'I don't know how to act in these situations'
An interesting sentiment I heard recently... Are we so uncomfortable with exposing our true selves to people? Are we so caught up with how people see us that we have a mask for every situation? I believe so and it may be the cause of dreaded 'awkwardness'.
I draw attention to this question because of the unconscious way this problem is worded 'I don't know how to ACT in this situation'. When we find ourselves in situations we are unfamiliar with, we have no idea what persona to portray, we have little or no experience in this situation and so we don't know how to show ourselves to others in a way that is resourceful to us.
This feels awkward and uncomfortable because we are left with nothing but who we actually are, the face beneath the many masks. And going about our business without a mask of some description to protect ourselves is something we do so little that it feels very uncomfortable, we feel naked and exposed and so we often freeze up.
Because we are so used to shrouding them in our everyday lives so that people look at us how we want them to look at us, when the time comes to remove the mask or when we don't have one; we struggle to find words that do our real emotions justice. I have experienced this is in that I can talk for ever about the menial things of life but when I find myself alone with some people, my usually talkative brain almost shuts off and refuses to come up with interesting things to say. And isn't it also strange that we feel a need to fill the silence?
Many of us know this as awkwardness.
As long as there is a difference between the way we behave with one set of people and the way we are with others, there will always be awkwardness somewhere in our lives. The best method to avoid it? Be the same weirdo in every situation regardless of the consequences.
'Hakuna Matata - no worries' - Lion King