Have you been tagged as being awkward by those who know you? Do you sometimes feel awkward when in company with people out of your closest circles? Do you know someone who is awkward?
Well, good news, your awkwardness. It turns out that you shouldn’t really care too much about it (if you ever have). As psychologist Ty Tashiro explains, people who are socially awkward are more likely to demonstrate what psychologists refer to as ‘striking talent’.
‘Striking talent’ refers to the immense ability a person can have in a specific area. This ability is what socially awkward people are most likely to exhibit, due to their peculiar nature. As Tashiro explains, it all comes down to their tendency to focus on a specific topic very narrowly and intensely.
He explains that these people may not be smart about everything. It is because they focus their intellect on one or two very specific areas, and will often be average, or even under-average, in other areas. This characteristic is what exactly makes them seem so awkward.
The fact is, when one focuses all their attention on a certain area, they are prone to be less socially skilled, or to be good communicators. Their intense focus on that certain area does not only inhibit their other potentials, but it can also mean that they may feel irritated when their routines are broken.
However, this same focus is of course a real strength too. Being able to stay true to the ideal they have set allows them to persist, even through hard times, when the task can become frustrating or boring to others.
This persistence is what psychologists refer to as ‘deliberate practice’. Deliberate practice, or the repetitive practice of the same thing until you reach mastery over it, is the key to achieving success in things you may be worst at.
It is exactly this kind of persistence that awkward people seem to enjoy the most. They won’t feel bothered with the long hours that take to master a certain topic or area. And it is exactly this characteristic which can lead these people to success.
As Tashiro puts it quite correctly, it is exactly this kind of focus and energy that can result in reaching groundbreaking innovation or redefining the way a field operates or thinks. It’s no wonder that all the greatest minds have shown great social awkwardness.
Ty Tashiro is the author of the book Awkward: n his book, he refers to decades of psychological research in human intelligence, neuroscience, personality, and sociology, in order to unravel the awkwardness behind being awkward.
His conclusion is simple: “The same characteristics that make people socially clumsy can be harnessed to produce remarkable achievements.”
So, stay awkward and don’t feel too concerned about it! Instead, focus on what you’re doing and keep doing it as you already know how. The world needs awkward people to help it to improve.