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Figuring It Out

Feb 6, 2020

Ty is the first repeat guest of How We’ll Live and our chat on the science of happily ever after is the most listened to an episode of the pod…


As a refresher, TY TASHIRO is an author and relationship expert. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota and has been an award-winning professor at the University of Maryland and the University of Colorado. He lives in New York City.


In today’s chat we talk about his latest book, AWKWARD: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome, he explains why some of the same characteristics that make people feel socially awkward can be the same traits that propel them toward extraordinary achievements. 


The back of the book says, “as humans, we all need to belong. While modern social life can make even the best of us feel gawky, for one in five 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.”


In today’s conversation, Ty and I talk about what it means to be awkward and what it feels like. Ty walked me through an exercise to really understand what it feels like to be in “awkward shoes.” 


We also talk about why Ty wanted to study social awkwardness, the three core attributes in many socially awkward people, how today’s cultural landscape makes it even more difficult for awkward people, and why, despite its difficulties being awkward can actually be quite awesome.


We also go on tangents about life, society, and the power of communication.


Whether you match the awkward traits we discuss, Ty’s insights can help us feel empowered to love who we are as we are and to have a little more compassion and empathy for that person who strike us as “weird” or “awkward.”