How do you respond during embarrassing situations? Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen talk everything about awkwardness in this episode. With the National Awkward Moments Day, they explain this event’s significance to their lives while sharing some memorable and humiliating scenarios. From Jason walking into the girl’s locker room and waving at the wrong person to Whitney’s talking loudly in a room where everyone quieted down abruptly. With all these moments, awkwardness and discomfort can be great life lessons which promotes growth.
Listen to the podcast here
This Might Be Awkward…
Throwback to one of our episodes when we first started doing this. I don’t remember exactly which episode it was, but you told me that I had a Cheshire cat grin on my face. That’s how I feel because I like surprising you. Sometimes, I surprise you with deep, serious topics, but I’m going to surprise you with a goofy one. I’m also anticipating another one of your reactions.
I’m turning my hat backwards to get into more serious mode.
I told you, it’s not serious. It is another national holiday.
Why is this relevant?
I’m a planner. We should all know this that I plan out things in advance. When I’m looking at the schedule, I often will look up what national holidays are happening on the day of release. If we have nothing else to talk about that day, we always have something to talk about, but we didn’t plan anything else, thus March 18th is National Awkward Moments Day.
What does that even mean?
We’re about to find out together. If you look up a national day calendar, it will have hundreds, if not over 1,000. Some days have multiple random things happening and it’s the National Awkward Moments Day. I’ve held up a bunch of different websites that talk about the different national days and the first one is NationalDayCalendar.com. It’s a picture of a horse. The photo itself is awkward because I don’t know what’s awkward about it.
Awkwardness is in the eye of the beholder. It is a subjective thing.
It’s a bizarre photo if you feel like going and looking it up. March 18th, we recognize as National Awkward Moments Day. This is the annual day that every person can relate to as we have all had our awkward moments from time to time. I thought we can talk about how do we define being awkward and how does that make us uncomfortable. We were challenging people to get uncomfortable. It is a great point that awkwardness is in the eyes of the beholder. You can perceive something as awkward, you can feel awkward over something that somebody else might not feel awkward about. Awkwardness or embarrassment is defined as an emotional state of intense discomfort within oneself. It is a good fit for the show. They give some examples here. Maybe this will trigger some. Neither one of us planned what we’re going to talk about.
I already have a few situations in life that I can highlight.
I feel like a lot of these are pretty serious. It’s going to be fun to talk about some fun anecdotes, but maybe awkward moments might not necessarily be fun. Have you ever called someone by the wrong name?
That’s not what I meant. Did that happen?
It happened once.
This is why our show is marked as explicit. It’s funny.
That was awful. There is nothing you can do.
This has been a fear of mine, but I don’t think it’s ever happened once to me. How did it happen though? Did you forget this person’s name? Was it like a moment of ecstasy?
Yes, and you can’t take that back. There’s nothing you can do to smooth or shellac that over.
Did this person react? Were you able to cover it up?
It was years ago. From what I recall, I remember making noises immediately after I act that it didn’t happen.
I hope this one wasn’t with me.
No, it wasn’t.
That would be funny if it was with me.
It was like, “Surprise, remember that? Not that memorable.”
If anyone hasn’t read about our history, how we used to date, which also involves us having sex, luckily, you did not call me by the wrong name.
It only happened once in my life and you’re in an altered state of being. Sometimes things come out of your mouth. Talk about an awkward moment. That’s the first that came to my mind. That might be one of the most awkward moments in my life.
Are you serious? Am I triggering repressed memories?
I have not thought about that in years.
This is interesting how we repressed these things until we’re prompted. We don’t even think about it. I’m curious about what the readers are thinking. This would be great to encourage people to come on over to Wellevatr.com and leave a comment.
If you feel willing to, please. I encourage you.
