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The Alphabet of Humor: A is for Awkward

Updated on December 5, 2011

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The Funniness of Awkward

Awkward situations are only funny under one of two circumstances: 1) It's happening to someone else, or 2) You're looking back on it WAY down the road. When something awkward happens to you, the sooner you accept that you made a fool of yourself, the sooner you will be able to laugh about it and move on.

Why do we so often find awkward situations to be funny? Because human beings instinctively laugh to release the tension of awkwardness - and when the laughter comes, so does funny. We can see the humor behind awkwardness in shows like The Office, websites such as, and our own personal situations - such as What Not to Say to Women (From Personal Experience).

Common Situations Where Awkwardness Can be Found

  • On dates: I thought this shirt matched...
  • Wetting your pants: Read How to Appear Like You Have Dry Pants When You Don't
  • Church: The pastor said what?
  • Extended Family Reunion: I'm related to her!
  • The Classroom: I thought I could just let it out softly...
  • Job Interview: Didn't I brush my teeth?
  • Your pet/child: He ate what?!

Using Awkward Effectively

Using Awkward to be funny could end up, well, awkward. The best bet for using Awkward as a way to get laughs is to point out awkwardness in situations around you rather than try to create your own awkward situation.

Do you notice a couple on a first date? Did a monkey just throw something at that lady next to you? These observations of awkward things happening to others make for great humor. We all love to laugh at awkward. If something embarrassing happened, why not enjoy it with a hint of humor? Trust me, whoever it happened to will thank you (or beat you up).

Did you just drop your phone in the toilet? Probably a topic to avoid on a first date... However, make sure you tell your bros about it later - they'll be rolling on the floor with laughter! The key is to using awkward sparingly and with the right audience. Many people have differing ideas about what is or is not funny, but taking advantage of potentially awkward situations can lead to great successes, even in meeting women! (Check out A Flawless Way to Meet Women for more).

How to Alleviate Awkward

Well, the situation happened and there's no getting out of it. People are looking. People are wondering what you will do next. The key: be calm, cool, and funny!


Firstly, point out the elephant in the room. If everyone knows what happened, pointing it out and stating "that's a bit awkward" will likely get a laugh and save some face. Most people, once something has been laughed about, are able to move on to other topics - although you can expect to get teased about this situation frequently.

Next, change the subject fast! The sooner you are able to get conversation moving, the less of an impact the situation is to have on the memories of those involved. Unless it's actually funny and something you want remembered for a long time - move on quickly!

DON'T keep digging yourself deeper. If the awkwardness seems to be lingering, do not try to explain yourself. Simply move on. The humor will completely disappear if the mood goes from awkward to angry.

In the end, awkward is funny. Whether it's your awkward situation or that of someone else. But make sure awkward is only a sidearm in your humor arsenal. If it's your big gun then your friends my start disappearing one by one.

Awkward in Action


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    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      I am glad you enjoyed! It's a lot of fun writing entertaining and ridiculous articles.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      hahahah!!! love your common situations list!

    • Ana Teixeira profile image

      Ana Teixeira 6 years ago from Oporto, Porto, Portugal

      I have so many awkward pictures of me as a kid... OMG... I even have embarassing videos.. let's not talk about it! xD... OFC my mum would show them to my friends everytime I brought them home... She's mean! :P

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 6 years ago from California

      @laurathegentleman, I'm glad I have company! Ending up in situations I would rather avoid tends to happen to often.

      @trinatea, thanks! Glad it entertained.

    • trinatea profile image

      trinatea 6 years ago from Hawaii

      lol! I enjoyed this!

    • laurathegentleman profile image

      laurathegentleman 6 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      This is funny! Story of my life! :)