Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Awkward Greeting

What is it with the awkward greeting or possible greeting that makes me so uncomfortable? First, let me define "awkward greeting." An awkward greeting, for the purposes of this writing, is any time you feel an obligation to greet someone that you kinda know, you know, but don't know if they remember you, or you know, but don't really like and don't really want to say "hello." It is awkward when you find yourself in these situations and it is actually hard to say "hi," but you know the person saw you, so you feel really weird.

For example, I was dropping my children off at soccer camp this morning. I got into my car and was preparing to back out when I looked up and saw a woman that I kind of know, but not very well, helping her children out of the car. Did she see me? Yeah, probably. I could have waved, but I was in the process of backing up and had both hands on the steering wheel. I could have stopped, cracked my window and said "hi," but frankly I was late for work and didn't know her well enough to take the time. At that point I decided that I must just be rude.

This isn't the first time that this has happened to me. I have countless examples of this kind of behavior on my part. Sometimes I even use awkward "hi" opportunities to avoid people that I know, but may not want to say "hi" to at that given point in time. This could be for many reasons, here are a few a) I know them passing and only from large social situations, I am not sure that they will remember me (I have a better memory for faces than most people that I know), b) they talk a lot and I am in a hurry c) If I stop and say "hi" I might have to make small talk, most days I do not feel like doing this or d) I know them well enough to have said more than once "we should get together" and I have not followed through on this and feel guilty.

Those are just a few of the reasons why I might choose to avoid an awkward "hi." It never ceases to amaze me how friendly and social some people always are. These people are usually well-liked. I guess that I don't count myself in that category. I'm not complaining though because I still get invited to cool parties. So awkward "hi" and all, I must be doing something right.

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