Awkward Conversations – When Words Aren’t Needed

Listen. We’ve all experienced awkward moments in our lives. Whether it’s hiding from a person who broke our hearts, feeling uncomfortable when someone brings up difficult conversations or watching as a person bawls their eyes out from hurt. Life is not always fun. PEOPLE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY OR HOW TO RESPOND when I’ve spoken about personal things like my miscarriage, fibroids, or difficulty conceiving. Sometimes people blurt out what they are feeling at the wrong time. That doesn’t mean that they are seeking attention. Sometimes it’s cathartic getting those emotions out in the open. Most people who go through traumatic experiences are not expecting you to know what to say. If they open up to you through pain, it’s a huge honor because they trust you with their heart. I know in my life, it’s always made me feel better knowing that those who let me spill my heart out were not always judging me but giving me the comfort of their presence and their ear. Those actions meant more than any amount of money. Compassion and empathy are something that there seems to be too little of in this world.

What are some things you can do when people say things that you might feel a little awkward responding to because words fail you? It’s a good question, especially when so many of us walk on eggshells with other people. Here are some of the tips I found online.

1. Make amends if you have hurt someone

Let’s say that you did something to hurt someone’s feelings or cause them physical harm. This realization can be embarrassing and awkward. The most crucial step to resolving the situation is apologizing and making amends. This task can be a real struggle when you’re feeling so uncomfortable, but it can make putting the incident behind you a lot easier. Learning to own up to our part in someone else’s pain can be a start to helping another person heal. You don’t have to over-apologize but be honest and sincere. Those steps can go a long way to helping heal a person’s heart and soul.

2. Try to see the funny side

Some of the best medicine for awkward situations is finding humor in whatever went wrong. Sometimes humor isn’t appropriate, but most embarrassing stories have an element of humor in them. Humor can be therapeutic if people use it in the right way. For instance, if a person falls and busts their butt in front of a large crowd, that person may say something like, “Well, there goes my balance lessons!” Usually, people laugh at that person. It shows that the awkward person isn’t taking themselves too seriously and permits others to lighten the mood.

3. Let go of embarrassing memories

I have many memories that I would rather forget, but I remember wetting my pants on more than one occasion in the first grade. The teacher would ridicule me and point out to everyone that I had a wet butt. I wasn’t the only kid who had problems, but she hated me. It took me a long time to let go of those memories with her. It did no good to dwell on them, but it made me aware of how I’ve treated others in the past, and I wasn’t proud of my actions. I had to learn to deal with those memories, and while I don’t like what she did, she helped mold me into a more robust, confident, and less wet on the derrière. I didn’t have the skills or knowledge back then to handle her, but I do today, which makes all the difference in the world.

4. Remember that others don’t notice you much

Most of the time our awkward encounters are not noticed by others much. Many times the incidents are worse in our minds than in reality. Sometimes that realization can be tough to accept.

Reminding yourself that “No one will remember this tomorrow” can help you keep an awkward moment in proportion.

5. Accept the risk of awkwardness

Learning something new almost always comes with the risk of getting it wrong. This logic usually means that you will probably have to deal with some awkwardness to improve your social skills. I don’t know many people who get everything right all the time. Being awkward can bring you closer to others, and that’s a huge benefit down the line.

6. Don’t take all the responsibility

“Social situations are almost always a shared responsibility. They’re something that you create with other people. That’s what makes them social. If you’re feeling awkward or uncomfortable, it’s easy to take all of the responsibility for that on yourself.

Reminding yourself that you can’t control everything in a social situation can make it easier for you to forgive yourself for awkward situations.”

7. Learn to deal with conflict

Most of us find conflict awkward, whether that’s someone else disagreeing with us or two of our friends disagreeing and us being in the middle. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Can you understand what they might be going through and why they are dealing with it differently? The conflict can diffuse when you learn to be present and not be part of the problem.

8. Acknowledge the awkwardness

“Things will often feel weird or awkward when there’s something that you or the people around you aren’t willing to talk about.

Often, once you notice that things are a little awkward, you go into panic mode and try to move on to any subject other than the awkwardness. This is a little bit like trying not to think of pink elephants. The more you try not to think about the awkwardness, the more it’s the only thing you can think about. You then feel even more awkward. What often makes it worse is that everyone else is doing the same thing.

Try to break this cycle by acknowledging that this is a difficult situation. You could say, “OK, so I’m feeling a little awkward here, and I suspect I’m not the only one,” and see what other people say.”

These tips all came from the following website: I know we all struggle when we find ourselves in the thick of an awkward conversation, but hopefully, some of these tips might help you keep from putting your foot in your mouth and contributing to more of an awkward moment. Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in an embarrassing situation, but if you do remember, you aren’t alone. Have a great day, everyone. 

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