Avoiding Awkward SituationsTracing Your (Awkward) LegacyEliza Hurwitz

Me and my dad before my prom

My mom and dad are complete opposites. My mom is talkative and outgoing. She can have a conversation with anyone about anything. Her conversations are always natural and seamless, with no awkward pauses. My dad, on the other hand, is shy and reserved. Their differences became even more apparent at my dad’s office party. While there, I was struck with how bad at socializing my dad is. He barely talked to any of his co-workers, mainly having conversations with my mom, my sister and I the whole time. Other than playing tennis with two other people he works with, he didn’t really make an effort to talk to his co-workers.

At first I felt bad for my dad and I was a little annoyed. I was like, “Come on, Dad! Talk to these people.” Then I realized something: this is where my awkwardness comes from. And maybe awkwardness is just another thing that my dad and I share, just like our love of Family Guy and chocolate. Perhaps our awkwardness adds to our already strong bond.

I then started to think about all the other wonderful qualities my dad has, like his sense of humor. He is the funniest person I know. If I can make him laugh, I feel accomplished. He is super smart! He is hardworking and determined. But most importantly, my dad is a genuinely nice person. When I was younger, he used to let me use his shirt as a tissue if there weren’t any nearby. Albeit disgusting, if that’s not selflessness than I don’t know what is. If I got my awkwardness from my funny, determined, smart and kind dad, then I would be so lucky if some of his other wonderful qualities have been passed down to me as well.

So think about your own awkwardness and where it might stem from and maybe, like me, you will get a better appreciation for it.

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  1. None of my father’s family were shy, mostly my mother’s side, who also have a strong history of depression and anxiety. Add those genetics with a very early growth spurt (I was 5’6″ at 10 years old), a little extra weight and you might as well paint a bulls-eye on me! I never knew how to talk to girls anyway, (the prettier, the worse) and was afraid to attempt it, so the less practice I got, the worse the anxiety got! Eliza, you would have scared the crap out of me! Thanks for writing this!

  2. I thought about it, and I’m not sure where my awkwardness comes from. Both of my parents are not shy & they’re both outgoing. I may be the first generation of awkward in my family. Haha. I hated my shyness & awkwardness so much, but now with so much positive change in my life, I have learned to kind of appreciate it a bit more. Personally, I think it makes me stand out from the rest of my family a bit. It leaves a little more mystery about me, and I’m not gonna lie…I think it’s kinda cool to keep people guessing who I am, and what I’m really all about. Ya know? Great article. :)