The A(wkward) Word…

Hey passengers, climb aboard today as we take a look at eh A word…”Awkward’.  As I help you up into your car off the platform I hand you a white business card with black raised letters that say:

“That was Awkward,” “SO what!!??”.

Don’t you just hate it when you are caught off-guard in an awkward situation? As uncomfortable as they are, awkward situations seem to have a purpose: to alert us of social expectations and boundaries — and motivate us to avoid making the same mistake twice.  Social awkwardness works as a “social early warning system.” People tend to pay extra attention to the social atmosphere during an awkward moment by, for example, being unable to take their eyes off the person who told the off-color joke.

At the same time, they’re acutely aware of their own physical discomfort, be it in the form of a blushing face, a pit in the stomach or a racing heart.

But the advantages of awkwardness have their limit. Consider the people who seem to find nearly every situation awkward or who find such moments so cringe-worthy that they avoid experiences with a high potential for awkwardness, such as first dates or networking events.

“If socially awkward experiences lead one to panic and avoidance, then these experiences can become central to a self-perpetuating pattern of social fear and avoidance,

Whether you burst into the wrong meeting, say goodbye to someone before continuing on the same path or get trapped in a conversation that’s more silence than dialogue, awkward situations are a part of life.

“We all have these [experiences]. The trick is deciding how meaningful they are and how much they’re getting in the way for you. “Typically, it’s not the awkward moments that are the problem, it’s how you interpret them or make sense of them.”  Give this fun video a shot…(some of the best parts are at the end).  Have fun with it!