“Wow, sounds like you need a girlfriend ha-ha-h…” I said red-faced, trying to flirt, sounding like a fool. “No, I don’t.” The guy I was trying to flirt with looked at me weird. I quickly backed away when I realized that, in fact, everyone was looking at me weird.
I laid in bed awake that night, and every night for a week, and sometimes months later, even maybe a year or two later, repeating that conversation in my head, hating myself every single time I remembered me opening my mouth. Why do I always seem to say stupid things?
People always ask me why I am quiet. Let me tell you! I’m sure I’ve said enough stupid things in the past 5 years to last an entire life time. Please! I am quiet because chances are, if I talk long enough, I’m bound to let something slip that I will regret. Ever feel that way? Well, trust me, you are NOT alone.
But there are ways that you can combat the awkward feeling. One thing I can vouch for is talking and laughing about it. The brain has two sides. One with thoughts and the other with what you say…or something like that (I read it in a counseling book). And this goes for any feeling, including anger or sadness. If you think about something too long then your brain becomes unbalanced, and you do begin to feel anxious or depressed. Talking about something moves it to the other side of the brain, and you feel better. I know that I feel much better after confiding in my best friend about the stupid thing I did that day. It doesn’t make it go away, but somehow, it becomes…not as bad.
Also talking about the embarrassing thing you did may elicit stories from someone else. Once you realize that you are not the only one around doing embarrassing things, you may feel better.
Another way to combat the awkward feeling is confronting the awkward situation. Even saying something like “Awkward!” can make a situation not as awkward. Or I have even said, “Oh, I’m really bad at understanding jokes…haha…sorry…” Like for real—is it just me or are there some really dumb jokes out there?
And come on, after that, just forget about it. Try not to dwell on it. I mean think about it, how often do you remember other people being awkward? Probably not often. Same thing happens with them. In a week, they probably won’t even remember having a conversation with you, or at least not an awkward one.
But if you still say, “I bet they remember. Ugh, I am such an awkward person,” guess what—you are in good company! Sometimes I think not a day goes by when I don’t think “why did I just say that.” But really, don’t let it bother you, learn from your mistakes, and get a new job or school. Just kidding! But really, don’t let a single awkward moment ruin your day. Tell your friend, laugh at yourself, and forget about it.
Although I just said to forget about it, sometimes it’s important to remember the embarrassing things you have done, because then you realize, “Hey, I did that embarrassing thing two years ago, and look, I’m still alive.” Remembering past embarrassments will help you realize, it’s not as big of a deal as you may think it is.
And if you are really having a problem with awkwardness, practice, practice, practice. Talk to the person checking out your groceries, talk to the telemarketer, ask your coworker how their weekend was, compliment a classmate, just keep on keeping on. You got this.
And, soooo, um… yup, the end.