I want to hear other people’s awkward moments or you can tag us on social media. A lot of people tag us in their Instagram stories. You can DM us if you want to keep it private or email us. It’s funny, Jason, this is reminding me of myself. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this. It’s not during sex, but in conversations, I’ve called some of the men that I’ve dated, Jason, accidentally. I say your name frequently since you and I are close, especially that we run a business together. I have said your name to some of the guys I’ve dated, instead of being whatever their name is. I’ll be like, “Jason,” and then I’ll be like, “Crap.” I’m trying to think of examples, but I know I’ve done it. It is uncomfortable. I wouldn’t call it a Freudian slip, depending on how you define it. It’s more a habit in certain scenarios, cases and situations. Because you’re on my mind as a friend and a business partner, naturally it will come out. It has depended on my relationship at that time, whether how understanding the person has been about it.
If I may, I have another one that immediately came to mind was in my adolescence. I was lucky enough that my mom sent me to SpaceCamp in the ‘80s after the movie. SpaceCamp was a movie, then they created a theme park, which was not just a theme park where you would go for a day, but it was a camp. You stayed there for a week. It was in Huntsville, Alabama. I don’t know if SpaceCamp is still going. I went to Space Camp in the ‘80s.Awkwardness is in the eye of the beholder. It is a subjective thing. Click To Tweet
It was established in 1982. It looks like it’s still open. They had this photo and it looks like it was taken a long time ago. I’m like, “Wouldn’t it be funny if your photo is on there?”
That would be a total trip. It would be me in my Alf t-shirts from the ‘80s. Shout out to Alf. I go to Space Camp and I wear contact lenses and glasses. For any of the readers that don’t know, I’ve had corrected vision for a while. One early morning, the barracks we slept in were a recreation of a Space Station. Everything was a scale recreation of the stuff that NASA has. Everything was to spec. We had a replica of a space shuttle that we would do missions in. It was cool and very high-end stuff. I was in the barracks. I wake up one morning and it’s early in the morning. I have to pee. For some reason, I don’t bring my glasses with me. I couldn’t find my glasses. I don’t know what was going on. My vision is pretty bad without corrective lenses. I’m stumbling out of the room, the barracks. I was walking, going to the bathroom and go to the toilet and I peed.
I walk out of the bathroom stall and I’m walking toward trying to find the exit for the bathroom. There’s a shower room over to the one side. I turn and I look and it’s a bunch of naked girls in the shower. I had accidentally walked into the girls’ bathroom/locker room because I didn’t have my glasses on. They see me and I see them. I pause for three seconds because I’m eleven years old. I’m like, “They are naked.” I run out of that locker room back to my room. I was like, “I hope they didn’t get a read on my face.” The whole rest of the time in the space camp, I was terrified that they were going to be like, “This creeper.” It was a complete mistake. I was terrified that they were going to report me and turn me in. It didn’t happen. It was an honest mistake. Talk about an awkward moment, I’m walking out after I pee and like, “Naked girls in a shower. I’m not in the boys’ locker room.”
You were more embarrassed than intrigued like, “I get to see naked girls in the shower.”
I had three seconds and then I beelined as best as I could. I’m blind as a bat, which is why I went to the girls’ locker. The guys in the bunk beds back in there are like, “What’s up?” I was like, “I walked in all of the girls’ locker room.” They’re like, “That was amazing.” I was like, “No, I freaked out.” That’s another immediate awkward moment as a kid where you’re like, “I’m like curious about this,” because you were eleven years old. You’re at that stage of development, but also terrified.
I looked up the SpaceCamp movie. Do you remember anything about it?
Please tell me Joaquin Phoenix was in it.
Yes, but he was listed as Leaf Phoenix. When I clicked on it on Wikipedia, his first major film role was SpaceCamp. Did you know that he was under Leaf Phoenix back then? Did you know that his name when he was born was Joaquin Rafael Bottom?
I did not know that.
He’s from Puerto Rico. He’s like you.
This is fascinating. This got deep and metta. It is interesting.
I want to see this movie, Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson. How did I never hear of this movie?
Shout out to SpaceCamp for an amazing experience because other than the awkward moment of me walking into the girls’ locker room by mistake, it was an A-plus. We did space missions. We got to wear spacesuits. It was dope.
