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A crash course in polishing your pandemic-damaged social skills

I’ve always been an extrovert by nature and found it easy to talk to most people. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone. I’m usually at ease in groups of people, even when I don’t know anyone.

But lately, that’s changed.

Venturing out into gatherings or into offices is anxiety-inducing. In-person exchanges are exhausting and filled with awkward pauses. I find myself saying the wrong thing, feeling at a loss for words, and generally being awkward in social situations. The easy conversational cadence that used to come naturally seems stuck in park.

I’m afraid I’ve become socially awkward.

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