11 Tips for Awkward Interactions

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You’re awkward. We understand that. We cherish it. We know how it is living on the edge of social oblivion. We know how it felt at that party when you took an anal shot because you didn’t realize Mary was joking. You’re awkward. Don’t worry. But, we also know how tough some things can be for you. Simple tasks such as entering the dining hall, going to the bathroom, and thinking—in fact, most of life itself—are all complicated on account of your complete and utter social illiteracy. Even walking to class can be torturous. Stepping onto the sidewalk means facing a world wrought with potential dangers. Oh, look, it’s someone you know! You’re supposed to remember their name. Do you say hi first, do you look into their eyes, at their hair, their hands? What’s appropriate these days!? Your ass clenches up in indecision as they approach, and, in a matter of moments, you’re reduced to a sputtering, voice-cracking, vomiting mess. Well, have no fear xxGhostslayerxx, Edwardsgurl69, or whatever other name you use when writing fan fiction—no matter how awkward you may be, here at The Tiger, we’ve created a failsafe guide for dealing with unwanted interactions while walking to class:

  1. Once you notice a person dangerously near greeting range, hurriedly remove your phone from your pocket, stare soullessly at the screen and pretend to text (Pro Tip: turn it sideways to add realism). When the person is safely past you, mutter an incomprehensible “hello”.
  2. Upon making eye contact, ask the person what they’re majoring in, then look bashful and apologize for being too forward (Pro Tip: If they say physics, don’t worry. They’re just as awkward as you are!)
  3. Quickly oscillate between eye contact and looking straight ahead. Ever-so-slightly purse your lips and contract the muscles of the corner of your mouth, as if on the verge of a smile. Then continue straight ahead.
  4. Scratch at your jacket and look away (Pro Tip: If you’re wondering where to look, try the ground. It’s a great monument to remember, because it’s usually there)
  5. Accidentally trip over your feet a little bit. Pretend you didn’t.
  6. Raise your hand as if to wave, but stop it at about chest level. Leave it there for too long to be socially acceptable but too short to be significant of deeper medical issues.
  7. Smile brightly but ensure your eyes are devoid of all warmth. Stare through the person’s face. (Pro Tip: observe members of Ivy to perfect this expression)
  8. Gurgle.
  9. Go for the handshake. But have really moist hands. (Pro Tip: To ensure your hands are at the perfect level of uncomfortably damp, be nervous. Forever.)  Hesitate as your hand nears theirs. Quickly change to a fistbump, then switch back at the last second.
  10. Make eye contact and nod. But instead of looking away, cough and nod again.
  11. Approach as close to the other person as you can while never acknowledging their presence. (Pro Tip: Try to brush the side of their jacket with yours. It’s a fun challenge and a great way of saying hello.)

- CJS ’16. Illustrated by KGR ’15.

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