Being Less Naive And Innocent And Getting More Of An Edge

People who are lonely and socially awkward sometimes come across as really naive and innocent. They seem wholesome, and like they don't have even a minimal level of edge. They unintentionally give off that vibe because they've spent too much time on their own and don't have enough experience with friendships and the wider world. This is particularly likely to happen with high school or university students, where there can be big gaps in life experience between one classmate and another.

There's not anything inherently wrong with being innocent or a bit naive. Overall, people tend to sort themselves into liked-minded groups based on their interests and values. The edgier folks find each other, as do the less-edgy ones. I'd also argue it can be a whole other problem if someone has too much of an edge. In general though I think it's good if you can find a nice middle ground. Most people have at least a small amount of edge to them, so if you come across as extremely guileless and wholesome you may be unnecessarily handicapped in your social interactions.

Being overly innocent and naive has the following drawbacks:

One thing I've noticed about innocence is that it seems to be a trait we sometimes like in other people, but don't necessarily want for ourselves. When another person is innocent we can sometimes be condescending and see them almost as a cute little pet - "Aw, look at how adorable and charmingly helpless they are!" There's a gender stereotype element that can come into play here too. In general guys are expected to be wise to the ways of the world, but some people like the idea of women being sheltered and inexperienced.

A few ways to get a bit more edge

Learn more about the world

If you think you may be too innocent and want to get a bit more of an edge the first thing you can do is try to learn more about the world and the grittier side of life. It sounds dorky but you can even do this to a degree by reading or watching movies or online videos. The idea isn't to become some broken, jaded husk who knows too much, more to shed your more extreme naivety.

You also want to try to get a more balanced picture of things you may initially have seen as completely bad. For example, an innocent person may have a simplistic view of smoking weed and think everyone who does it is a degenerate slacker. With more experience they may see there's a lot more nuance to it than that, and that plenty of otherwise decent folk smoke up occasionally, and that they're good little citizens otherwise.

If you want, try some "edgier" activities yourself

I'm not saying do anything that's dangerous or illegal. However, there are some things that you may see as edgy that are fairly harmless, as long as you exercise some common sense precautions. Like someone who's been really sheltered may see going to a bar as this foolhardy, rebellious act. It may broaden their horizons to give something like that a try, and see it's no big deal. It's really just another way to learn about the world.

Being a tad edgier doesn't mean becoming cartoonishly offensive or nihilistic

The idea is to get to a point where you don't clutch your pearls if someone tells you they sometimes take psychedelics when they're camping. It's not to start dressing all in black and spouting off about how life is nothing but a meaningless capitalist charade, or making casual jokes about genocide to show how twisted you are.