Embracing Awkwardness

Do you ever have awkward moments with people, situations where you just want to run or hide – or do both? Awkward moments have been a common experience for me throughout my life.

I realised through talking with an Esoteric Practitioner about not knowing how to deal with awkwardness that my awkward moments are actually not the issue, but it’s how I respond in these moments.

I was recounting to the practitioner how awkward I felt with some men, sometimes not knowing if I should say hello or not, not knowing how to be myself. Sometimes I felt the awkwardness from another person and then reacted to this and felt myself then become awkward and change how I am.

The practitioner asked me “What if you allowed the awkwardness in your interactions? What if you didn’t judge the feelings as being wrong and just nominated it and allowed the awkward feelings to be there?”

I realised I had spent my life reacting to awkward feelings, either in me, or from another, and this extended beyond just interactions with men. The reaction to awkwardness was there if I felt the slightest bit of rejection or exclusion from a group, or if I said the “wrong” thing… Or even if I was having a conversation involving money: “Remember that money you borrowed? Well you never paid me back…” or being asked to wait to continue a conversation with someone whilst they finished a phone call but not knowing when their call will end. They would say “Just wait there Annie. Don’t go ­– this will be quick.” And I would wait and wait some more, feeling like I was hovering, and then ask myself: should I wait or go? I would then take on the awkward feelings and not know how to handle it.

I realise that allowing the awkward feelings to be there is actually allowing me to be me, observing and letting things just be how they are, without making it wrong. If I shy away from the feeling and push it away, I end up trying to numb and distract myself with overeating and shopping. If I acknowledge the awkwardness and just say to myself “That felt really awkward!,” I can stay with myself, in full presence, allowing my imperfections rather than try to push away my feelings or wish I could rewind life and try again.

One of my first opportunities to embrace awkwardness after this realisation was when sharing a goodbye hug with my friend’s new boyfriend. As we gave each other a parting hug, my friend hugged him from behind and sandwiched him and I both together, chest to chest; and for a little while her boyfriend and I couldn’t escape. It was probably only for five seconds, but it seemed like a long time since I had only met this person for the second time and hardly knew him.

Normally I wouldn’t say anything and would just want to escape the situation and perhaps feel a bit frustrated and embarrassed with my friend and the situation, but this time I acknowledged how I felt after I released from the hug and commented: “That was awkward…” We laughed about it and I was able to feel the lightness in the situation.

I realise now  I have often reacted to awkwardness, which has meant a hardening in myself in that moment of how I feel or how another feels, making my feelings or their feelings wrong. It has felt  like a rejection of me and my delicate nature and a rejection of the other person, and all in not wanting to feel any discomfort.

Often I have taken it personally when I have felt another person be awkward with me, but I realise that people have their own hurt and fears around rejection. If I can stay steady with myself, allowing openness and trust in my body, I can support others to also build trust again in people and in relationships.

I am appreciative of and inspired by Serge Benhayon and the amazing Universal Medicine community that remind me of who I am and support me to allow more of me to unfold.

By Annie, Australia

Further Reading:
What is Connection
From suffering from withdrawals – to healthy relationships and true intimacy


826 thoughts on “Embracing Awkwardness

  1. The more we allow the space to simply feel our body rather than distracting ourselves, or worse going into negative thoughts when we feel awkwardness arise, the more free, lighter and accepting we feel about ourselves.

  2. In the middle of a world where many children are raised to be competitive, perfect, the best in this or that…having access to an article like this is a blessing. For the freedom it brings just accepting who we are and how we feel, without make it right or wrong. And how gorgeous feels when someone express how is really going, because others surely can relate to that and feel very supported.

  3. I love this reminder to be really accepting of everything about ourselves and not shut off or reject those aspects we are less comfortable with.

  4. Awkwardness can only be an issue for us if we imagine that we should be somehow different from who we are in any given situation. The more we accept ourselves the less we have an issue with being awkwardness.

