AJ’s advice – awkward moments
|April 14, 2012||Posted by Alaa Jasim under AJ's Advice|
We all have them, don’t we? I’ve had several in the last few days and I’m sure you will have too – hey, we’re all in the same boat here. But aren’t they only as awkward as you make them? There are those friends with whom you’re just never in an awkward situation, and then those friends where you have one every other day. This constant awkwardness can get a little wearing over time, but at least there usually ends up being something to laugh about.
But then, then comes the awkward moment with a stranger: a moment with someone you will likely never see again, making the awkwardness about fifty thousand times more intense. What do you do? How do you handle this? Nobody ever seems to know what to do; or if they do, the moment is so awkward, so unbelievably painful, that they just can’t do anything. Well, here are my top tips for handling awkward moments.
Laugh it off
I know, I know, this sounds like an impossible idea. The laugh might come out nervous, it might sounds like you’re crying, thus making this moment even worse than it has to be, but it works. Really, honestly, it does. You’ll seem a little more carefree if you do, and let’s face it: everyone hates that one person that just doesn’t know how to laugh at themselves. If you take yourself too seriously things can get unpleasant, so the easy answer is not to. Be confident and just brush it off.
There’s no point being able to laugh something off if you just sit there in silence afterwards Looking awkward. Note the awkward sentence… structure. (The writer in me just died a little bit while writing that.) Yes – just move on, choose a different topic and chat away. Find something fun to talk about, and turn the attention away from whatever just happened. Do it confidently, though, so that you don’t look like you’re trying to find something else to talk about. We’ve all been in the “Erm… Oh look, a duck!” situation. No? Just me? Okay, moving on.
Don’t waste energy thinking about it later. Chances are, if the other person is a stranger, you will never see them again. If they’re a friend then I’m fairly certain it will take more than this one moment to make them think you’re completely insane. Or socially awkward. Or just both. The point is that it’s unlikely this will make a lasting impression. If you’re at an interview, and you brush it off, at least they can see that you’re actually quite a fun person who can laugh at themselves. It’s not the end of the world if this doesn’t work out brilliantly, is it?
There will always be a time where the other person makes it awkward, but don’t worry – it’ll soon pass and everything will be fine. Awkward moments, in hindsight, can be quite amusing, and if nothing else at least you’ve got a nice anecdote to tell your friends later.
That’s all from me for this week’s column. You know the drill: feel free to get in touch with questions and comments, all of which are welcome as always. See you next time!