At the first jazz fest we had this season, a few members of my band and I spent approximately three hours in the cafeteria conversing. The most amazing thing about it is that I would have otherwise never talked to these people, or never talked to them in that sort of depth. (Except for one or two of my good friends who were there; I talk to them a lot!)
But the most interesting part about that event was that somehow, at some point, the topic turned to how to prevent awkwardness, and they were asking me. I think I had mentioned that I don’t really feel awkward as much as before (or not at all, I can’t remember), and while the preceding conversation had been goofy and fun, this part of the conversation was as close to serious as we got that night. The people quieted down and asked, “How DO you get rid of awkwardness?”
My answer was, “Embrace it. Because nothing is awkward until you make it that way.”
If you feel yourself start to recoil from a situation, feel those familiar alerts creeping in – “Whoa, this is really awkward and uncomfortable, I want to get out!” – stop and feel them. Note them, and ask, “Is it really that bad?”
My friend also chimed in that he purposely creates awkward situations, and therefore is immune to them. It’s not just okay to be weird; it’s healthy. You free up all that extra thinking time from being occupied with pointless discomfort.
I don’t remember how this came up either, but I was also asked how to combat when I say the wrong thing, or something that doesn’t make sense, or when an awkward silence arises. “Bulldoze the situation, make a joke, move on.” I don’t waste time.
I used to worry about that stuff. And it’s taken me more than five years to just get this far – I still have trouble introducing myself to strangers, being with little kids, dealing with the general public, and all that other more advanced stuff. But I’ve made strides and it feels great. There’s nothing like a little mental spring cleaning.
And it’s imperative that I DO clear some room in my mind this spring because there’s lots to do that involves bulldozing through “awkward” situations.
I read this article about becoming fluent in a language. Can you say New Project? Being fluent in German is a dream of mine, and if this guy can do it in a few months, I surely can do it after 3 years of academic German!
It’s been over six months since becoming vegan. It’s time to start feeling less awkward about talking to people about it. In fact, I think it’s more “embarrassed” that I feel, rather than “awkward.” It’s because of those looks on people’s faces, who assume I’m doing it for the wrong reasons – to lose weight, to join a fad-diet, to protest, to even just make it harder on myself…It’s time to set the record straight.
And finally, it’s time to take control of my music. If it’s what I want to do – which it is – then being timid is an ENORMOUS no-no. It is the biggest turn-off, I think, to fellow musicians. I should listen to this quotation:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
– Marianne Williamson
Anyone else interested in giving “awkwardness” the boot, too? For inspiration, here is a slew of inspiring pictures. (sources at end of post)
Have a great weekend.