The word comes from the Old Norse afugr meaning ‘turned the wrong way’.
Being in a socially awkward situation means to be in a situation that is clunky, embarrassing and uncomfortable.
But we all knew that already because it is in our nature to avoid socially awkward situations like the plague.
Say the word out loud. Awkward. Funny how it sounds exactly like what it means.
We let the awkward determine too many of our actions.
- We say ‘yes’ when we really want to say ‘no’ because we want to avoid the awkward.
- We don’t speak up because we want to avoid the awkward.
- We let people manipulate us because we want to avoid the awkward.
- We don’t stand up for ourselves because we want to avoid the awkward.
- We don’t ask for help because we want to avoid the awkward.
- We don’t say, “I was wrong, please forgive me”, because we want to avoid the awkward.
- We don’t say, “I love you”, because we want to avoid the awkward.
We can’t live life fleeing from the awkward! Well, we can, but we will have a very unfulfilled life.
If we hide from the awkward (and you can trust me on this because I am an expert in awkward-avoidance), we will inevitably unleash its much bigger and more destructive cousins – regret, discouragement, disappointment, anger, bitterness.
I have some wise advice for you: Embrace the awkward.
Next time someone pressures you to commit to something you know you shouldn’t…
Embrace the awkward.
Just say no. You don’t need to give a reason. Just remember that when you say ‘yes’ to someone or something, you are saying ‘no’ to something else. Either way you will be saying ‘no’ to something so you might as well choose what you will say ‘no’ to. Don’t let other people own your time!
Next time you know you should speak up but feel like you will be drowned out or ridiculed…
Embrace the awkward.
Remember the loudest voice in the room is usually wrong, so don’t give them all the air-time and the prominent position of influence. Speak up! Your opinion is valid and appreciated.
Next time you really need to have that crucial conversation with someone, but know it may crash and burn…
Embrace the awkward!
The possibility of a restored relationship and/or an offense banished far outweighs the risk.
Please remember that the awkward will visit you frequently in life. Get used to it.
If you don’t embrace the awkward now, you will always be embraced its uglier, smellier cousins later. Once you understand that and start to practice the art of ‘awkward embracement’ – you will begin to live much freer and happier.
Awkward. It would make a great name for a cat.