Thursday, April 24, 2014
Awkward Moments- Help requested.
Recently, my company moved from the second floor onto the fourth in the building. It was in that moment I realized just how out of shape I really was. There is a substantial difference from walking two flights of stairs up to four flights that somehow makes one realize what a complete couch potato they really are. I decided to swear off carbs then and there.
(I later had spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner that night and realized just how absurd and unnatural it would be it swear off carbs.)
And though the journey to the fourth floor presents its challenges, as I begin to train for the stairs there is a challenge that sits even higher on this scale: the elevator.
One would think it a simple solution. Take the elevator, man!
And one would think that would be a simple solution for a simple person. However, there is just this one problem... I have a little thing called elevator social anxiety. Oh yes, it's a thing. Only- it's not a thing. I even looked it up. For some reason according to The Phobia List (http://phobialist.com/) there is a fear of mirrors, a fear of chopsticks, a fear of vegetables, a fear of wooden objects, and even a fear of the French culture, however there is not a fear of Elevators. The closest they come is claustrophobia (fear of small spaces) or cleithrophobia (fear of being trapped).
So perhaps it's not so much the elevator as the social anxiety- which my friend, IS a real thing.
Though I consider myself quite outgoing and always eager to meet a new face, there is something extremely inhibiting about being in an elevator with a complete stranger. It brings me to an all new level of awkward.
If you recall, I cannot CANNOT stand silence. I find it my greatest obstacle in life to fill every silence I know of with noise and/or conversation. So when I am alone in an elevator with someone my brain is going somewhat in overdrive. It may sound something like this:
Say something, man. [I call myself man. It's short for The Man or Spider Man. Whatever I'm feeling at the time.] Just say something. Anything. Oh wow. There has been silence for even longer. You really should say something.
Me: Ugh. I sound so ridiculous. Maybe I could talk about the weather.
So how about that weather?
Stranger: Um, yeah. Pretty cold.
Me: Right?!? Uh, I HATE weather. [Well, that was a way to end the conversation. Quick, think of something new. Food? It's almost lunchtime! No, they realize that. Did I brush my teeth? Try not to breathe too hard. My sicknesses and ailments? No, too personal and annoying. Animals? Too random. Sports? Oh yes, sports!
How about football, right?
Stranger: Excuse me?
Me: You know, how about football?
Stranger: Er, football was good... Last season.
[Note to self- pay attention to what sport is current.]
[We stand in silence again as the floors SLOWLY tick by... 2... 3....] It's been quiet for so long now. It's making it even weirder. I must say something!
Me: So do you come here often?
Stranger: Well, I do work here.
[awkward silence and finally the doors open]
Stranger: I have to go now, bye!
Me: Bye! Have a great day!! Ugh...
Really, it's my own personal disaster. As soon as I see someone headed for the elevator I will veer off into the opposite direction and head for the stairs. It's all I can do.
I'd like to tell you that this has only happened to me once. Or twice even. But the horrible truth is that it is me EVERY TIME I am in an elevator.
So please, help! I am taking a general consensus. What do you do in an elevator? Are elevators awkward for anyone else? Do you make small talk? What do you say? Can anyone recommend some good one-liners? Or should I just stay silent and remain awkward internally?