How do you Manage Awkward Moments?

How do you Manage Awkward Moments?

How often have I found myself in awkward moments and was lost for words? Let me count. One, two, three, four… The instances are quite a handful and that is for those I can remember. Some are elaborate while others just split second.

Let me put this awkward thing into perspective. And maybe some readers will relate to this. You are a senior bachelor, and a bunch of folks know it. One of the days, you get an invitation from your ‘guys’ as they are known to you and because the rules dictate that you don’t forfeit a call, you gladly accept and decide to show up looking forward to an experience of partying and pure enjoyment.

True to your expectation, there is a ton of other people at the event when you finally show up. Some are known to you, and you have never seen the rest. You decide to roll with the flow. After a few moments in and your main guy calls you aside. In your mind, maybe you are the best barbeque guy, and some extra hands are needed with the goat meat on the grill.

You’re wrong. You go out onto the balcony and instead of goat meat readily sizzling on some hot embers of charcoal, you find this lovely lady sipping some soft drink. Image is important to catch the interest of a senior bachelor. And out of the blue, your host introduces the two of you and remarks that you’re a senior bachelor looking to settle down.

He then hints that this lady can be good for you and walks out leaving the two of you to talk. Then the silence drops like a snow ice block falling down from up the roof. As you wonder what you need to talk about, your mind is racing quickly about when, if any, you ever told your guys that you wanted to settle down and that you needed their help in soliciting a lady. That is one instance.

I guess we know this, right?

Maybe that is not you. You are the guy who has had it all good. Your life has been doing quite well and things seem to be perfectly working out in your favor. Then one day you meet a bunch of friends, and one knows about your situation. Then he decides to fix you.

He turns to the rest of the group and tells them you are the best guy with the best roadmap to success and that you will share some nuggets they can follow to be as successful as you are. Because you were not prepared, you find yourself in a very awkward situation. First, you wonder what your friend means by success, you wonder even more what success means to these other people.

You try to arm-twist yourself out, but your friend is not the type that is good at reading the signs. He sees you sweat and decodes it to mean that you are beginning to enjoy it. In the process, you fumble words and things and when you look at them later you wonder if they ever made sense. This is scenario two.

The last one has perhaps made all of us victims in just but my selection for today. We all communicate using phones. Have you ever sent a message to the wrong person or called somebody and forgot to end the call afterwards and then you made a funny comment about the conversation probably in their hearing?

It becomes more complicated for those people who love gossiping. You send a message of gossip to the person you are gossiping about, and hell breaks loose. Or the carefree messages you send your boys find themselves by mistake in the church WhatsApp group when everybody is online doing a discussion. By the time you delete the message ten seconds later, half of the participants have already seen it and others have already screenshotted it. From that moment on, you are never you.

How do manage yourself in those situations? I don’t have much to talk about this because how we react to such things varies from person to person. But perhaps in one paragraph, I will share how I would normally react when faced with an awkward situation and I usually begin by neutralizing the atmosphere by throwing an iota of pun.

If it is a friend who is fixing you, you fix them back. Remark by telling the people that sometimes your friends joke with you and never know when to stop. Then say how you are reminded of something that perfectly fits the situation and throw it across. You will realize the tension is levelled. Of course, you have to be well-read to throw a few relevant quotes or bits here and there. So, read my friends.

Sometimes you may need to play along. For others, you will need a proper strategy. So, assess the situation quickly and seek the perfect antidote. Even in other extreme situations, you may need to be silent and let things work out. Maybe, like in the first case, the girl will speak first and thus all you have to do is give her a hearing ear. She will realize the conversation was more about her and not you when she will be reflecting about it.

Just understand that there is no laid down procedure on how to handle awkward situations because no two awkward situations are similar. Whatever you do, as long as it makes the situation better for you and everybody else. Just do it.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at info@dailyfocus.co.ke
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