I’ve heard you talk about it before, but I’m intrigued.
At my mom’s house in the Detroit area, there is a VHS cassette of my moments from SpaceCamp because they had videographers.
We should digitize it. Wouldn’t that be fun? Can we do it sometime?
It’s worth it because I had a lot of awkward moments.
Speaking of awkward moments, let me ask you a question. Do you feel awkward when you trip over something? Isn’t it funny, why is tripping so funny and awkward? It is awkward and embarrassing a little bit.
If it happens to someone else and they fall and they don’t get hurt, I laugh.
Remember that video that we posted when we were promoting the consistency code program of that guy falling down the escalator?
Despite high hopes, this is how 2019 went for me and he’s like, “It’s okay. It’s all right.” He fell down.
People were sad because they thought we were in mean for posting it.
He wasn’t hurt. He got back up and walked back to the escalator. It is like, “Are you hurt? Good. I’m going to laugh.”
It’s like America’s Funniest Home Videos.
I don’t feel awkward or embarrassed if I trip and fall.
I wonder oftentimes when I trip, I feel like we were conditioned to be embarrassed. We’re like, “Why is that so embarrassing?”
Maybe because there’s a certain thing around poise or perfection or looking a certain way in public or front of other people like, “They’re going to know that I’m not perfect. They’re going to know that I’m not poised.” For me, what would come up is maybe a perfectionist type of mentality. I’ve struggled with perfectionism because that’s part of the not-enoughness quotient. I’m good enough and I’m perfect enough and I’m the best at this thing.
That’s where this gets a little serious too. A lot of people are afraid or that they’ve defined themselves as awkward, like, “I’m an awkward person.” I know people that use that phrase about themselves a lot and it’s interesting because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you say that over and over again about yourself, then not only are you reinforcing that in your head but maybe you’re convincing other people that you’re awkward when they might not necessarily perceive you as that. I think that awkwardness is a very endearing quality.
I think it’s a natural result, Whitney, of being courageous and being uncomfortable and trying new things. Whenever I try something new in life, I tend to have a moment or many moments where I’m like, “I don’t know what I’m doing.” I feel awkward, clunky or I’m bashing around in this thing that I don’t know. I feel that there’s a natural element that may deter people from trying new things, being courageous, and working through their discomfort because they’re afraid of looking awkward or feeling awkward. If I don’t master this immediately, playing guitar, dancing, we name a million things, there’s this weird part of the comparison trap that people think they ought to be good right away at something. They’re not willing to work through the awkward moments of being not so good at something to finally refine themselves to get to a point where they are good at it. People stop themselves from trying new things for that reason.
I mentioned that I opened up a bunch of tabs to look up how these different websites are talking about National Awkward Moments Day. The second one is that NationalToday.com. It made me laugh because it’s a good representation of awkwardness. I hope that people look this up. I’m going to make the face for Jason. Jason hasn’t seen the fun of it.
You did a pretty good recreation of it.
You haven’t seen yet. You make the first of your version of what you think. I guess it is the shrugging.
Where was he, in New York?
His face is almost like a cartoon.
There’s almost an awkward/cringey face that when something awkward or cringey happens. Whitney and I make at each other and we clench our teeth. It’s cringey awkward moments that will stare across the room in public settings. It’s perfectly physical communication with no verbal communication.
Only raising your eyebrows. That’s pretty accurate on the face. His lips are a little open like, “I got caught.”
Isn’t it funny how the body has physical specific responses to certain things that happen in life? It’s interesting how our body reflects specific internal processes like, “This is an awkward moment.” We tend to clench our face up or raise our eyebrows or eyes get wide.
NationalToday.com has some good examples of awkwardness. Remember that time you enthusiastically waved at your friend, but soon realized they were a stranger? How about when you see someone from across the room and you wave at them but they don’t see you and you get embarrassed because you’re wondering if other people saw you waving at somebody that didn’t see you waving at?
