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Getting over awkwardness

Have you ever had one of those awkward moments?

Come on. I’m sure you did. I know I had plenty. And I still do.

Awkward moments are … awkward. But, honestly, totally normal and sometimes they actually lighten the tension or make things memorable (in a good way, really).

But, there are times when they do make everyone in the room uncomfortable. And I’m sure we all want to avoid those moments. 

So, how do we avoid awkwardness when we have absolutely nothing to talk about or nothing to association with others in the room?

Well, we could reference weather or ask about their day, but that just seems so generic and overdone. Maybe even a bit forced. So, what should we do?

Here are some tips to avoid awkwardness to save yourself from those moments when you feel like a chair sitting in the middle of a road.

  • Tell them a fun fact and see if they get excited about it. If they do, continue expanding on that topic. If they don’t, tell them another fun fact. The great thing about fun facts is that they are things you just read somewhere that you thought was interesting tidbits of information, and they work perfectly to spark conversation.
  • Throw in a compliment, but don’t overexaggerate. Most people would respond when you compliment them. They might start talking about what you complimented them for. Like if you said that they are very well-mannered, they might go on about how they were always like this in their childhood. That opens up the door for you to ask about their past. If you compliment on their outfit, they might talk about where they got it or if it was gifted. This also opens up conversational topics.
  • Make a comment about something in the room. You are drawing upon something that you both can relate to since you’re both physically in the room. 
  • Tell a joke. Even dad jokes work. Throwing in some silliness breaks the ice and makes things less awkward. You might get others telling jokes too or just laughing or telling you that you need to work on your comedy act.
  • Talk about yourself. Now, don’t go on and tell your entire life story, but you know yourself the best. If there is something interesting you want to share, then break the ice by telling them a story. If there is a popular news story and you relate to it, talk about it to get them engaged. Likely, they read the news story too.

I used to be so shy that I wouldn’t talk to anyone I didn’t feel comfortable with. Perhaps the nature of my current profession has given me several opportunities to interact with others, but I feel that it’s not so awkward talking to strangers anymore. How I see it … they might also feel a bit of anxiety talking with you since they know nothing about you, so if you’re patient and carefully break the ice, you might find out that you have a lot in common and can talk for hours together. 

Give it a try and tell yourself to get past the awkwardness because there’s nothing to be afraid of.

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