No one likes awkwardness. It’s not comfortable. It’s kind of like a swarm of bees buzzing around in your stomach. Like that kid in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, who every time he spoke, bees would fly out.

In a crazy attempt to eliminate all awkwardness from my life, I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried to become a very well-read, knowledgeable person, who always knows the right thing to do in all circumstances. I never wanted to be caught nonplussed. I don’t want to open my mouth and have bees come out.

Those who know me know that it hasn’t worked out so well. I can easily transform into Chandler Bing from Friends at the drop of a hat.

I loathe the feeling of being caught without words. I detest the feeling of awkwardness I get when I know I’m not doing a job right because I lack the necessary information. So I crave routines and rituals [that I can break of course, when I want to. but woe to anyone else who tries to], lest I’m thrown off.

I’m especially awkward when I’m off my routine.

But awkwardness gets a bad rep. I’ve found that its, by far, the best teacher. When I’m awkwardly doing it the wrong ways, I am learning how to definitely not do it.

For instance I only had to mispronounce the word misled once in the right company to have it forever ingrained in my head the correct way.

Once you deal with awkwardness as much as I do, you get used to it. It doesn’t seem that bad. There are plenty of worse things. I’ve gotten used to doing and saying the complete wrong things to people. I’ve found that bees aren’t scary.

c. 2015



I am forcing my eyes to stay open, struggling to stay awake, as Lisa has been talking for the past hour, without coming up for air….I am waiting in angst for the people who said they would be there and aren’t. The whole reason I changed my plans….The meeting is running later and later and I have to hurry to get somewhere…

Martha Beck says, If you want to witness the most savage, antisocial aspects of the human species, don’t attack or threaten people. Annoy them.” Even the most peace- loving Quaker will lash out once they are annoyed.

People can and will be very annoying. [I, on the other hand, am never so.] It’s almost as if you can’t help but be annoyed by people. Usually, they don’t mean to be, even though it seems that way. Politics, manners, religious beliefs, personal histories, insensitivity, oversensitivity, and just not thinking, all are fair game for the annoying.

Annoying people can only annoy us as far as we let them. I know it doesn’t seem that way, but it’s true. Two of the main reasons annoyance can leave us incapacitated, or at least semi-capacitated:


  1. We are so taken aback by the annoying that we can be caught off-guard.


  1. The reasons and extent to why we are so annoyed have more to do with our own histories and hang-ups.


For instance, talking incessantly is very annoying, but I guarantee it is more annoying to me than to you because it brings flashbacks of when I did it as a coping mechanism for insecurity.

Just knowing these two reasons can empower us. These are two things we can sort of prepare for. We won’t let ourselves be caught off guard. Since I know my history and the ensuing flashbacks, I can be prepared for it. I can set my boundaries from the start.

“That’s the last time we do that,” my boyfriend eloquently said as we walked to the car several hours later. I just nodded enthusiastically in my agreement. I don’t have to stew about it anymore because I have made a conscious decision to disengage.

When we set boundaries, we feel less hijacked by annoyance. Know your boundaries and stick to them.

c. 2015