Introvert Monday: Social Encounters for the Socially Awkward

Let’s face it:  We all have our awkward social moments.  Even the most outgoing of us can put our foot in our mouths or commit a faux pas in an unfamiliar social situation.  However, some of us have a tendency to create awkward situations more often than others in everyday interactions.  While not all introverts are socially inept, I definitely have problems navigating basic social situations.  Here are some of my most common awkward social encounters:

1.  Seeing a non-socially awkward friend while running errands.

Non socially awkward friend

There’s something about running into a friend unexpectedly that triggers a social etiquette mind blank.  How do I react to seeing them?  Do I smile at them and continue my errand because we’re both busy people?  Do I stop and chitchat?  How long should chitchat go on?  Do I yell really loudly, “HEY, I KNOW YOU!!!!!”?  For me, it’s much easier to wait for them to make the first move.

2.  Crossing paths with an acquaintance you only see occasionally.

an aquaintance occasionally see

There are a couple of things that go wrong in this scenario.  First, there is a good chance that I mistook a stranger for an acquaintance.  To greet that person with a bright, “Hello, how are you?” can lead to accidental social embarrassment for both parties. Secondly, there is a chance that the acquaintance won’t remember me.  While technically I’m socially correct to greet this person, it still leads to accidental social embarrassment.  Of course, by waiting for the other person to make the first acknowledgment of acquaintanceship, that leaves the chance of social embarrassment by ignoring a person I know.

3.  Happening upon another socially awkward acquaintance.  

social awkward duo

Have you ever watched two socially awkward people try to create small talk?  It’s incredibly uncomfortable.  I wish we could just have the above conversation and be done with it!

What types of awkward social encounters do you have?

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