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Awkward is the new Outcast


I don't really remember being socially awkward.  In fact, I have always taken pride in being a witty conversationalist since I love to poke fun at other people and myself.

But growing up, strangers would always think that I am mataray or suplada.  Maybe because I tend to be very quiet and abrupt with people I do not know.  And I've always hated that they let this impression get in the way of us getting to know each other.  I cannot count the times when people have told me "akala ko mataray ka, di naman pala".

So I can only imagine how socially inept people dread social situations where they are thought of as rude and snobbish even when they are not.



And that is called "dyssemia".

According to the internet, Dyssemia is a difficulty with receptive and/or expressive non verbal communication. It basically means inability to interpret and use non-verbal skills.

It comes from the Greek dys (difficulty) and semia (signal). The term was coined by psychologists who wrote the book "Helping The Child Who Doesn't Fit In", about the hidden dimensions of social rejection. 

For adults, it may be the cause of one's awkwardness or the feelings of being an outcast. Much like dyslexics who do not readily process written language, sufferers of dyssemia cannot readily understand nonverbal messages which would make them seem dense and insensitive.  Which is just so sad.

So the next time you are in a gathering and you see someone rooted to the curtain at the corner of the room, go them, smile and chat them up.  They may just be a tad shy or they have isolated themselves because they have dyssemia.  Either way, do your share and help.

On a funny note, do you that there is a test awkwardness?  Go click on this link and find out: 
Awkward Timer

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