    1. Yeah the less we are run by pictures the less we feel we ‘should’ do anything and rather live from the love we are in full.

  5. I’ve found it really helpful to allow myself to observe what I’m feeling and to not go into judgement about it but rather stay with the observing and be open to learning what it’s reflecting to me, to go deeper in myself to see what’s truly needed next…

  6. The less judgemental we are of our feelings, from awkwardness to anxiety to anger, the more at ease we feel with ourselves, and the easier life feels. When we’re berating ourselves for feeling something it’s like we’re giving ourselves a double dose of poison- first the emotion or feeling and then the reaction, judgment and fight against ourselves for feeling it. Feeling is a human experience,
    and how we respond affects and determines our health, wellbeing and vitality.

  7. If we are to come to accept ourselves in full then we need to be able to accept our awkwardness because quite frankly living in a body is awkward!.

  8. This is gold Annie, how often do we allow ourselves to go into being awkward and from that going into a trail of self-distructive thoughts just saying all the things you have done wrong. Even the really subtle ones just have the same impact. I love it, to acknowledge that those feelings are coming up, feel it and then let them be what they are with out any judgement or negative thoughts. Such a deep healing for all of those you are around and yourself.

  9. Awkwardness feels like a holding back and not expressing how we truly feel. I find also when I am being myself, I am less likely to experience awkwardness. I am also aware of when people feel awkward, I used to join them but now, I simply observe and be myself. No need to make the other person feel better and no need to break the silence, just allow the other person to feel whatever it is they are feeling.

  10. There is so much left unsaid when we feel something and don’t say it … obviously!!!! Yet I have been one of those, I thought what I wanted to say was awkward or would cause a scene so didn’t say anything, after which I would feel like I had not had an opportunity to feel heard. There comes a moment where you have to start practicing for it to get easier.

  11. Serge Benhayon has always presented on how powerful it is to nominate how we are feeling, and this blog is a great example of this.

  12. I wonder how much awkwardness is just an awareness of what does not feel harmonious between people and not knowing how to be with this. So it is not ever a case of being less because you are awkward, but rather appreciating how sensitive and lovely you naturally are.

  13. Naming an awkward moment brings it out into the open so it cannot grow unseen anymore and we can realise its source and understand how it came to be.

  14. Just accepting what we feel and nominating it without judging ourselves for it makes everything feel so much lighter and more manageable. When we judge ourselves for what we feel and make ourselves wrong or less, we harden and cut ourselves off from everyone and everything- and we justify that by thinking we’re so ‘wrong’ that we’re not worth engaging with!
    Thanks for busting through some of those ideas Annie and for embracing awkwardness and all those other uncomfortable feelings that when embraced, lose their issue, and offer a deeper connection to ourselves and others.

  15. Great to highlight Annie that it is how we deal and respond to so-called awkward moments that is the key, we are often so quick to judge and react rather than observe and understand the truth of what is being shown and offered to learn and evolve from in that moment.

  16. Awkwardness is not something I have consciously looked at so thank you for raising it Annie. It is certainly something I have experienced and do experience. My sense is that until now I have just accepted it without really acknowledging it. Something to be more aware of from now on – so…great!

  17. Awkward is a word we use to characterize a situation we are in. Yet, when we feel awkward, another may not feel or vice-versa. What is clear is that a situation is not going as ‘it is supposed to go’ and this creates anxiety in us. Everything invites us to leave the body and go to enjoin a situation whereby other people are also out of their bodies. Nominating what is going on allows everybody to return for a minute to their bodies. A great favor to every-body.

  18. It is so liberating to be able to let go of feeling awkward in any situation and instead just to be yourself. There is such a sense of freedom that comes with it, and whats more its not stressful!

  19. Awkward moments…makes me feel awkward just thinking about them. I’ve noticed the more I become comfortable and accepting in my own skin and body the less these moments arise.

