How to Not be Awkward: A High Schooler's Guide
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My mother always says, “Nothing's awkward unless you think it’s awkward. Now do the dishes.”
However, you and I both know this is completely untrue. No matter how hard you try not to, you will still snort when you laugh around your crush, feel awkward, and be awkward. Isn't awkwardness part of the teen package? Part of the raging hormones, attraction to the opposite (or same) sex, and hair in awkward places? Yes. But fear not, distressed Sparkler, awkwardness is not entirely unavoidable. Throughout my teen years, I have developed strategies to deal with those tense moments and ultimately avoid awkwardness entirely:
Situation #1: You’re innocently walking in the hall. Another person is walking towards you. You two meet, and as you try to pass him/her, you both shift awkwardly from side to side.
Don’t: Kill the person. She is obviously inexperienced in the ways of avoiding awkwardness. Yes, killing her will decrease the amount of awkwardness in the world, but why get rid of an awkward when you can add an unawkward? I’m right, I know.
Do: Walk to the right assertively. Most people are right-handed, and that’s the natural direction they will walk in.
Situation #2: You’re sipping a delicious grape slurpee and engaging your friends in the never ending debate on who’s hotter: Edward or Jacob? As you are about to casually scream “WEREWOLVES CAN FREAKING FLY WITH JETPACKS!!!!!!” you spot your crush in your peripheral vision, as you have done so many times before. He looks over with those dreamy eyes and waves to you, and you realize you are officially in shock.
Don’t: Be Harry Potter. At all costs, avoid recreating the famous scene where our adorable wizard waves to Cho Chang and speaks with liquid in his mouth. No matter how cute you are, once you drool openly in front of your crush, nothing can ever undo the damage that has been done. Ever. You might as well get plastic surgery and move to Switzerland, but even there you might acquire the unfortunate nickname “Person who drinks without water.”
Do: Swallow that purple high-fructose corn syrup. Once you have completed that task, you may say “Hey” as you wave to your crush. Then, and only then, can you be adorably charming and have the chance of dancing with him at Homecoming. Which brings us to…
Situation #3: You're slow dancing
Don’t: Blabber. Please, learn from my mistakes: It’s better to dance in blissful silence than to talk about the weather over painfully loud music and have half of the conversation consist of the word “What?!”
Do: Assess the situation. If you are, in fact, interested in your dancing partner, stare into his/her eyes and dance at half-arm length. Dear God, no ruler arm dancing, please. Then move closer...and closer…
But for those of you who are only dancing because your friends don’t understand the concept of “awkward” and forced you to dance with the boy who has B.O. and awful acne, or the girl who spits twelve feet when she talks, do act nicely. Who knows, maybe under all that acne and slobber, these people have great bone structure and tell hilarious jokes. However, do NOT lead him/her on. That is the absolute worst thing someone can do. So be polite and genuine, but act friendly, not dotingly.
Situation #4: You go to your friend’s house, expecting the most fantastic party you have ever experienced. Spotting a group of friends chatting on the couch, you walk over with a big smile on your face. And then you see it: one of your friends is crying, and everyone else is comforting her.
Don’t: Scoff. This word of advice is more for the guys than the girls out there. Girls are complicated beings that must be treated delicately no matter how silly it seems. Do not make fun of her or you will be shunned by every girl that you try (and fail) to pursue.
Do: Be kind! If you know the girl well enough, try and comfort her. Give her your undivided attention for the time being and listen. If you don’t know the girl that well, leave quietly and do manly things with your boy buddies, like eating steak and measuring armpit hair length.
Now that you know exactly what to do in awkward situation, go out there and be non-awkward!
Related Post: Awkward Turtle!