I was in a group of people a few months ago and someone in the group was acting a little...awkward. As that person behaved in their own little world people looked at each other, smirks were exchanged and one person even mouthed silently: awkward.
Awkward as a title has become a socially acceptable form of rejection. It often times becomes code for "I don't like that person. They don't belong." We feel bad when we say that out loud so we just stick with a euphemism: awkward.
We like it when Michael Cera does it but not when that dude over there does it.
Of course, this is a little personal for me. As a textbook INTP-- according the the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator-- I am by definition socially awkward.
And let me tell you: I love awkward. My favorite people in the world are incredibly awkward. It's fantastic.
So here is a short ode to awkward:
Awkward is creative. Awkward by definition is non-conforming. Awkward sees things from a different perspective. Awkward says what it thinks. Awkward misses social cues, but often times social cues miss the minority opinion that society needs to hear most. Awkward is not fashionable. Awkward is not a fad. It is not a trend. It is not retro glasses, indie bands, plaid shirts and tight jeans. Awkward does not have hand drawn title credits. Awkward can't be bought, taught or faked. Awkward throws people off-balance. Awkward is uncomfortable.
In our best moments we are all awkward. Which is to say in our best moments we are all unique. So next time you are tempted to mouth awkward when so-and-so tells a joke without a punchline or that girl over there misses a social cue, remember: reject their uniqueness and you reject your own.
I love awkward.
Posted on Thu, June 10, 2010