO IT. Don’t think of the ramifications that may follow. This may seem reckless, but I offer this advice making the assumption that despite your self-described “awkwardness” you are otherwise a competent young adult who understands the point behind my (somewhat extreme) examples and a law abiding citizen who knows the difference between self-expression and “social terrorism” (I think I just coined a phrase).
Finally, you certainly are right that I am not a therapist—a therapist would probably consider my advice to be juvenile and completely lacking psychiatric merit. However, if it works for you, who’s to say that the above is not sound advice? If it does not, well then I’m sorry for wasting your time. In any event, good luck, dude, and Godspeed.