Non-Verbal Communication

I’ve fallen in love with a new awkward moment. I think we all have those, moments which are so deliciously awkward we drink them in to the last drop. For some it’s when someone forgets our name or when we forget theirs. In Iowa I suffered a lot with the “say a guy’s cute then find out it’s your friend’s cousin” moments. While there’s also that awkward silence someone asks you out and you’re about to turn them down. In that silence, you know and eventually they know, even before anything is said. I also admit to enjoying the awkwardness of accidentally wearing the same thing as someone else. And let’s not forget that wonderfully awkward moment I have here all the time when people try shaking my hand because I’m American and I reach out to hug them because their Peruvian.

But today’s new awkward moment is just gold. Because it is basically a game of chicken. However, not against each other but together. It’s a little bit like that moment when you’re not sure if you should really give your opinion about what you want to do to someone you’re trying to impress, and they’re struggling with the same thing themselves. I love that “look deep into each other’s eyes to try and read their thoughts” moment.

Today’s moment I call “Make Tracks or Make Cracks.” I’m really proud of my clever title actually. This is the moment when you’re in a meeting with someone and the rumbles and tumbles begin of an earthquake. In this completely silent moment both your eyes meet, first to confirm “You feel that too, right?” Then we progress to “How much bigger is it going to get?” and eventually we deadlock into the “Make Tracks or Make Cracks.” In this we are both trying to decide, do we stand up and leave in case it gets big and it’s dangerous to stay inside (there are very specific evacuation plans after all) or do we laugh it off, because this is as big as it’ll get and it’s obviously not big enough to be worried about. As an American I worry a lot about “making tracks” too early, because I don’t want to look like Chicken Little. However, once when there was an earthquake during the night I was apparently the only person who didn’t at least get out of bed. And yes, this just makes me look stupid the next day. So in this moment while eyes are locked, both are making their own decisions while watching the face of the other. We try to look like “I’m not scared” while watching for any sign of fear in the other to give us the excuse to leave.

My moment was short lived when the secretary called out from the other room “Hey, is that an earthquake or a passing truck?” which basically gave us the green light to break our death gaze and “make cracks”.

Oh the fun of playing earthquake roulette.

Make cracks
Make tracks

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