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Archive for the tag “awkward interactions”

3 More Human Interactions that Always Seem Awkward

In a previous blog post, I talked about awkward human interactions that we all have. After venturing out into the world a little more and dealing with more people, I have discovered even more awkward interactions.

3. Holding doors open- Holding a door open for someone is seen as an act of generosity. If you open a door for a lady you are seen as a gentlemen. And as we all know, women love gentlemen…

Usually I can hold a door open for someone and it’s not awkward, but every now and then I’m presented with a different scenario that catches me off guard. For instance, it feels a little weird to hold open the door for someone who is over 30 feet away and you end up holding the door forever. I made this mistake once, because I could have sworn the person was right behind me. To my surprise, she was a very slow walker.

an old woman using a walker

Correction: She was slow because she was using a walker.

Once you’re committed to holding a door open, you can’t go back on it because then you just look like an impatient jerk. So of course, being the gentlemen I am, I held the door open for 5 minutes until she finally made it. And then to add insult to injury, she didn’t even say thank you. She just looked at me like I was an idiot for standing there so long. And sadly, I knew she was right.

So now before I hold open the door for anyone, I look back and make sure they are at the right distance. That way I don’t look like a creeper standing and waiting for 10 minutes.

It’s also really weird for me when people abuse my generosity. I’ll hold the door for a nice, elderly woman and 20 more people come out of nowhere and will walk in right behind her. Now I’m stuck at the back of a line all because of my kindness. Curse this heart of gold!

2. Shaking hands- Having a good handshake is a great way to make a good first impression. However, the opposite is also true. There’s a certain way to shake someone’s hand without making them feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it’s a rarity for me to meet people who do it correctly.

A lot of men like to give a nice firm handshake, which is expected. Other men want to show their dominance by putting your hand in some sort of death clamp and their goal is to break a few phalanges. Here’s a good way to know you’re doing it wrong. If the person you shook hands with has a bone poking out of the skin, chances are your grip was too tight.

a broken arm

This guy really loves to shake hands.

The other type of handshake that makes me feel awkward is the limp wrist and the person makes you shake their fingers. It’s common among women, but what’s even worse is when a guy does it. I’m not sure how to react when it happens.

two people shaking hands

This is what I’m talking about in case you were wondering.

When someone makes me shake their fingers, I almost expect them to curtsey, kiss a ring on my finger or ask me to slow dance. Why not? It’s not like it would make me more uncomfortable.

Whenever someone shakes my hand like this, I’m never sure what to do. I’m afraid if I squeeze I’ll hurt their hand. So what do I do? I shake their dead fish of a hand and apply no pressure whatsoever and try to forget that the encounter ever happened.

1. Elevator rides- Elevator are like boxes of awkward tension. You’re traveling in a little, quiet room with complete strangers. But what’s even worse is when you are in that elevator with just one other person and you’re traveling up multiple floors.

Do you try and make conversation? Do you just stand there quietly and hope you don’t make eye contact? I don’t know! That’s why I’m asking.

Here is another bad situation that has happened to me twice in one week. A co-worker with their hands full, gets to the doors of the elevator I’m in right before they close. It’s in that moment where you feel completely helpless. You let that person down, and you can never take it back. Sometimes you just can’t act fast enough. All you can do is say “sorry” and hope they can hear you.

Now you just have to pray that they didn’t see your face and that they won’t recognize you later in the day. Or maybe, they did recognize you, ran up the flight of stairs and are waiting for you when the doors open on your floor.

a guy standing outside an elevator

Steve, the intern, is so fast.

Can you think of any other awkward human interactions? If so, share them with me in the comments section.


4 Human Interactions that Always Seem Awkward

When it comes to social interactions, you will usually feel awkward at some point or another. That’s part of growing up, I suppose. But eventually, after practice and being around people long enough, you will find that social interactions will become less and less awkward.

However, even though I enjoy meeting people and getting to know them, I’ve found that there are still parts of interacting that I find odd at times. Here are 4 human interactions that always seem awkward.

awkward turtle
Awkward turtle!

1. Starting a conversation– I have struggled with this for a long time. It’s hard to come up with something on the spot that’s both clever and will get the other person in a talkative mood. Sure you can always just go up to someone, extend your hand and introduce yourself, but that’s not unique. It’s not memorable. But hey, go for it, I’m sure you’ll do fine.

After you do successfully start a conversation, there’s one aspect that everyone is afraid of….the awkward silence…

Chuck Norris

Side Note: Everyone is also afraid of Chuck Norris. Apparently sleeves and shirts are afraid of him too.

Awkward silence is the worst. It’s that moment where your brain freezes, your mouth forgets how to work, and you have no clue what to say next. You usually know when it’s about to occur when the conversation goes something like this:

Person A: “What’s up?”

Person B: “Not much.”

Person A: “So….uh….”

And that’s when it occurs. That was painful to type, because it brings back so many memories of the awkward pause that inevitably leads to the silence.

2. Winking– I have personally never understood winking at someone. It just seems creepy and off-putting whenever I try to pull it off. It’s like I get confused and forget which eye to wink with and I just end up blinking at someone. That’s not a great way to let someone know they are attractive. It just makes me look like there’s something wrong with me.

However, I’ve never really found anyone who can pull off a good wink. It’s a hard thing to accomplish. Even good looking celebrities struggle with it.

Robert Downey Jr. winking

He's either winking or he's at the beginning stages of pink eye. There's no way to tell.

So it baffles me whenever someone winks at me, or does it to someone else. Maybe it’s a confidence thing, but I just can’t see myself winking on a regular basis.

3. Hugging– I have no problem with hugging people that I know and that I’ve built a relationship with. And I think it’s totally acceptable for guys to hug other guys. No shame there. And it’s definitely okay to hug girls. Ladies?

But what I find to be really awkward is hugging people that you’ve just met or people who  love hugs way too much. If I’m with a close friend and we part ways, I’m fine with giving out a hug. But if you’re a guy and we just said “hey” in a coffee shop, the next time we run into each other, don’t go for a hug. If I’m uncomfortable with hugging you, I literally turn into a statue because I don’t know how to react.

guys hugging
“Oh…okay….thanks for that… who are you again? Stop, that tickles!”

Hugs are like handshakes but with more commitment. You have to know going into it that the other person will return the hug. If they don’t, well then that’s just really awkward for everyone involved and everyone who witnesses it.

4. Ending Conversations– It’s really weird for me when I’m talking to someone, but I have somewhere to be. I never know how to politely tell the person that I need to leave. Usually, I just end up sticking around until they decide they need to be somewhere.

Ending a conversation also goes back to the hugging thing. In your head you’re thinking, “Okay, so do I shake their hand, go for a hug, or just walk away without any physical contact?” It’s the second hardest puzzle I’ve had to figure out.

rubik's cube
The hardest puzzle I’ve had to figure out.

What are some  awkward interactions that you struggle with? Tell me about them in the comments section.

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