(This is Part 5 of the “Repeat after Me” series. Read Part 4 here.)
This is a little awkward. So, let’s talk about it. Let’s spend a few weeks on the blog helping to crack the awkward code. Repeat after me.
I’m recalling some awkward moments in my life. Some were accidental: things like walking into the wrong bathroom, bumping into someone, spilling something. Some were circumstantial: catching someone in a lie, being a fish out of water, being in the middle of a social faux pas, not knowing what to say or do in a given situation.
Had enough? (Probably).
The Act of Humility
One “repeat after me” phrase that has helped me again and again are the three little words, “This is awkward.” Why does that work so well? For one reason, it’s a big step into humility. By acknowledging that the situation is less than desirable–and that we’re at a loss with what to do–we stop acting like we have control. When I admit to myself and to others that I don’t know how to handle a situation, I’m humble. And humility usually wins.
Here’s a text: “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (II Corinthians 12: 7-10.)
The Wisdom of Humility
You don’t have to be a believer to gain wisdom from that. It’s shown again and again that humility increases a person’s leadership span.
I missed out on using these three little words for way too long; now I use them regularly. Use it before, during, and after awkward moments. Make your tone appropriate for the moment. It makes life easier for you, and for others, because someone needs to break the ice. In the next couple of weeks we’ll look at variations on the theme. But for now, make this a statement that you’ll freely repeat: “This is awkward.”