Social Awkwardness

Erin Baquiran, Photography Editor

Hey guys! This week has been a more-awkward-than-normal week for me. Every time I try to socialize with someone I feel like I have to act a certain way or they’re expecting me to do something. Well it turns out most people don’t care much, but as one who feels awkward all the time I tend to make moments worse than they actually are.

For example, I would tell my puns as usual and the person would slightly smile and that would be it. But for SOME REASON this week I decided to be extra awkward and try to explain my jokes when I had the slightest feeling someone didn’t understand it. That. Is. never. A. Good. Idea.

It ruins the whole idea and the whole moment. Awkward silences follow along with the speaker (pun-teller) desperately trying to think of a new joke so that the audience doesn’t feel awkward and trying to make up for the mistake that has been made. Usually putting another pun on top of it just layers the amount of stress on the pun-teller, like another shovel of dirt onto your grave. Digging yourself deeper into the empty hole that is your life.

This week I also started to try to spark some new conversations with other people whenever there were awkward silences by mentioning a show they liked or music artists they obsessed over. This is another giant mistake that will definitely lead to awkward moments.
Most of the time it does work to help grow friendships, but in my case, God decided to go against me and let those conversations be the most awkward I’ve had in awhile. I knew absolutely NOTHING about what they watched or who they were talking about, but for SOME REASON I tried to keep engaged in the conversation saying I knew what they were talking about. Of course I hear things about their “fandom” (fan base) and know vaguely what they’re talking about, but I do not know specifics. Like for shows, people could talk about it for days on end, explaining frantically and upbeat. I could nod on and follow what they meant, but sometimes they ask me about certain characters and certain moments and I’m totally caught off guard. Of course I ask what they meant because I do not have any particular knowledge of the topic. Then I watch the passion and happiness drain from their eyes as they have to travel back from their show’s world and into the real world to explain the smallest thing to a small ignorant child who hasn’t watched their show as much or as intensely as they have. I mean it’s still great that the conversation spark up, but watching that happen is probably one of the most awkward things to experience, not to mention the new pressure to watch or listen to whatever they were talking about so that when you had a conversation again you would be prepared.

Self-deprecating jokes can definitely add to the pile of heart wrenching awkwardness of a moment as well. It could range from calling yourself trash to lying that you have a death wish. Like when not doing so well on a test, people would joke about how they will fail and become a stripper by the end of their high school career, but for students in 2016 we like to joke about our own death. “I want 2 die,” “I want to drink bleach,” “pumpkin spice (latte) bleach”: ALL JOKES THAT HAVE BEEN MADE BY STUDENTS. But I mean these joke are targeted by specific audiences, usually ones who will understand are the ones who have used social media for a long time. But when you say the jokes to other people, it gets really awkward.

For example I accidentally made a bleach joke to my mom at the store the other day and she gave me the most worried look I’ve ever seen. And then I awkwardly laughed and tried to explain the joke but no, she was still worried.

And one final awkward moment. You would think that if you own up to your own awkwardness by stating it aloud would help the other person understand their awkwardness. But never say it aloud. Never admit that you feel weird because it will only increase the awkwardness of the moment.

So learning lessons of this awkward train wreck of a blog post:
When saying puns, never EVER explain what they mean (unless asked)
Never try to get too involved into a conversation by looking like you know a lot about a topic that you know very little about
Never make self-deprecating jokes to the wrong crowd
Never admit awkwardness