It’s happened to everyone. Those moments when we try to act cool and come across as charming and suave – when in reality, we make a fool of ourselves and things become awkward. Both for you and for those around you. When things become awkward, they can be hard to bounce back from. Even if you attempt to laugh it off and move beyond the cringe-worthy moment, the awkward energy still has a way of lingering, and leaves an expectation of more awkwardness to ensue despite your best efforts.
So how do you avoid being painfully awkward when meeting someone new? Especially if it’s someone you’re attracted too? You should leave a lasting first impression, one that has them wanting more of your presence, making them interested and intrigued with you. Not making them feel uncomfortable or worse, scaring the men away – or the women!
5 Ways To Avoid Being Painfully Awkward When Meeting Someone New…
1. How To Avoid Awkward Introductions
Meeting someone new is one of the most common ways to accidentally make things awkward. It’s easy to become distracted by the other person’s appearance, something happening nearby, or simply because you didn’t expect to have an interaction with someone. To keep introductions from becoming awkward, adopt a ‘default’ method of introducing yourself. One that becomes second-nature instinct to you, like a reflex, when meeting someone new. The sure-fire standard approach most accepted by others is to offer a handshake and a friendly smile, telling them your name and any other affiliations, then asking them how they are. After that, take it a step further by building off their response.
2. How To Avoid Awkward Conversation
When building off someone’s response, you engage them in conversation that flows naturally yet gives the impression of being well-thought out and relevant. For example (one of many), if they respond by saying they’re doing well, you could start small and make a comment on the weather. Possibly mention any outdoor plans you have in relation to the weather and provide a thoughtful response to his or her comment in return. Ask them questions in relation to what they say, making them feel as though you’re interested and wanting to learn more. Plus, offer compliments on anything you find exemplary.
3. How To Avoid Awkward Pauses
Offering them compliments and or opinionated comments on the topic at hand is always a great way to fill in those awkward pauses and lulls in conversation. There is sometimes a pause for comedic effect when someone attempts humor, so be sure to laugh at their jokes if you find them funny (or if only to make them feel good). Also, keep your facial expression and body language friendly. They will likely pick up on any ‘awkward’ vibe you give off, and facial expression and/or body language that gives them this impression will sabotage your subtle, smooth ways.
Stay sociable and interesting by asking about any related interests. Avoid being awkward by keeping the conversation intellectual and relevant. Then, when the conversation slows down, stay open to further dialogue and/or politely depart.
4. How To Avoid Awkward Goodbyes
Nothing is more embarrassing than trying to leave but stumbling over your words and walking away with a sense of having flubbed the goodbye. Hopefully in time you can learn to laugh at these moments, but when they happen – it’s rather traumatizing for a time, wondering if the other person felt awkward too. To avoid an awkward goodbye, simply offer them another handshake (firm not sloppy) and tell them it was nice to meet them. Be genuine, make eye contact and smile. If you felt the conversation went exceptionally well and feel more intimately connected with the other person after your successful conversation, you may be able to offer him or her a hug instead of a handshake. Gauge the scenario and do what feels best, in the moment.
Try not to overthink and simply allow the encounter to naturally unwind as it should. Keep your departure brief once you decide to say goodbye. Consider making any future plans with the person and offer them ideas, perhaps exchange numbers or even email, before walking away. Give them something to look forward too, thus keeping you on their mind.
5. How To Avoid Other Awkward Moments
Other awkward moments may involve unintentionally bumping into someone on the sidewalk or having a hard time remembering someones name. It’s always best to err on the side of honesty and optimism when these kind of awkward moments strike.
Apologize or thank them for the ‘dance’ when knocking into someone or walking in front of each other’s path. Be honest and apologize for being unable to remember their name. Perhaps make up for it by saying you remember it was a beautiful or handsome name but seem unable to think very well at the moment (blame it on a rough day). Plus, avoid awkward text messages or phone calls by keeping messages short and sweet, and only calling to relay valuable information or to say something you know they’d love to hear. Let them know you’ll be in touch soon then stay true to your word, actually following up with them sometime later.
Learning to avoid awkward situations isn’t really so hard once you develop a strong habit of remaining sociable and friendly. Engage them with thoughtful conversation and embody the type of person YOU would want to spend more time with, because your attitude and personality is just so awesome and fun!
Also, if the situation is ever reversed and you feel like someone else is acting awkward, don’t exacerbate the awkwardness. Instead, dispel the awkward energy by following the above principles as you would any other time. Smile, laugh, build off each other’s response, and offer witty banter or thoughtful comments/compliments. Without even realizing you just might charm them more than you thought!
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