How about this one where you’re at a party and you’re talking loudly to a friend and you’re like, “Becky said this is awful.” Then the party gets quiet immediately and like, “She’s such a bitch.”
Does that happen to you?
There have been versions of that where I’ll be saying something that I didn’t want people to hear publicly because it was a loud room, but then suddenly the room gets quiet and you are like, “I did not reduce my volume at the same time while everyone else was reducing.”
It’s funny too because this website’s listing Awkward Moment Dates timeline. They’re giving all these examples. In 2017, when the movie, La La Land, didn’t win Best Picture. They accidentally announced La La Land as the Best Picture for the Oscars, then it was Moonlight. There was also the time that Steve Harvey in 2015. Shout out to Steve Harvey because Jason was on the Steve Harvey Show. That was probably a little awkward at times being on a dating game.
Are you kidding me? There were many awkward moments.
You handled that gracefully. You did because, spoiler alert, you weren’t chosen. That must’ve felt a little awkward not be chosen.
Yes, especially because I had the crowd vote. You will see in the episode. The crowd was clearly on my side. They erupted.
They also edited out a lot of applause you got.
They did because there would have been a social media uproar, like, “Clearly, he was the one.” I went into that experience, especially after being on the dating show, being like, “I won this. I was confident.” Then when I didn’t get picked I was like, “That’s another life lesson in not having expectations.” That’s another thing that I work on a lot still to this day. Expectations, I have found, first of all, they’re illusions. I’ve noticed that a lot of my emotional trauma and emotional pain have come from having expectations in life. That was another lesson in life. The crowd roared for you, you have the crowd vote, they love you, you had them cracking up. Even the woman, I could tell she was enjoying me and then when I didn’t get picked, I was like, “I thought I had it in the bag.”
You talked about this in another episode about dating. We had a guest, it was Jason Green’s episode.
I was talking about my dating life.
You are going to speed dating or the mixer. Dating can be extremely awkward too. That’s why a lot of people are afraid to do things like speed dating. For me, no way because I immediately think of how awkward I would feel. I also feel even more awkward when I’m around somebody else that I think is feeling awkward. It’s too much awkwardness for me.
In those moments, my desire to connect with a person is greater than the discomfort of the awkwardness I feel. I think in that example, you’re talking about going to dating mixer blind and you don’t know who’s going to be there. I felt the moment I walked in and scan the room, I was like, “What have I done?” The part of me that was curious and willing to put myself out there was greater than the discomfort. The discomfort didn’t go away. I think that’s an overall message is if you have something you want in life, many people but not every situation, you have to be willing to endure discomfort, pain, and suffering in some instances. There are a million different examples we could give, but if people are unwilling to go through the fire of discomfort, pain, suffering, confusion, oftentimes, you’re not going to get the treasure on the other side of that.
For the number of times I’ve willfully made myself uncomfortable and continued to, there’s something good on the other side of it. It doesn’t mean you’re going to get what you’re “looking” for but there’s a life lesson, there’s growth, there’s perspective, there’s a contrast in refining what you want on the other side of it. From my personal experience, one of the reasons I love to call This Might Get Uncomfortable, on the other side of your discomfort, pain, suffering, confusion, there’s something good on the other side. At the moment, it doesn’t feel like that. In hindsight, I think about those moments and there’s something good.
It’s a good way to look at it. I’m going to look through a few more examples here, see if there are any other juicy tidbits about this day or encouraging us to think about other awkward times.
I feel like I’ve shared a lot.
Calling a guy that I’m dating, Jason, that’s pretty awkward. Your story about camp, there are many examples of growing up I’m sure that I would rather not think about it.
I don’t want you to spelunk your subconscious. It’s only like if something happens naturally would come up.
One of the examples on one of these websites I was looking at was when you’ve known somebody for a long time but you don’t know their name. When somebody knows and they recognize you, they come up to you and you don’t remember meeting them.
Do you know my way around this? If I’m with someone, like a guest or a partner or a date, I’ll be like, “This is Whitney.” They will introduce themselves to you.
