At least 95% of my life is awkward. It has become the norm, so much so that when things go smoothly, I am genuinely surprised. It’s a miracle if I make it through a day without tripping, saying something inappropriate, or inadvertently causing a problem. Some situations are hopeless; awkwardness is inherent and there is no way to avoid it. These are my 5 everyday most awkward encounters:
1. The Sidewalk Shuffle
Nothing is more painful than figuring out which way you’re going to move to dodge an oncoming person. The whole back-and-forth of going the same way, shifty eye contact, and stumbling all over the sidewalk is almost too much to handle.
2. Holding the Door
I always feel obligated to hold the door for the person behind me, regardless of their proximity to my location. I’ve held doors open for minutes; once you commit you just can’t walk away. The other person then feels obligated to speed up and do a little jog at the end to relieve you of your doorman duties. I’m going to start a petition to make all doors automatic in order to avoid this awkwardness.
3. Seeing Someone at the Supermarket
Whenever I see someone I know at the supermarket, we make small talk, pretend that were going to “get lunch or something” really soon, and then politely go our separate ways. Except then we see each other, multiple times, in every single aisle while we continue to shop. It’s inevitable. Do you make more small talk? Engage in a fake phone conversation? Give up and leave, hungry and empty-handed? I just don’t know.
4. Social Media Stalking
I know which bar you went to last night, what you ordered to drink, what your drink looks like through the “Valencia” Instagram filter, how hungover you are this morning, and what you ate for breakfast in attempt to ease said hangover, because you update your status and tweet about everything. While I pretend to listen to what you assume is new knowledge, I get so caught up with feigned ignorance that I lose the ability to have a normal conversation. Please just assume that if you post something on Facebook you don’t have to tell me about it in person.
5. “This is Awkward.”
The only thing more painful than an incredibly awkward situation is the attempt to brush off the encounter by saying, “This is awkward.” I don’t understand why some people think this works. It doesn’t.
The only way to deal with awkward situations is to embrace them. The next time you send a text message to your dad that was meant for your boyfriend, struggle to pull open a door clearly marked “push,” or go in for a hug when they go in for a handshake, skip the embarrassing I-just-want-to-disappear phase and laugh it off.
Photo Source: MTV