Introspections & Retrospections

The Pit of Awkwardness [Part 3 of 4]: Cavities and Craters

Don’t you find it amusing how large a cavity feels like when you try to feel it with your tongue?

Well, it seems like a joke until I visited a dentist once… and ironically, she said the cavity was not a big deal. The real problem were several teeth which I thought were okay. They have been annoying me for a while with sudden bouts of over-sensitivity, and occasional sharp pains. But when the dentist checked, the damage was actually deep despite the absence of a cavity. In the end, the actual tooth cavity I was worried about just took a few seconds to fix… while the other teeth took more than an hour to drill away the decay, and when the dentist asked if I wanted to look, I was aghast at the dental crater inside my mouth.

Are we focusing too much on a shallow cavity? Or does allowing awkwardness to fester create a hidden crater? 

With all the problems we encounter each day (as well as the other problems we imagine into existence), awkwardness seems to be the least of our concerns. Even among petty relationship issues, awkwardness seems not much of a threat — after all, it’s just something temporary. We all get over it.

So why am I making a big deal about it?

Because I personally tend to create a lot of awkward situations, and I’m not so proud about it.

Because most (if not all) of the time, the awkwardness is something that resulted out of my own selfish pride and/or inability to communicate confidently my own faults.

Because I keep wishing others would see things from my perspective, understand my emotions, appreciate my thoughts and affections… and horribly get disappointed and frustrated and wallow in depression. While keeping a smile to hide what I really think and feel, simply because I’m afraid. Afraid that whatever I do or say to be understood will only make things worse, and that at moments like this — the desire to interact and the desire to communicate becomes a conflict of interest.

And it’s really awkward especially when we realize the cause is very trivial when we look at the bigger picture.

Should we allow these conflicting desires and desperations create a conflict even among the people around us?

One of the things we neglect is that we are not alone: our relationships can also affect other relationships as well. How we behave with a specific individual influences how other people behave towards us, too. And that’s not all: this behavior also may lead others to behave similarly towards the person we’re awkward with, or vice versa.

[Or maybe I am just exaggerating.]

But seriously, think about it— if you have a friend who’s not okay with another friend, it can also create a tension where the non-awkward friend starts to feel awkward either towards you or the other person, or even both especially in situations where the three of you are present.

[and it’s not even a love triangle yet!]

Which brings us to the personal question: “Is it (awkwardness) worth it (the relationship/s)?”

Unlike anger, awkwardness does not carry potential violence or malice. It does not pose a threat of an outburst, because it is not a risky emotion.

Unlike apathy, awkwardness still hopes for reconciliation. It still feels and longs for that connection. It still conceals a vague sense of concern.

With these in mind, the real harm or danger that awkwardness poses is isolation.

An awkwardness to share one’s thoughts and ideas.

An awkwardness to expose one’s emotions and hurts.

An awkwardness to admit mistakes and show acknowledgement or appreciation.

An awkwardness to freely communicate, interact and simply be who you are with and to them.

When it’s dark, every crack and pothole can feel like a ravine or a cliff. Sometimes, you just need to be that guy who can turn the lights on… or just offer a hand as you both walk through and away from the gloom.

• • •

On the conclusion blog, I hope to give a picture of what is happening or can happen inside the crazy world of a person living in awkwardness. And yeah, it’s mostly derived on my own awkward stories. SO if you’re the person at the other side of my awkwardness… sssh. Let’s just talk about it someday. Till the next article!


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