I’ve seen this happen, but I never realized that it was awkward until it happened to me.
I had just gotten out of a meeting and was quite stressed out because I found out that one of my programs for student residents at my university dorm halls had to be postponed due to some paperwork problem. I left my coordinator’s office and went outside for a walk. Usually, I look up at the trees and say hello to people while I walk around, but not that time; my mind was elsewhere.
So while looking down at my blue Vans shoes cross the cracks on the sidewalk every other step, I encountered a pair of small black Converse shoes. I looked up and smiled nervously, a pretty girl had crossed my path, literally –and almost crashed into me. Almost immediately, I moved over to the left. But so did she. I shuffled over to the right. But again, so did she. This is where things got serious, no more messing around. I moved to the left and stayed there. . . at the same time that she did. Then I solved the problem by figuring out a cool trick: instead of moving in the other direction, I moved to the left again. Magic! It worked! At the time, I didn’t really stop to think of a solution, it came mostly by mistake. Oh well, great things are usually discovered by accident.
“There we go,” she said, “that was awkward.”
I replied, “It was fun, thanks for the dance.”
Of course, the encounter lasted no more than 5 seconds, but it seemed to take forever.The thing is, this –the Sidewalk Dance– kept happening with other people, up to the point where I believed that I was the cause of the problem; that I was doing something to trigger this. Though I still haven’t discovered exactly what I was doing, it was pretty awesome to begin getting used to awkward moments like these and finding the fun in them instead of making the situations worse for myself.
The laugh that the girl and I got from that Sidewalk Dance reminded me to smile again, and it changed my mood for the better even after having a rough start to my day. Awkward moments are awesome.