In the box
Awkwardness is such a strange concept. I wonder how much of it exists due to the fact that we have such a clear-cut word to use to describe an experience that is so vague.
I was watching a Saturday Night Live episode one evening with Charles Barkley doing a skit called “White People Problems”. One of the jokes was a couple talking about how awkward a situation was, and Barkley responds “For those of you at home, ‘awkward’ is a white people word that can be applied for every situation”.
That’s what got me thinking - I know awkwardness exists cross-culturally in different levels or forms, but the way in which we deal with awkwardness is drastically different from culture to culture. I started to think about cultures that are very open and confident (sometimes seen as feisty and arrogant) and awkwardness doesn’t exist in the same context that it does within North American society.
Looking up the definition, “awkwardness” just refers to the discomfort when lacking grace (either social grace, physical grace). I suppose we use it so strongly in the social-grace context, because we’re taught that all conversations should flow smoothly, as should all human interaction. And when it doesn’t, it lacks grace. Which is understandable - it’s just that extra mental layer of “this is the worst thing possible” when things become silent, or things stop flowing with their social grace.
It sucks that I’ve learned the over-blown definition of awkwardness; the one that has strong and unnecessary connotations to pain and suffering. I’m pretty sure that’s the main reason why it perpetuates within me. I should remove that from my mental vocabulary as words to analyze situations.
This is such an awkward post.
No it’s not… sigh.