Are we attracted to awkward people?

 

Every once in a while, we end up in an awkward situation, and we have to choose between moving on with our lives and commenting on it.  These moments are sporadic and spontaneous, and almost entirely outside of our control.

However, this idea of “awkwardness” might not be a bad thing.  In fact, writer Jen Kim believes that society has become attracted to awkwardness.

Just think about it.  Shows such as Arrested Development and Big Bang Theory rake in TV viewership, while actors such as Michael Cera (Superbad) and Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street) bring crowds to the theaters with every new release.  Americans seem to have an addiction to awkward young boys with a sense of humor.

But why might this be?  Why are we so attracted to socially awkward people?

Kim suggests that awkwardness is “non-threatening and entertaining.  The awkward guy will never hurt or try to cheat you.  He’s not smooth, he doesn’t play games, he’s even sincere.”  They operate on a separate plane from the rest of us.

To a degree, they are non-conformists.  They speak their mind (or don’t), when we (the normal population) feel too ashamed.  Maybe, in some strange way, we aspire to be them.

For the article, click here.

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3 thoughts on “Are we attracted to awkward people?

  1. Awkward people tend to appear vulnerable. And awkwardness is rather childlike. This probably triggers parental instincts of some sort, wanting to help the poor little awkward person. It’s like the Florence Nightingale effect.

    • That’s an interesting idea. I suppose that ties in with the whole non-threatening idea. Even people who are only occasionally awkward are still likable though. You don’t have to be consistently vulnerable and childlike in order for the attraction to take place.

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