Posted on: October 9, 2015 Posted by: Maliha Naseer Comments: 0

Remember when you were walking from the khokha to pdc entrance? And you had to go through that inner conflict about whether your level of frankness corresponds to your simple socializing gesture or not? No? Well allow me to elaborate. On that barely-space-for-two-people-footpath you saw that girl you sit right next to, in your Pak Studies class and you are like, should I smile? Wave? Say hi? Or should I do all three of them at once? Um okay, so I’m going to smile, wave and say, “Hi Abeera”. 

No wait, I’m I supposed to know her name? I mean, yeah we sat together for like half of the semester but we never kind of, you know, directly interacted and all. Anyway I guess I’ll leave it down to a simple smile, um but she is not looking at me. Oh she IS looking and now she’s not. Relax buddy! Let’s just wait her to look up again. If she keeps up with the eye contact I will definitely smile. Simple, just loosen up a bit…( I know you’re wondering that khokha  is just couple of strides away from pdc and the description is getting way too long but we all must agree that these thoughts strike our minds in less than a nanosecond)

Right, so she finally looked up and… you abruptly looked down on the blank screen of your phone… uh-oh that was rude, now you are convinced to say hi, so you look up and clearly overdo it a bit (bit being an understatement).

Real calamity strikes when she has almost passed you and the boy behind her freaks out by your overwhelmed greeting and you just smile weakly and break into a run… don’t worry we got you covered.

We all tend to end up in socially awkward situations. It’s normal, actually weirdly-awful-kind-of-normal and this article will reassure you that you’re not alone.

 The weirdest situation occurs when you muster the courage to execute a perfect wave with your most cheery smile and the intended person does not even respond. No sign of acknowledgement, not a small nod in your direction, not even a slightest arch in their brows. Nothing. Nada. The wave of rejection washes over you and all you want is to retreat back to the realms of inconspicuousness.

To counter this situation I brooded on various options until my O-week group member, Mahdi, suggested that you should move your hand down and break into a hearty applause, better be a freak than being totally rejected! I can’t help but agree, any self-eradication is better than bearing the burden of denial.

Sometimes the most bizarre part is when a total stranger is continuously looking at you with an ear to ear beam on his face and then he frantically waves at you. Your hand moves up into the air without your accord. Only logical reason why you try to wave back is either because you feel the pain of being acutely denied of a wave-back or like me you have a poor memory and believe it must be someone you don’t really remember. How I wish it would have been the latter because that person is now hugging his friend who emerges from somewhere behind you and they are probably going to laugh at you for the next decade or so! Congratulations!

Now my personal non-favorite on the list. ‘Handshake or hug’ moment. Girls prefer awkward aunt-like half embraces while kissing the air around your ear. It may sound ridiculous but it is impossible to escape one. So you keep up with the custom while your insides yell at you to do something Dear Mr Bean did,

However, I would take this opportunity to openly detest the ones who ignore extended hands. Why would you leave a person’s hand dangling in the air, you germ-phobic, ruthless human being? Get a senitizer or something.

How can we forget those elevator rides? You scream, “Wait!” at the closing door of an elevator and the people inside open it up, looking alarmed at you. You jump in the already crammed elevator and start regretting your decision in the very next moment. People squeeze down to make space for you and you feel like an intruder uttering, “um thanks… thank you… yeah it’s okay now…  thanks.”  Ding. Doors open. You leap out. Only to realize it’s not your floor. You sheepishly get back inside and start fumbling with your phone to minimize the awkwardness of the moment. In fact God bless the inventors of this amazing invention.

Sometimes your friends land you in awkward situations. They stop by to chat with one of their friends (needless to add that you were completely unaware of the person’s very existence a moment ago) and you are standing there like…

Inside you make a decision of throwing a fist squarely at your dear friend’s face once her friend is gone (and of course is at a safe distance) and growl, “You chatterbox, a little introduction wouldn’t have hurt.” Well sometimes the opposite happens. Your friend somehow believes you can foster a good friendship in few minutes and leaves you with her friends. All that follows is same old, awkward smiles with a constant “Sooo?” consequently failing to come up with any common topic, hating your friend more and more as the minutes of awkward silence tick by.

I try not to initiate small talks with acquaintances because of the awkwardness which usually follows. After the greeting you are at a loss of words and the other one asks the most dreaded question of all, “What’s up?” and it finally dawns on you that you have nothing important going on in your life except for POFA kay quizzes. So your final answer is a shrug with “umm nothing.”

So my dear readers, it’s not your strange demeanor or curse of Willie Wonka that you often wind up in socially awkward situations. The truth is, as my friend used to put it, “Bus thori over-thinking ho rahi hai!” In a nutshell,  order a pizza, laugh it off and move on!

Maliha Naseer
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