I think it’s safe to say that everyone has had some awkward moments in their life. I think it’s also safe to say that some of us had a whole awkward phase. But then there are the really lucky ones that are perpetually stuck in awkward mode. Well, hold on to your sweaty palms because I’m going to tell you about the importance of being awkward.

Admittedly, I will tell you that I fit into all three of those categories above and have had my fair share of awkward moments in my life. Now I’m stuck in awkward mode concealed by mock self-confidence and shock and awe about how well my life is turning out.

The first reason being awkward is important is because it builds empathy. Living through awkward situations helps you better relate to others. Empathy is the action of understanding and being aware of the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of another. When you directly relate to something someone is going through, it will give you a drive and motivation to help that person. It leads you to a social connection, which is a basic human need. So the next time you fart in public or on a first date, just know that you can relate to the next person you hear fart in public.

The second reason that being awkward is important is that it leads to emotional vulnerability. This can be the worst kind of pain to endure, so I don’t mean to say it’s all sunshine and rainbows. This is probably the shittiest part of awkwardness. This is when you tell your boyfriend you love him and he says thanks. This is when you say something terrible about your best friend only to see her standing right behind you.

This kind of vulnerability helps you stretch and grow emotionally shaping you into a better person. This vulnerability is what leads to being real and authentic with people and building connections and relationships based on what is real.

The third reason that being awkward is important is that being awkward usually leads to some pretty epic fails. You might be asking why epic fails are important? Well, in my opinion, failing is just being one step closer to success. In high school I really wanted to be a nurse. I was excited about the job security, steady hours, and the money. That’s all. So I enrolled in a grade 11 chemistry class while I was in grade 12. It was the one prerequisite for nursing school. I was great at biology and this was the last piece in the puzzle. However, I failed chemistry 11, revealing to me and everyone around me that my plan failed and I was back to square one: “what I was going to do after high school.” Since I’m here in university for Graphic Design, my epic fail led to success in finding my dream of doing design.

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