Hopefully, but if they don’t, they’re like, “Let’s tag each other on social media.” You are trying to type in their social media.
I’ll be like, “Has your handle changed?” They’re like, “It’s the same.”
Have you ever had to enter somebody’s phone number into your phone? They’re like, “Let me give you my number, save it.” You’re there watching you enter and then you’re like, “How do you spell your last name?” I’ve had my fair share of those awkward moments, when you’ve seen somebody and you mistake them for somebody. That has happened to me in a way more times than I want to admit. Somebody remembers meeting you and you don’t remember meeting them and they can tell. You’re sitting there trying to cover it up, but they can see right through you. They’re like, “How dare this person not remember me?” I’ve also been on the receiving end of that where there are some people that have introduced themselves to me multiple times.
In those moments, my ego gets great satisfaction out of saying, “Have we met before?” They go, “Yes,” and they’ve tried to cover it. You watch them try to cover it up. They’ll have some excuse like, “I remember.” I always go out of my way to not put people in that situation. It depends. There are moments when I’ll say that. Jason and I have inside jokes about people that have introduced themselves to us multiple times. After a certain amount of time, you’re like, “Come on.” It’s a little rude. It’s not necessarily an ego thing, but it’s not meant to come from the ego. It’s more like, “At this point, I’m offended that you don’t remember me given the number of times that we’ve interacted.”
What number is it? By the third time for you?
The third is starting to push it. Second, I am completely fine. It depends if they are meaningful interactions if somebody still doesn’t remember. I also don’t make assumptions that somebody remembers me. There’s someone that immediately comes to mind that I’ve met multiple times. We have mutual friends. We’ve communicated through email or text. If it’s been a long gap of time in between interactions and given the number of people that this person interacts with a lot, I’m not going to assume that they remember me. We did this, Jason, when we went to that event at the Century City Mall. We walked up to somebody and I immediately said, “It’s Whitney Lauritsen,” to save them that moment of awkwardness. I feel it’s helpful for us to be aware of what could potentially cause other people to feel awkward. If we can be kind enough to relieve them of that experience, then it’s a compassionate thing to do.It's a massive growth opportunity to willfully seek out discomfort and seek out potentially awkward moments. Click To Tweet
Even if they’re like, “I know.” That’s way less awkward, even if you’re reminding them. I did that at a party with one of the biggest podcasters in the world. We’re thinking of this person like, “Jason Wrobel. We met through Vani.” “It’s good to see you.” I could tell it was genuine. I wouldn’t have thought he had remembered me even though we had been to three different dinners, but I wanted to remind him, “It’s Jason Wrobel.” He said, “How’s the food thing?” I was like, “Thank you.” I didn’t anticipate being the number of humans he meets he would have remembered. He genuinely did.
Unless he was very good at covering it up.
Either way, I felt cool and acknowledged.
What if you went out of your way to get awkward, similar to that man that went out of his way to get rejected? Awkwardness is uncomfortable. Putting yourself in awkward or uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing situations to test your response.
This could go into something as simple as if you’re in a financial pinch asking a family member, a loved one for the money, or support, for a lot of extremely independent people, that can be brutally awkward and uncomfortable to ask for. Asking for help, in general. I don’t mean financially, but for a lot of people, asking for support is an awkward and uncomfortable thing for people to do. This is something that people can practice daily. If we were to look at it, each one of us, there are probably more things we could practice feeling uncomfortable and awkward because it’s a massive growth opportunity to willfully seek out discomfort and seek out potentially awkward moments.
It’s very humbling too.
Shout out to people who are courageous enough to do that. It’s not easy.
As we were talking about, sometimes we laugh at other people’s expense when something awkward happens, which could be seen as mean. On the other side of it, a lot of people are willing to laugh at their awkward moments. Maybe you gave those girls a good laugh when they saw you walk into the wrong bathroom. Maybe they still remember it to this day. As long as you’re not deeply traumatized by it, it’s not that big of a deal. There are many public figures like Steve Harvey incident that we mentioned. He probably felt embarrassed or maybe he was ashamed of it. Hopefully, by this point, he’s gotten over what happened. It gave everybody a good laugh. If we look at it and the big picture of if we could make people laugh, it’s not bad after all. I think a good note to end on is a quote that came upon one of the websites, which is from Brian Tracy, “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
It is such a beautiful summation of one of the major ethos. What is the plural of ethos?
