More Awkward Convo (And Tips To Overcome Them)


by Ulla Puggaard
by Ulla Puggaard

Young girls they coming to the canyon

And in the morning I can see them walking.

I can no longer keep my blinds closed

And I can’t help myself from talking.

The Mamas and The Papas


Can’t help yourself from talking? Like Joni Mitchell: “I’m always talking/Chicken squawking.”

Sounds like you could be an aspiring folk journalist!

But remember, an awkward phase can be handled. (And it is just a phase so please keep your phasers on stun — nobody wants to get hurt here.)

Did I say phase? I meant phrase.

Either way, self-deprecation that is also funny is your best move.

Here is an actual conversation that took place in an actual restaurant. We’re in the town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and my friend Sally orders, “Rocky Mountain Oysters.”

SALLY: I had them once. They’re delicious.

HANK: Really?

SALLY:  Yep.

HANK: Are you sure? I heard they’re slimy.

SALLY: You’re thinking of Oysters Rockefeller. Those are very slimy.



HANK: Um, how are these prepared, like fried or garlic oysters?

WAITER: They’re deep fried, served with a barbecue sauce, sir.

HANK: Mmm. Okay.


HANK: Sounds great!


HANK: These definitely look deeply-fried.

WAITER: Yes, these are your beef bull balls, sir.




Awkward, right?

Possible lesson: Never argue with a gal named Sal, for you will not win that conversation.


Back Pocket Banter

What’s your method to “smooth over” uncomfortable situations?

What did you say to get out of one?

When have you found it awkward to navigate life?

What is the strangest food you’ve ever tasted?


Activity Guaranteed To Ease Awkwardnesses

If complimenting a person about an item of clothing doesn’t get you out of an awkward phase, try the following: Do something silly. Lift your right arm above your head, and turning your body slightly to the right, bend that right arm at the elbow, waving your hand over your head with a shout of “Woo Hoo!” At once intimate and anti-intimate (especially if employed too closely, bringing unwanted physical contact), this shticklact* I watched displayed to perfection in 1976 by a British gentleman called David Bernstein at the border between Israel and Lebanon. It proved to be a terrific communication and ice-breaking tool with non-English speakers, also amusing those in uniform.

Lesson: Put an onus of awkwardness upon yourself. This will allow others to laugh and relax.


* From schtick


The Mamas and Papas song “Twelve Thirty”


I’m always talking/Chicken squawking

Joni Mitchell song “Talk To Me”


Jerry: I couldn’t make the transition from conversation to sex. There were no awkward pauses. 

George: You need an awkward pause.   



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