In unfamiliar social situations I am going to do one of two things:
I’m either going to jump in the deep end with all my clothes on and embrace the situation or I am going to avoid the pool altogether.
My preference is the former. I love people. I love making people laugh and love making people feel like they can be completely themselves around me and not have to apologize for it.
I’ll put it this way; if I’m a dog (stay with me) and I meet another dog, I’m the dog that rolls over on it’s back, exposing it’s soft underbelly. Because I don’t want to be your boss, I want to be your friend!!! Although, if I sense you’re going to take advantage of me or be all judgy I will just run away. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
So here is my take on embracing awkward:
You can’t really go wrong with a smile. It’s like hugging someone with your face but with less commitment.
2. Make eye contact.
When you can’t look someone in the eye, you look like you’ve got something to hide. Like a dead body in your trunk.
Do some neck rolls. Take a deep breath.
4. Sink in to the awkward.
Just let it cover you like a pool full of lime green Jell-O. If you own the awkward, then the awkward can’t own you. Think about that for a minute.
5. Learn to read people.
Some people will always have a stick up their bum and there’s nothing you can do about it.
6. Don’t make it about you.
Make it about the other person. I struggle the most when I’m overly self-conscious and not others-conscious. A genuine compliment can go a long way. And by genuine, I mean don’t expect anything in return. Give admiration freely.
7. Don’t brag.
And for the love of Dunkin Donuts, don’t fish for compliments. We all want to impress each other and sometimes it’s hard not to talk about all our awesome. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But usually it comes across like you’re spewing “like me, like me, like me” all over someone. That kind of vomit is almost as bad as the real thing.
8. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Most people have secrets. Really embarrassing secrets that they don’t want anyone to know. Like that time they pooped their pants. I’ve been there and done that and I don’t mind letting people know. Because let’s face it, everybody poops and eventually everybody poops their pants. If you're transparent and able to laugh at yourself, then chances are those around you will feel like they can do the same.
This is not an exhaustive list and it might not even be the best advice, but this is how I cope with awkward social situations. So you should look for me at a party sometime and I'll tell you about that one time I pooped my pants.
How do you avoid awkward social situations?
Let me know in the comments below.