Speaking of awkward, it is ethea. It’s on a website called WordHippo.com.
We have a friend who has a hippo dog. Thank you for that. One of the ethea of this show was perfectly reflected in that quote from Brian Tracy. The willingness to choose uncomfortable moments, choose awkward moments and not shy away from them.
Speaking of awkward, we asked Brian Tracy to be here and he hasn’t said yes yet. It was because he wasn’t sure of the value of podcasting. He was afraid that it would be awkward for him. What if we reach out to Brian Tracy, we sent him this and say, “Let’s move out of your comfort zone. Let’s take your advice and get here. It is about time.” You never know.
We’ve got to manifest it into happening.
It’s true. I’m going to find something uncomfortable and awkward to do.
What do you mean? Are you saying that as a way to end this?
I’ll do something fashion-wise that’s uncomfortable for me to do.
That’s hard. That feels like you often push yourself out of your comfort zones.
This is something we don’t talk about, but in closing, there is a certain curve to choosing discomfort over and over and I think it is challenging yourself to be more uncomfortable.
It is because you can easily get comfortable getting uncomfortable.
It is like, “How do I challenge myself with bigger and scarier things?
Could you continue doing the opposite? If you’re used to getting uncomfortable, maybe you have to go back to being comfortable. Maybe being comfortable itself becomes uncomfortable at a certain point. Maybe it’s the opposite. Is that possible?
It is possible.
There is a hashtag for National Awkward Moments Day, which I think is #AwkwardMomentsDay. If you want to tag us in that on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok. I bet you TikTok would have some good awkward moments. I wonder if they’re going to use that hashtag.
We also have a hashtag for the show. If you are down to share on your Instagram stories or any of the social platforms, it is #ThisMightGetUncomfortable.
We don’t use that often enough.
Let’s do it more.
We’re still ramping up. It’s funny, as social media content creators, we don’t do nearly as much social media as you might think. We love your help. If you post Instagram stories, we’ll reshare them. If you post about us on your Instagram or Twitter, we’ll share it. We’ll comment on it. We’d love to connect with you. You can find us @Wellevatr. We’d love for you to comment on this post. Tell us what makes you feel uncomfortable? What are some of the awkward moments that you’re willing to share? If you’re too embarrassed to post them publicly, you can always email us or direct message them to us privately. We can have a good little bonding experience over being awkward.
Thanks for your courage, your openness and your willingness to share. Whenever we get emails or DMs from you, it’s always such a joy to listen to how these are impacting your life, how they have impacted your life. Whenever we get messages that you’ve shared them with friends or family members, it’s meaningful that you’re sharing our explorations of life, love, consciousness, healing, wellness and that’s what it’s all about, sharing resources. We appreciate you doing that.
One more awkward thing. I also found out that March 18th is also a National Forgive Mom and Dad Day.
That goes hand-in-hand with awkward moments, depending on the level of forgiveness. We’re not going to touch that.
We’re not, but it’s heavy. I want to look up this hashtag, #ForgiveMomAndDadDay. That could be interesting. There are 1,500 national days.
I’m going to submit for #DontCelebrateAnythingToday. It’s just be day. I must submit that to whoever the committee is.
You could probably submit and create your national day.
I would like to pick October 17th as Just Be Yourself Day. That would be cool as hell. Don’t take my idea, Google.
There’s National Just Because Day, but that is not quite the same thing. There is a National Name Yourself Day.
I’m going to figure this out, Whitney. You read it here, people. Namaste, we love you.
- SpaceCamp Movie Trailer
- Jason – Jason on Steve Harvey’s show
- @Wellevatr on Instagram
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!