  20. Love this ‘I realise that allowing the awkward feelings to be there is actually allowing me to be me, observing and letting things just be how they are, without making it wrong.’ I would say this is also the same for being unsure or not feeling confident with another or something or even feeling we have to do or say something .. if we just let ourselves be sometimes that is all that is needed.

  21. Do I ever have awkward moments?? Um yes, way too many! But you know I can really see how much healing comes from clocking those moments rather than run away and try to find a way to numb it.

    1. Super honest Lucy, we tend to run away from these moments because they are showing us something. And if we are willing to learn from our experiences, feeling awkward then no longer owns us and controls us when we understand what is going on. My feeling is that awkwardness is a sign we are simply not being ourselves.

  22. If I do not complete with someone or leave someone in a feeling of unsettlement that can be there when I meet them again.

  23. This is beautiful, to embrace awkwardness. I love how you were able to abandon self-judgement and to sop seeing what you felt as wrong. This must have given you so much confidence and self-knowing instead.

  24. Not only embracing awkwardness but the ‘other negative’ feelings that imposing are to be embraced too. Anxiety is a biggie for me and no doubt for others too and to allow us to feel what is there more serving and loving instead of pushing it back into our body’s.

    1. I agree Shushila. We think we will die if we admit to and face some of our ‘negative feelings’. But the truth is that ignoring them pushes them down to be stored undealt with in the body. This is where they fester and cause harm to our health and wellbeing. It feels so good to just be honest about what you feel, understand it and let it go.

  25. Just reading this blog made me cringe of the many times I have been in this situation of awkwardness and it isn’t a pleasant feeling. Verbalising it during these situations make it easier for the other person too as surely they must be feeling it too, in some respect it gives them permission to feel this and it is ok to be honest about it.

    1. Yes Shushila and at least then it could be funny as you both check the fact that you were both feeling the same and not knowing where to go with the feeling. Expressing it can be a great leveller between two people.

  26. When we express that something feels awkward without any justification or excuse, but an openness to be with it and embrace it, we are inviting a deepening of honesty and transparency in our relationship.

  27. Annie I loved how you approached that moment with your friend and her new boyfriend. You simply called out the awkwardness that you felt, which meant that is wasn’t you being awkward but simply stating how you felt, thereby making it something you can all discuss.

  28. To be able to acknowledge with honesty that a situation is bringing up feelings of awkwardness or perhaps shyness or embarrassment, is the key to begin the healing. Sometimes these feelings have been a part of our lives for such a long time that they have become indelibly ingrained in our way of being and to dismantle them feels impossible, but introduce honesty and it’s definitely possible.

    1. Our body really tells us the truth of what we feel and takes us out of the ‘should’ do. Embracing what we feel, even if it is awkward actually brings a bit of humour to the situation and through the detachment, we can get to a deeper sense of honesty, at which point the underlying feeling can be nominated and released. Without taking time to ‘date’ awkwardness we are left trying to avoid it, which is like being imprisoned in our own body of anxiety.

      1. I agree Lucy, that bringing in some humour into the awkwardness can begin to diffuse those really uncomfortable situations. Keeping it light, but at the same time honouring how we are truly feeling, has the power to shine a very different light on what has kept us in the shadows away from our amazing selves, for way too long.

    2. Brilliant Ingrid and honesty is a key ingredient to successful relationships. Also, the best way to crack our lifelong behaviours is, to be honest and willing to take responsibility.

      1. There are two of the biggest keys to changing our lives in what you have so wisely written Chan and they are honesty and responsibility, but when I look around me these two keys are not very evident. Could it be that from young our honesty was not honoured by others so we stopped honouring it as well? And could it be that we were simply never taught about the fact we have a huge responsibility as to the quality in which we live our lives? Two massive important keys containing the biggest of life lessons and sorely needed to not only bring change to us but change to the world.

  29. Our bodies can tell the truth and feel also when things are not in place or highly uncomfortable or not true. Hence it is our body that is carrying the marker of our truth – all of our senses. It is through our body, by listening, that we can understand life, and so make choices that support ourselves in living on this place of life, not from function but from an understanding of being you with all that there is.

