I have a big heart, but man can I get socially awkward.
Sometimes, I’m sure I don’t even realize I’ve been awkward, but sometimes, after the fact, it becomes abundantly clear to me, and then I want to crawl into a hole. I think the issue has a few sides to it. First, I’m British, and am not lovey dovey by nature (except with my kids and husband). I’m not one to run around hugging everyone. That being said, I have family members who are very huggy, and I’m getting better at doing the whole hug thing. Second, I’m not great at small talk. I think I need a class or something, because I typically find small talk to be rather disingenuous and uncomfortable. It feels like wasted air a lot of time, and it often can come to an awkward end. Third, I’m fairly shy when I don’t know people. I won’t have any urge to go seek out someone to chat with, but would rather find a task or job that needs doing and will help out that way instead. That way, at least I’m not a lump but can keep myself efficiently busy and away from making awkward social mistakes.
It’s not easy to admit you’re awkward, especially to the internet, but here I am.
Today we had a big customer seminar. I bumped into a lovely customer that I chatted with at length yesterday. We both put our hands out, but I suddenly realized I had no idea what he was doing. Was it a fist bump? a handshake? I didn’t immediately recognize his hand movement as it begun and frankly, he clearly didn’t recognize mine either (I think he was going for a fist bump and I was going for a handshake…typically British). What ended up happening was a weird entanglement of fingers trying to meet common ground.
I felt so awkward, I did the most awkward thing I could do, and sort of pulled him in for a “bro hug” when one hand goes behind the back and pats.
I’m so awkward I wanted to climb into a hole and have someone shovel dirt on top of me to hide my awkwardness. I realized how amazingly awkward I had made it, and I did exactly what you would expect me to do at that moment, based on what I told you above.
I. Ran. Away. CRINGE!
I have since spent a good couple of hours trying not to think about it, but being unsuccessful, leaving me cringing.
Are there classes to make one less awkward? If so, I need to sign up for those suckers pronto!