Social awkwardness isn’t a choice. It’s not something that people purposely cultivate. It’s more like the guy that you desperately didn’t want at your party, but someone invited him anyway. Now he’s here to stay, puked everywhere, and ruined your night. Social awkwardness is that guy, and once you meet him, you’re stuck with him for life.
For those of you lucky enough to have dodged the awkward trait, here’s a disturbing glimpse into the awkward world. Be sure to book a two-way ticket- you’re not going to want to stay long.
1. Going in for a handshake at inappropriate times
If you think you can never go wrong with a polite handshake, you are sadly mistaken. A socially awkward person will go in for a handshake at the worst times, like before a first date or after losing their virginity.
Oddly enough, they’ll forget to shake hands after a business meeting or meeting a new colleague, instead trying for the cringe-worthy high-five. In case you were unsure, they are always left hanging.
2. Jumping on bandwagons too late
Socially awkward people have no idea what’s considered humorous by the masses. While they’re busy giggling at the sock puppets they made at their desk, they’re missing out on the “hump day” laughs the rest of the office is having. Months later, when the awkward person goes in for the hump day punch line, coworkers stare in bewilderment and horror.
The awkward person will then shrink into an unmistakably turtle-like shell, blush, and return to his or her sock-puppeting.
3. Starting a sentence when someone is already walking away
Socially awkward people have absolutely no ability to anticipate when a conversation is going to end. So if you run into one of them at the water cooler, don’t be surprised if you hear, “So how’s your cat’s diabet”- as you’re already striding back to your desk.
At this point they will often skillfully turn the sentence into a casual cough while scanning the room to see if anyone has noticed.
4. Lying to conceal their level of social awkwardness
Socially awkward people know that if they were to unveil their true level of awkwardness to the world, it would immediately implode. So as the good Samaritans they are, they lie.
When asked about their weekend, awkward people can't be honest. It would just be too strange to tell work acquaintances about the model airplanes or the Golden Girls marathon. So instead, they will fabricate a barbecue, birthday party, or other common event that they "attended."
5. Intense proofreading
What does proofreading have to do with social awkwardness? An awkward person will look at an email from an acquaintance or coworker like it’s an ancient Sumerian script. There’s so much to decipher, and so many potential meanings. They’ll start their response with “hey,” and immediately delete it, as it's too casual. How about “dear?” Nope. Far too nerdy. This goes on for the remainder of the email, until the poor awkward person must take a break from the exhaustion.
Meanwhile, the sender is waiting on the other end, wondering why it’s taking so long to state when the report will be done. The socially awkward person of course, has thought of this, and now has to come up with a believable reason why they took so long.
6. Getting caught in corners
When awkward people are at office parties, they tend to stand on the sidelines. They want to be out of the spotlight. “This is clearly the safest place to stand,” they think casually. However, due to scientific forces that consistently prohibit this, they will often end up trapped. It may be behind a food cart, or precariously behind a bathroom door. Regardless, you will probably have to retrieve them and lead them back to safety.
Are there any other habits of socially awkward co-workers that you can think if? Your thoughts and comments below please…