Navigating social awkwardness

Social awkwardness is a part of life, especially for young people as they grow and change during adolescence. This lesson helps to break the stigma of talking about social awkwardness, or ‘cringe’ moments, and supports students to identify practical strategies to help them navigate social awkwardness.

Year Level



60 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Take-away activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills

Learning Intention

Students understand what social awkwardness is and identify practical strategies they can use in social settings when feeling awkward.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • recognise the different feelings and behaviours associated with social awkwardness
  • identify practical strategies they might like to use when feeling awkward in social settings
  • reflect on the effectiveness of any strategies they have used to navigate social awkwardness, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Activity 01

Look, sound and feel: Social awkwardness 20 min

  1. Draw a large Y-chart on the whiteboard with the labels:
    • 'Looks like'
    • 'Sounds like'
    • 'Feels like'
  2. Give students time to think about times they might have felt socially awkward and what this looked like, felt like and sounded like for them.
  3. Students share their thoughts with a partner, pick their top answers for each label, and write them on the board. Students also have the option of doing this activity individually in their notebooks.
  4. As a class, discuss some of their answers, reminding students that it’s common to feel socially awkward at times.