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Awkward Encounter? No Way!

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awkwardWhen someone starts a sentence with, “I don’t want this to be awkward…”

Do you tense?

Do your defenses kick in over-drive?

Do you take a deep breath and wait for the punch?

Or do you keep an open posture – both mentally and physically – with listening ears on?

Let me share a little story with you.

I ran into a friend  of mine this week. After the normal chatter about our holidays, the new year and my personal shopping quest, she said those exact words to me:  “I don’t want this to be awkward.”

Gulp.

Here’s the gist of the rest of our conversation:

Me: Oh. I love awkward.

Friend: You do?

Me: giggle,giggle

Friend:  I had about five or six people ask me if I was going to your recent girls night out. I told them I wasn’t invited. Then one of them told me I was. I looked in my e-mail spam folder, but still didn’t see the e-vite.

Me: (At this point, I interjected.) “I’m so sorry. I thought I had invited you. I did not mean to not invite you.

Friend: Well I’m glad to hear that. I was worried that either something had happened between us; I said something OR that you thought I  ignored your invitation (the invite she never received.)

I apologized. A sincere apology for unintentionally not including her.

I assured her that it may very well have been my mistake and she should have been invited. I thought I had invited her. Oops.

Chalk it up to deciding to have a gathering ten days before the actual event, sending out e-vites two days before Christmas and then not even giving the gathering another thought until two days before it occurred. Tis the season! During the season of Santa, THIS Santa forgot to check her list twice….. namely,  her guest list.

No excuses. What’s done is done.

When the brief conversation was done, our friendship was still on solid ground.

I also thanked her.

I thanked her for bringing this tough subject up to me.

I would have felt TERRIBLE if she hadn’t done so. She would be wondering why she hadn’t been included; a fact that would have been totally lost on me since I thought I had invited her.

Our friendship could have gotten awkward.

Real awkward.

But it didn’t.

Because we talked.

We approached the conversation like two adults should.

I’m proud of us.

This story has a happy ending.

Have you been in a situation where you didn’t bring up something that was upsetting you?

You decided not to talk to the other party directly? You stormed about it in your own head instead, creating a beginning,middle and end to a scenario or conversation that never took place?

Or maybe you talked to everyone else BUT the person with whom you needed to directly speak.

I share my story with you because it’s one that most of us can learn from and ponder. It was handled the way it should have been. Mostly because my friend came directly to me and asked – in a non-threatening,non-mean-girl way.

She didn’t have the conversation she needed to have WITH me with everyone else BUT me.

For days after that conversation, I felt thankful that she felt comfortable enough to approach me.

I’d appreciate hearing from you.

Have you been in a potentially  awkward situation?  Did you have “the” conversation or not?

If not, did it torture your mind or create space in your friendship?

Please share. We can learn from each other’s successes and mistakes.Thank you!

 

Mind Your Manners,

Kelly

4 Comments
  1. Hello Kelly,

    How are you?

    Still loving your stuff

    Happy New Year

    Gary

    • Kelly

      Happy New Year Gary and thank you for your continued support! It is truly appreciated!

  2. Kelly, How timely. I am on point of having just such a conversation. What I wonder, though, is how to wade into troubled waters when one knows or suspects that the other person is not as likely to be gracious. I would not be so nervous to approach someone like Kelly Frager, because I am confident that you will be operating from your best self. Most times when I have stewed or off-loaded on a third party (not part of the problem, not part of the solution), it is because I don’t think the person will be gracious. I can see him or her saying defensively, “Well…so I didn’t invite you. I have a RIGHT to invite the people whom I think are best for the get-together; maybe YOU just don’t mesh with that group of ladies.” This is when it seems easier to just let it blow over than to bring up The Awkward.

    -Danielle

  3. Kelly

    Danielle, great question. As I understand it, you might be wondering if it’s truly worth it to have that awkward conversation when the other person may not handle the conversation with grace.I think you’re right to present that side of the discussion. Often I have decided NOT to say anything because, simply, it’s not worth it; I’m not going to positively change or influence a situation/person. It might make ME feel better to unload, but it would not benefit the relationship….and perhaps cause greater stress. Think about your motives, your hopes and potential outcomes. If they weigh on the positive side of the scale, then it’s a good conversation to have. If in doubt – vent it out (with a SAFE third party). Sometimes it just feels better to get it out. Thanks for contributing your thoughts and perspective on this blog! You’re always insightful.

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