Just yesterday I got to indulge in one of my favorite pasttimes; creating a socially awkward moment. Doesn’t everyone enjoy doing this from time to time? Creating that ever so slightly uncomfortable moment where no one is quite sure what the correct response is?

I thoroughly enjoy engineering socially awkward moments and have picked up a few tips that might help you realize the sublime joy of making everyone around you avoid eye contact and shift their feet for a few minutes.

For your amusement and education I’ve collected a few of my favorites into a list. They do not have to be used in any particular order, but I do strongly discourage anyone from trying to do more than one at a time as it could lead to mild physical injury. As a general rule, these tips work best with people you don’t know particularly well. Close friends and complete strangers are more likely to completely ignore you (if for different reasons).

1. Disclose personal or historical information about yourself as a non sequitur. As a recent personal example, I informed some colleagues during lunch that I was voted by my high school class to be “Most Likely To Start a Cult.”

2. Use quotes from well known but inappropriate movies to punctuate a meeting. One of my personal favorites is Caddyshack; “Oh don’t mind this, it’s doctor’s orders.”

3. Excessively adjust your clothing. The more vigorously you do this, the more awkward everyone else becomes.

4. Point out that someone has something on their person by being as vague as possible. (Aborted hand gestures are great for this!) “Um, you have a little something… right… no over some…” If you are making it up, then you must finish with “O nevermind, it’s hardly noticable.”

5. If some folks are having a conversation, walk right up them and smile. Don’t say anything for as long as you can stand it, but keep smiling.

6. Practice being a close talker or alternately pretend that the person you’re talking to is several feet away and you’re in a bar.

Anyway, these are just a few of my favorite things to do when I’m in a mood to mess with people. If any of my tips can bring even a little maniacal laughter into your day, then I’ll consider it a job well done!


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