  30. Possibly I have made feeling awkward a bad feeling to have because it asked me to connect with my inner most, that part of me I have chosen to abandon to fit in live that was presented to me and in favour of the deceiving and controlling mind I preferred to live instead.

  31. Feeling awkward is a very honest feeling and when embraced as such the awkward feeling can become our greatest friend. The problem only comes when we judge feeling awkward as not good, then we enter into the self doubt, lack of self worth or self bashing, the theater of dismissing ourselves most of us do know so well.

  32. When I feel that awkwardness I acknowledge the feeling and appreciate myself for acknowledging how I felt which is a great step forward, rather than trying to dismiss what I felt.

  33. When we allow ourselves to feel the truth of what is going on for us and how we feel, we say ‘yes’ to accepting who we are, where we are at and we can be ourselves. It’s through this honesty that we then can deepen our exploration with what is getting in the way of us living all that we know we are here to live and sharing ourselves in full transparency.

  34. It seems like if we continue to not accept things like awkwardness, and judge ourselves for it later, it eventually trains our body to not acknowledge and learn from other feelings we are having, essentially closing off our natural ability to feel and read everything that is going on for us and others. I love how Annie showed how accepting the awkward moments as they are, keeping it light and humorous was allowing things to be as they are without reaction. I know I could learn from this way of not reacting to things that feel off and having more understanding.

  35. ‘ If I acknowledge the awkwardness and just say to myself “That felt really awkward!,” I can stay with myself, in full presence, allowing my imperfections rather than try to push away my feelings or wish I could rewind life and try again.’ So true Annie , and a sense of humour is always important!

  36. In allowing the awkward feelings to simply be there, we avoid going into reaction and are then able to observe and read the truth of any situation, and in so doing we have the space to then be able to respond.

  37. I would much rather have moments of silence where I get to feel what is going on for me and with the other person/people than it being filled by empty chit chat. I wonder if the awkwardness is that we can feel silence offers us this moment of pause and a chance to deepen our connections.

  38. Thank you for diffusing those awkward moments with the realisation that it is an opportunity to just be yourself and not react.

  39. I used to hate the silence and the awkward moments, yet the more I’ve felt at ease with myself the more I’ve not felt myself awkward in those awkward situations, Difficult to describe but life changing as a result of my choices and commitment to myself.

  40. I know these awkward moments especially if you are waiting for someone and I am not sure what to do, stand there, go back to my workplace or ask again… It is great to acknowledge the sensitivity in these moments as that is actually what it is showing, that we are sensitive and feel a lot and also that we probably have a picture of how we want it to be – more confident… more assured etc. – yet again it is only about being aware in the moment and just feeling what the next thing to do is.

  41. ‘If I can stay steady with myself, allowing openness and trust in my body, I can support others to also build trust again in people and in relationships.’ This feels such a beautiful way to approach interactions and if there were to be any awkwardness, it could be acknowledged and dissipated rather than colouring whatever exchange is going on.

  42. Love this blog! When we take on awkwardness it feels absolutely awful, heavy and draining. When we observe it and honour our sensitivity we can move through it without being weighed down.

  43. When people are transparent and real about the fact that they are feeling awkward it is very easy to be with them and support them.

  44. We can take a lot of things very personally, I know I have done it….”Often I have taken it personally when I have felt another person be awkward with me, but I realise that people have their own hurt and fears around rejection.” It is so vital for our own health and wellbeing and everyone else, that we begin to observe life and not take it all on and react to other people.

  45. ” I realise that people have their own hurt and fears around rejection. If I can stay steady with myself, allowing openness and trust in my body, I can support others to also build trust again in people and in relationships.”
    This is a very important learning for now you can live and pass on the learning just wonderful thank you for sharing.

  46. It is ok to feel vulnerable and fragile. The more we are open to feeling this and seeing that we are far more than what we do or what mistakes we make, then we can be open to embracing those awkward moments.

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