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An awkward embrace

March 1st, 2012

Everyone knows what it’s like to feel awkward. Let’s face it, most of us can’t go a day without having at least one awkward encounter. It happens to me all the time.

Often it’s just the usual. You wave at someone and then they don’t wave back so you just have to stand there grinning like an idiot and pretend you had to scratch your head or smooth your hair.

Or you walk into a building and perhaps you lose your footing and have to lunge for the door and, in the meantime, you make yourself look like a total spazz in front of the really cute kid who just held the door open for you.

Or you’re walking down the sidewalk and you remember something really funny and you start laughing to yourself.  You’re alone.  And you’re laughing.  And people are giving you strange looks because, let’s face it, you look like your mental health could be in question.

Awkward occurrences are unavoidable. As suave as you may think you are, you’re bound to slip up every once in a while and when you do, you need help from an expert like me – an expert who can help you deal with any awkward situation.  Here are just a few tips on how to deal with just about any awkward situation, from the slightly awkward to the very awkward.

Playing it off like it’s no big deal is the best way to handle with Pretend nothing happened. So, you waved at your friend and they snubbed you. Keep waving. Odds are, nobody knows that that’s the friend that you were waving to, so odds are, they don’t care that that person’s not waving back.

Laugh at yourself. If you can’t laugh at yourself the world is a lot less funny.  You’re funny.  Awkwardness is funny, but not if you get angry about it.  If you get angry about it, it just scares people and then everyone thinks that you’re one of those people who take themselves too seriously. That’s no fun. So, the next time you trip up the stairs between O’Malley and Admin, just laugh because then other people realize it’s OK to laugh, and then all awkwardness dissipates.

So, you threw the leafy top of a pineapple out of your window and it almost hit a priest in the head. Just say you’re conducting an experiment to make sure that gravity was still working. The grandioseness of your lie will most likely mask all awkwardness and eventually everyone will forget what was awkward in the first place.

Say you yell something obscene and offensive out of your window to a friend who happens to be passing by, and a professor is standing nearby and happens to hear everything you uttered.  How do you play that off? You can’t. Just apologize and try to laugh about it and hope that they remember that they were young once too. And maybe say a little prayer.

Awkward situations happen.  They happen to you.  They happen to me (probably on a higher- than-average basis). They’re almost entirely unavoidable.  But if you know how to properly deal with an awkward situation you will find that they really are humorous.

And remember, situations are only awkward if you make them awkward.