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Please, Mind the Awkwardness November 18, 2011

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Family, Friendships, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.

There is no one who hasn’t stood with a lunch tray full of awkward smelling macaroni and cheese and a limp meatloaf, scanning the room for the right place to sit, any place would be better than standing at the head of the room where all eyes can see you. There isn’t anyone on the planet that hasn’t felt sheerly naked in a crowd or found themselves scrolling through old texts to avoid the eyes of anyone who might be around.
Part of being a writer is being able to, at times, forcing one’s self to, witness things objectively but this goes far beyond being a writer, this is a unique and valuable quality for anyone to have both for their own situations and the problems or circumstances of others. In short, being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes…and being able to step out of them too. What’s different about those macaroni and meatloaf lunch room moments, is that we were young, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t feel the emotion of discomfort but it does mean we couldn’t know how to stop it. Now, as adults, it’s our job to be the bigger person but in turn, many of us, end up acting like 4th grade children making the new kid sit alone.

We’re human, therefore, we make each other feel totally and completely hurt sometimes, it happens. Someone says the wrong thing, someone misinterprets a sentance, someone is just having a flat-out bad day but hurt can be replaced by love, hurt can be mended. Like trust, the rid of awkwardness can be nearly impossible to absolve once it’s set in place.

Awkward: embarrassing: an awkward moment; difficult to deal with; requiring tact: an awkward situation; an awkward person; deliberately uncooperative or unhelpful: he could help but he was being awkward.

“Deliberately uncooperative or unhelpful”…who wants to be that person? Why do we spend so much time inducing this type of emotional response on people. Friends who spent holidays together now pass each other in the hallway without saying hello, people tip-toe around their homes in an effort to not disturb someone else, re-working entire schedules in hopes of not having to carpool with someone you’re pretty sure doesn’t like you. Let me tell you, this behavior doesn’t benefit anyone, anytime because it’s contagious, once someone close to you feels uncomfortable around another person, you too, will start to become uncomfortable around that person and no matter how many times you may discuss it, no matter how many times that person may tell you they’ve got nothing against you, that awkwardness is like mono, it’s here to stay as long as it damn well pleases. You really want to be the person responsible for someone else’s stress induced virus? That’s mature of you, glad you could make it to the party.

In addition, in our world of fast-paced, manic, technology and social occasions, we often lose unconditional compassion. Have an air of empathy about you, using sarcasm as a tool to hide your insecurities or frustrations will only make people feel as if they’ve done something wrong. Ignoring someone’s comment or reacting passively gives people the idea that they’re bothering you. I don’t need to tell you this, you, in your 26-year-old state, this is something you learned long ago in the “Manners” lesson in pre-school. I’m writing this because I see it happen everyday, passive aggressive non-sense that changes relationships so drastically, I see most of them never mended.

What’s the point? Really, what’s the point? The irony is we all act this way in an effort to protect ourselves and not hurt anyone else but the reality of the matter is that we do, we place the AWKWARD cut out in the room and dance around it as if it’s invisible. The only thing you’re doing by instilling discomfort in someone is devaluing the wonderful things they bring to your life, and missing out on a great person in your future. I’d rather you throw your macaroni and cheese at someone to get their attention, like a barbarian, than be indifferent to their existence all together.


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