You know that little discomfort you feel when someone walks into the elevator or when you walk into the lift? It gets tense rather quickly, it feels almost hot. You keep your eye on the buttons. You pull out your phone (if you have the space) and pretend to be busy. The elevator is suddenly slower than it usually is, you simply can’t wait to get out. And the moment you have been waiting for; the lift opens, you literally jump out- finally you have been let loose. Why do people feel awkward around each other? Well, I do feel it too, sometimes. I reckon it is not just me. Here is how to beat it like a pro;
1. Hi or smile:
Hi or hello and a smile go hand in hand. It is difficult to say hi without smiling. The latter is one of the most powerful tools that can help us get out of any awkward situation. Simply saying hi or smiling to some body eases the tension and awkwardness, leaving both parties feeling at ease with one other or at least one party feeling confident. I know what you are thinking; it is harder when there is more people. What if no one responds or smiles back? What if you get embarrassed? I have asked myself these very questions and more countless times. I could not agree more; it is daunting to smile or say hi to a group of people especially people in the tiny elevator. Even then, I would argue, a smile is still the single most powerful weapon for mass disarmament. The beauty is smiling is contagious, people will instinctively smile back without meaning to or even realising it and everyone will feel happier. Smiling has been found to be beneficial, it improves the mood, reduces stress and makes you feel confident and come across as courteous, competent even. Like my mama says, always wear your smile, it is the single most important accessory you will need to get through the day.
2. Bid Adieu:
When exiting, if you can, make the effort to wish the people behind you a good/happy day, happy Christmas, Eid Mubarak or whatever is appropriate for the place, time, day and season. Here is the cool thing, people hardly fail to respond. Even if they don’t respond, you will be long gone. Well, I haven’t encountered a situation where I have been ignored. If they do ignore you, it is their problem. Seriously there are more things to worry about, than some grumpy stranger giving you the silent treatment. Afterall, you have done your part, you have put yourself at ease. Isn’t life supposed to be like that? Strangers smiling, saying hello and doing small little things for each other? Isn’t it the small little gestures, the small little things that brighten up our days?
To bring this to life, I will share my experience from two weeks ago if I may. While going for an interview, I found myself in an elevator with two neatly dressed men. I couldn’t help but notice how dapper they looked in their suits. The thought didn’t last long though, the awkwardness quickly kicked in. After a few seconds of discomfort, I broke the silence; I said hello and shot them one of my weapons. I then bid them adieu as I stepped out. I watched them smile from the corner of my eye and for a moment the focus was not on my imminent interview. Guess who I found in the interview room? In case you are wondering, I made it through to the next round of interviews. Of course smiling and saying hello didn’t quite give me the job. Here is the thing, everybody wants to work and be around a pleasant personality-a friendly happy person. Am sure you do too, so go on; use that awkward moment to smile, you will exercise your muscles, feel happier and may inadvertently brighten up someone’s day. Happy smiling 🙂