Awkward Human Moments

By Lissie Shaver

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A job interview can be as awkward as a blind dateI am the Queen of Blind Dates.

As a single 32-year-old woman who grew up in the Bible Belt with the majority of my friends marrying off at 22 and 23 years old, my friends feel like it is their God-given duty to set me up with a single, decent, well-deserving man. Well, not always deserving. Not always decent. Lately the criteria has been narrowed down to “male.”

Don’t fear awkward moments, even when dating

I’ll spare you the gory details of my dating life (that’s a different blog) but the point that I’m trying to make is that I’ve been on a lot of blind dates and blind dates can be AWKWARD.

Sometimes they’re great. The conversation flows,you find out you have a lot in common, you have the same sense of humor, etc. Sometimes they’re really rough. You have to carry the conversation, you have zero in common, he’s not funny and you’re pretty sure he’s racist.

Even good first dates can have awkward moments but you have to be willing to not be afraid of awkwardness because there might be something worthwhile if you can get through it.

The awkward job interview

You know what else can be awkward? Interviews, work meetings, networking, and human interaction in general.

Awkward moments are a part of life because we’re human and we aren’t perfect. We say things without thinking them through. We daydream and have no idea when our boss asked us a question in a meeting. We hugged our interviewer when they were going in for a handshake because we were excited and we are friendly, huggable people!

Here are a few ways I have survived these awkward human moments:

Smile.  It’s true that a smile goes a long way.  A smile, and an apology (if needed) lets the other person know you recognize your fumble and can smooth over a hiccup.

Laugh at yourself. Don’t beat yourself up too much.  The more you wallow in your mistake the less likely you’ll be to take that next interview/project/meeting and the less likely you’ll be to grow.  When I have an awkward moment, I call my best friend so she can commiserate with me over the horrifying moment and then laugh with me because I’m ridiculous.

Be gracious. Have grace for yourself and for other people.  Quirks can be endearing and they make you relatable. Awkwardness can be authentic, and authenticity is the key to building trust.

Don’t be afraid of those moments because sometimes they can be the icebreaker you need to really be able to get to know a person.  At the end of the day (or date) an awkward moment isn’t going to make or break you in the eyes of another person.

So take a deep breath, have a good chuckle, and give ‘em your best smile.

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