The pains of awkwardness


(this is as awkward as life gets)

So there you are, walking through Target, and you see someone you know walking towards you.  Now this person isn’t someone you know well, but you definitely know them and they know you.  All of a sudden, the fears of awkwardness set in.  Do I say “hi?Will they say “hi?” What do I do?  Then before you know it, eye contact is made, and then you realize they are going through the same exact scenario you are.  As quickly as your eyes met, the connection is broken as you seek to look at anything… literally anything else… to avoid an awkward conversation with someone you just kind of know.  Maybe you fumble for your cellphone to check your email just in case there happens to be a VERY important email you might have overlooked in that very moment.  Nope.  No email.   OK, how about that voice mail that I’ve let sit unnoticed for the last 3 weeks?  Maybe now is a good time to check that?  Oh, who are we kidding?

Or how about the same scenario when you see the person coming and you really think they’re going to say “hi”, and they quickly change direction or beat you to the cell phone search.  You immediately think… “see if I make eye contact with them again!!!”

Why do we do these ridiculous things?  This stuff drives me nuts.  Why not say “hey, how’s it going?” What can that hurt?  I think it’s just being nice.  I’m going to do my best to initiate the “awkward conversation” from here on out.  Take this as your warning.  If we kind of know each other and we begin this awkward scenario all over, I’m going to do my best to go ahead and say “hi,” even if I get your name wrong.  Chances are, I probably won’t get it wrong twice.

See you around.

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