Embracing Your Awkwardness: A Guide to Self-Acceptance

Text Alert Motive in Zoom Interview Sparks Unexpected Conversation with Author Henna Pryor

When a software alert popped up on my computer screen during my Zoom interview with executive coach and author Henna Pryor, it wasn’t just a mere technological hiccup. In fact, it sparked a conversation about embracing awkward moments – a topic that is at the heart of Pryor’s new book.

Describing the incident, where I was forced to interrupt the interview to restart my laptop, I admit to feeling awkward and embarrassed. Ironically, these are the exact kind of situations I was interviewing Pryor about in the first place. Her book, “Good Awkward: How to Embrace the Embarrassing and Celebrate the Cringe to Become The Bravest You,” challenges the idea that nothing good comes from life’s cringiest moments.

Pryor believes that being so-called awkward isn’t a weakness, but rather a catalyst for authentic human connection. She argues that knowing how to navigate life’s inevitable uncomfortable moments and embracing the awkwardness can lead to growth, resilience, and inner strength. “Unless someone has cracked the code on how to eliminate all moments of uncertainty, awkwardness is something you’re going to experience,” she says.

During our conversation, Pryor defines awkwardness as the social emotion we feel when our internal reality doesn’t match our external reality. This certainly resonated with me as I navigated the technical glitch during our interview. With only a few minutes left, I had to stop and explain the situation to Pryor, who graciously understood and agreed to pause our chat so I could resolve the issue.

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Following the restart, our conversation continued with a newfound level of understanding and connection. Pryor assured me that the awkwardness I experienced illustrated her point about uncertainty and the need for proactive strategies to navigate such moments.

In addition to sharing her insights, Pryor offered practical tips for dealing with awkward moments. These include reframing the meaning of awkwardness, overcoming the “spotlight effect,” acknowledging what can’t be controlled, and using awkwardness as a social lubricant through humor.

As someone who briefly struggled with the spotlight effect during our interview, it was refreshing to hear Pryor’s perspective on these strategies. Her book and our conversation left me with a new understanding of awkward moments, seeing them not as sources of embarrassment, but as opportunities for growth and human connection.

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