It only takes a few seconds for a seemingly mundane and relaxed night to turn from just this into a situation that can weigh down your entire night if you let it. This is exactly the type of situation that I found myself in this weekend. Being one to have always found myself in the middle of awkward encounters, however, I’ve realized that a situation is only as awkward as you make it out to be. And having had a lot of opportunities to practice what I preach, I was prepared for my unexpected encounter on Friday.
I had just arrived at a pool hall/bar with a couple of my friends to grab a drink before our late night viewing of Jurassic World (which was incredible btw). We had only been inside for a couple of seconds before I made eye contact with an ex from two years ago, one that I had dated for two years and had not seen since the break up. I had honestly dreamt about this encounter so many times over the past years and experienced fake reunions filled with everything from anger to joy, so in some ways I felt like this wasn’t the first time I’d seen him since then. But regardless, I still felt my heart skip a beat with nervousness. I walked over and gave him a hug and we ended up talking for a couple of minutes about work, family, friends, etc. and by the end of our quick conversation I felt at ease. We ended our chat on good terms and went back to our respective parties to enjoy the rest of our nights, pretty much unfazed by what could have been an incredibly awkward encounter.
Even though I was nervous for this inevitable occurrence, I knew going in that the situation was only going to be as awkward as I made it out to be. I feel like I am constantly repeating this sentiment to my friends but I honestly believe that if you are put in a situation, it only becomes what you make of it. You are in complete control of how you perceive a situation and if you go in with the mindset that you are going to act comfortable, even if you have to fake it till you make it, your encounter will run a lot more smoothly. There is no need to blow a situation out of proportion when 99% of the time the worst case scenario that you’ve concocted in your head will not be pan out. Don’t leave things up to chance and take the lead by starting and taking the conversation in a direction that is comfortable for you. In the end, you’ll both be glad you did.