So, the awkward silence. It’s a very complicated science, but if done correctly, it has great meaning.
The awkward silence is a glaringly passive aggressive way to say, “Really? Seriously?” or the more utilized “This is soooo awkward.”
Such a silence often occurs after a person who is socially inept at making proper conversation speaks. Said person will make some kind of uncomfortable (and sometimes true) statement. Some statements that have brought about the awkward silence pertain to but are not limited to:
- The person’s lack of friends
- A rude comment that someone made about the person. (9 times out of 10, you will agree with the rude comment. Do not say so. If you do, you will invariably be the subject that leads to another awkward silence down the road.)
- The person’s religion
- An invitation to a party the person is hosting/attending (You, of course, would never attend the party but are too nice to admit it aloud.)
The only way for an awkward silence to be truly effective is if the group of listeners is one strong, yet hushed presence. During the silence, it is very important to direct your attention away from the speaker and occupy yourself with trivial things around you. For instance, if it occurs at lunch, you must become very interested in blowing cool air into your hot soup or mixing your salad and dressing well. If it’s during a meeting of some kind, try checking an “important” text message or e-mail. (It’s okay if you don’t really have a message to check. It’s all about the illusion.)
The awkward silence is a valuable tool that sends a stern message to the socially incompetent people that pervade our society.
The message of course being: “SHUT THE HELL UP!”
But seriously people, don’t be that guy.