A friend of mine suggested I write this post. The other day, she called me because she was feeling embarrassed about an awkward meeting.
When she first got to the meeting, she introduced herself to someone who turned out to be a high-ranking executive — someone she maybe should have recognized.
He said they had met before, although they had not. Likely he had her mixed up with someone else.
Then she realized that she was at the wrong meeting entirely. Her meeting had been cancelled.
She was right to call me, because I have socially awkward situations all the time. Unlike hers, mine are often 100% my own doing. I could tell her, with confidence:
“Nobody cares. That guy is going to have three more meetings today, and he won’t even be thinking about this at the end of the day.”
Every day brings the potential for social awkwardness.
We answer an email in a way that makes it abundantly clear that we did not carefully read the email.
Someone tells us at church that Melissa is pregnant, and we go and congratulate the wrong Melissa.
We brush someone’s butt or boob while getting off the elevator.
Or we say goodbye to someone, discover that we are walking in the same direction that they are, and can’t think of anything else to say.
Other people rarely spend much time thinking about our awkwardness, however. They have a hundred other things on their mind, including their own awkwardness.
So there’s no reason for us to give it much thought, either. If we can think to ourselves, “LOL that was weird” and go on our merry way, we’re going to be a lot happier.
It’s usually a mistake to make a big deal about your awkwardness. When you go on and on about it, or apologize later, you just prolong the weirdness. You also make sure that people will remember something that they would otherwise forget.
We think about social grace as a matter of not making any mistakes, but I think it also has to do with recovering quickly from missteps.
Do you have socially awkward moments, or are you smooth all the time? (If it’s the latter, tell us your secrets!) And if you do have awkward moments, do you obsess about them, or just let them go? I’d love to hear! Have a great Friday!