There are two types of people in this world – those who embrace their awkwardness until it becomes part of their natural personality, and those who are so aware of it, that everything little awkward thing they do seems 10 times amplified.
I, for sure, belong to the latter group!
From a very early age I learned that trying not to be awkward (or ‘normal’, if you will) is more of a learned skill than anything that naturally occurs to me!
To me, normality means doing things like accidentally walking into glass doors, tripping up over my own feet, blurting out jokes that are only funny in my head, and having full-on conversations pretending I know what someone’s talking about, just to be polite.
Yep, that’s me, I am the essence of awkwardness.
It’s OK though, because actually, I’m pretty sure everyone has an awkward side! And instead of trying to squish it, I’ve decided I’m going to embrace it. Who’s with me?
Here are my top tips for embracing the art of being awkward…
Let the little things go
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not very good at this! I tend to obsess over those embarrassing, awkward moments, wondering who’s talking about them and what they must think of me as a result.
Well, I’m here to reassure you. Not everyone is walking around remembering that time you spilled coffee all over yourself because the cup missed your mouth (happens more than I’d care to admit!)
So let it go and enjoy the rest of your day. And apologies if now, like me, you’ve got that Frozen song stuck in your head.
Stop seeking reassurance
Those awkward, forgotten-in-the-blink-of-an-eye coffee spill moments? I’ll usually be the one to remind everyone of them in a desperate bid for reassurance (“It wasn’t that bad, right?”)
It’s only recently that I’ve tried to teach myself to stop seeking reassurance, particularly from my close family and friends. If nothing else, it probably makes me pretty boring to be around. But more importantly, other people don’t exist simply to allay my anxieties!
Plus, if you keep bringing that long-forgotten awkward moment back up, how are you ever going to let it go (sorry!)?
Remember the good times
Instead of obsessing over the awkward bits of your day, why not focus on the best bits instead?
Getting to the end of a tough day and writing down three good things that happened to you can really put the rest of it into perspective.
Give it a try – you’ll be surprised at how positive it might make you feel!
Learn to laugh at yourself
Walking into doors is funny.
Yes, especially when it happens to you.
Although not so much if you actually hurt yourself…
Yeah… let’s move on!
Ask after others
It can be easy to forget to do this when you’re obsessing over whether or not someone’s judging you for mis-matching your bag and your belt!
But that friend you keep asking whether that time you came out with your shirt on inside out a month ago was really that bad? Guess what? They’ve got their own stuff going on!
I’m ashamed to say I’m sometimes guilty of forgetting friendship is a two-way street. Ask after others, see how they’re doing too. You never know, they might’ve been waiting for an opportunity to talk about something they’re going through – and you might be the perfect person to offer them some advice.
Don’t try too hard to be ‘normal’
Firstly, there’s no such thing.
Secondly, if you try to be someone you’re not you’ll live your life feeling super unhappy. Trust me.
I know it’s hard not to worry about what other people think, but it’s a worthwhile exercise to embark on. Think of it this way, can you remember the last time your friend told a joke that no-one laughed at, or tripped over their own feet and fell over in the street, or accidentally dropped food down themselves? Probably not. So why worry if they’re remembering that tiny awkward thing you felt embarrassed about last week?
Don’t try too hard to be ‘normal’. Be unique, be you, and above all – be awkward! It’s part of who we all are, so let’s just embrace it!
How do you embrace your awkward side?