As humans, we all need to belong. While modern social life can make even the best of us feel gawky, for roughly one in five of us, navigating its challenges is consistently overwhelming—an ongoing maze without an exit. Often unable to grasp social cues or master the skills and grace necessary for smooth interaction, we feel out of sync with those around us. we may recognize we have awkward dispositions, we rarely understand why that is—which makes it hard for us to know how to adjust our behavior.
Psychologist and interpersonal relationship expert Ty Tashiro knows what it’s like to be awkward. Growing up, he could do complex arithmetic in his head and memorize the earned run averages of every National League starting pitcher. But he struggled to add up social cues during interactions with other kids and was prone to forgetting routine social expectations. In Awkward, he unpacks decades of research in the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and sociology to help us better understand this widely shared trait and its origins. He considers how awkward people view our complex world and explains how they can more comfortably navigate it, and delivers a welcome, counterintuitive message: the same characteristics that make people socially clumsy can be harnessed to produce remarkable achievements.
How can the same traits that make us feel uneasy in social situations also provide the seeds for extraordinary success?
Interweaving the latest research with personal tales and real world examples, Awkward provides valuable insights into how we can embrace our personal quirks and unique talents to harness our awesome potential.