How embarrassing it is sometimes! .. I want to fall into the ground …
It happens like this: at the festive table you are so worried about whether you look good that you can turn a glass of red wine onto your aunt’s white suit? When you need to quickly find something, do you spend an hour rummaging through pockets and tables? Are you sure you break your heel when you miss the train? Can you put an electric kettle on a gas stove?.. Why does this happen to you?
We most often attribute awkwardness to fatigue or accident. But if such a feature becomes characteristic, it signals some specific features of our development and psychological state. The options are:
● Lack of psychomotor learning in childhood. Each child puts everything in his mouth and strives to take everything apart, burns himself and slaps. So he explores a large and unfamiliar world. If by force to limit “unsafe contacts” to a minimum, he grows up without having learned to deftly navigate in space.
● Unaccountable unwillingness to do something (this is according to Freud). That is, if the documents are lost for the third time right before entering the institute, it means that you don’t really want to enter this institute. At least the subconscious resists.
● The “terrible image” hanging over us. How stern parents were unhappy with the poor girl when she tore her tights for the hundredth time and splashed paint on her dress! Now she herself has become a “punishing sword”: she executes herself for awkwardness – and allows it for the thousandth time. Keep feeling miserable. And what will you take with the unfortunate? She’s already suffering, don’t touch her!
● Need for attention. No one notices me in this company, no one is interested in me … Until the moment I broke a huge crystal vase! Now all eyes are on me. A dubious success, of course. And yet, interest is somehow – yes, caused. (All this is also usually not conscious reasoning, but the “general background” of behavior.)
● Some detachment from reality. We most often make mistakes in thoughtfulness when we are focused not on what our hands are doing, but on something else. Clumsy dreamers and absent-minded professors are a typical example of people who mistreat earthly objects because they hover somewhere above the earth’s surface.
Is it possible to get rid of this quality? Of course, even among virtuosos and magicians there are no people who have never found themselves in uncomfortable situations. But it is possible to reduce the scale of destruction to an acceptable level.
● Do not give vent to dissatisfaction with yourself. This does not help, only increases the likelihood of frustrated feelings to make some more mistake. Let yourself relax and remember that you are good. Confident people are less likely to drop their gloves in a puddle and step on others’ feet.
● Practice mindfulness. Learn to fully understand what you are doing at the moment. Do not overexert yourself at the same time – rather, try to enjoy your full involvement in every business.
● It is possible to make up for the lack of purely physical dexterity in adulthood. Playing sports helps to develop the necessary qualities: ball games – attention and reaction speed, shooting and billiards – accuracy, and almost everything – the ability to concentrate.
How to act directly at an unpleasant moment, when annoyance has already occurred, and you can no longer glue the broken door handle?
● Don’t panic. You apologized, promised to fix it – and that’s enough for rehabilitation. Lament half an hour – too much. It only reinforces the bad impression.
● Without stupor. Breathe deeply, shake yourself out of your stupor, so that you can continue to behave as naturally as possible, and not freeze like a hypnotized rabbit.
● No bravado. You should not replay, try to make amends for the impression, making a show out of your clumsiness.
Editor’s advice. And how to behave when awkwardness happens not to us, but to someone else? The classic consolation “it’s not a problem, it can happen to anyone” is indeed true. But its effectiveness depends on how it is pronounced. If the tone seems mocking to the poor fellow, it will not become easier for him. Put a little more warmth into the intonation. But do not overdo it in sympathy. This focuses attention on the incident. Only when the conversation finally turns to another, the culprit of the incident will calm down and stop feeling like a criminal. In the end, turn the case into a joke. But not in such a way as to expose the awkward to ridicule, but so that he himself could see the funny thing in the situation – and defuse nervous tension with laughter.
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