What does the word, “awkward,” mean, and how is it described? Awkward is an adjective, and it can mean lacking skill, dexterity, grace, or hard to deal with. For the sake of this assignment, I will be discussing the feeling of awkwardness, an uncomfortable sensation due to lack of social grace or embarrassment.
It is almost inevitable for people do dodge awkward feelings all the time, no matter how prepared, keen, or witty you are, you are bound to encounter an unexpected situation where the awkwardness may be caused by someone other than yourself, like if you forgot to lock the bathroom door and someone walks in on you. Another common awkward situation is when you first meet someone and you guys simply do not have the ability to carry on a fluid conversation at the time and there are short silences. Some classic situations are when you are caught picking your nose, when the teacher calls on you but you do not have a prepared answer, or when your parents walk in on you and your partner getting intimate, god forbid it is not the other way around. My favorite is when you lay toilet paper down on the toilet seat to avoid germs but somehow the toilet paper travels with you outside the stall hanging out your ass.
So think back to some of the awkward situations you have experienced. How do you even describe this feeling? Well truthfully, it is hard to explain; it is a tormenting, uncomfortable sensation where seconds can feel like hours; where your mind could be racing to think of an answer to respond to the teacher; where you can only imagine what your parents are thinking and how the next conversation is going to go after they caught you in the bedroom. The phenomena is better explained through examples. Feelings are not shared by people in a situation; how people perceive a situation can be different, so one person can feel awkward in a situation while another may not. For example, imagine if someone in major distress came up to you and talked to you in a different language.
So what really happens in the body when one experiences awkwardness? I could not find any information on the response of the body to awkwardness, but I believe that awkwardness is the cousin of embarrassment, which can lead to blushing. I have read that blushing can be accompanied by increased heart rate, sweating, shaking visibly, an inability to speak, nausea and hot flushes according to an article authored by Richard O’Neill.
O’Neill, Richard. “Why Do I Blush? How to Stop Blushing All the Time.” HubPages. HubPages, 1 Mar. 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014.