My most recent post, Embracing Average, is an attempt to take my status in life and understand it more fully. I am average, and I do not see that changing anytime soon. As I’ve come to learn, average is nothing to be ashamed of, and so I’m taking aim at some of my other attributes as well.
So now it’s time to talk about being awkward.
Trust me when I tell you that, within a few minutes of my presence, I will find a way to be awkward. If this isn’t you, maybe you should just keep reading anyway to better understand the awkward dears in your life
I am awkward socially.
I tell people all the time that I often walk through life with the care and humor of a 6th grade boy, and I stand by that statement. I am the first to make a stupid comment at an inappropriate time, I am forever embarrassing myself, and I can quickly alienate an unsuspecting person just by opening my big mouth. I’m loud and talkative when I should be quiet, and when I attempt to be quiet, it’s even more awkward because I just don’t know how to stand or where to look or what to do with my hands…
I am also awkward physically.
I’ve never been good at sports or dance or anything that requires grace and fluidity. Seriously, my claim to fame is being good at air hockey…and let’s get real, that “sport” basically only requires that I flail my arms back and forth rapidly. I look like a newborn calf in heels, and I can always find something to trip over. If there is something to run into or drop, I will find and do those things.
I’m an awkward parent.
I feel like an imposter at every school function, class party, or parent meeting. Parents talk about important things and offer thoughtful conversation, when all I really want to do is crack a “that’s what she said” joke or quote a line for Stepbrothers or The Wedding Singer.
This isn’t meant to be a personal sob story. I say all of this because I truly believe, even though I’m quite sure I’m always the most awkward person in the room, there are others who feel the same way. So if you’re coming to grips with your awkward nature or could just use a healthy dose of confidence, I’m your girl. I’m also your girl for random movie quotes, song lyrics, and teenage boy humor, but I digress.
Since I’m learning to embrace all of these things about myself, I’m going to give helpful hints for those of you who can relate (because clearly, I’ve got this awkward thing aaaaallll figured out):
Dive into your awkward.
Be the first one in the food line because other people are too cautious to go first. Have clunky conversations. Crack jokes, even if you’re the only one who is laughing. Try new things even when you will look and feel like a crazy person.
Embrace your awkward publicly.
When you can tell you’ve made someone uncomfortable (and this happens to me all.the.time., just say it. It goes something like this…“I’m sorry if that was weird. I’m a little weird.” OR “It’s not you. I’m just super awkward.”
Know your audience.
Or at least try to. Learn to filter yourself when it’s possible or necessary. As a functioning “grown-up,” it’s my responsibility to make an effort at adulting in certain situations. I’m adapting and learning to be less awkward. That’s the key — I don’t think I have it in me not to be awkward at all. Sometimes though, you get lucky, and you can let your awkward flag fly, which leads me to my next point…
Find others who share your affinity for awkward culture.
If you know what to look for, you can find her — the one who trips, the one who laughs too loudly, and the one who looks around wildly to decide whether it’s time to make a hasty retreat or enter into another odd conversation. When you find that person, latch on. I mean it. Koala bear style. Find your kindred awkward spirit and unleash the awkward full force. She will not mind. You can enjoy yourself and save yourself some embarrassment. Some of my favorite people are self-proclaimed awkward as well.